Though vastly over-used, the word ‘idyllic’ surely applies to the British Virgin Island of Jost Van Dyke. Apart from just enough bars, restaurants and shops to serve the handful of locals and far more numerous tourists, crass development has passed the island by. The best theory as to why this is so may be its size (only about 3 square miles), but perhaps it’s luck or just keeping a low profile.
According to the serious historians, Jost Van Dyke wasn’t really named for Joost van Dyk, a Dutch pirate who made it his base in the 17th century, though there are rumours to that effect. Regardless, this little chunk of green mountains and white sand surrounded by the great blue Caribbean has a peaceful history and no apparent reason or desire to change.
To get there one must take a ferry from either Tortola or St. Thomas, charter a sailboat or speedboat, or take a water taxi (from Cruz Bay St. John). Of course if one has a private yacht,which a great many visitors do, your schedule is quite flexible, but the ferries are frequent (at least five daily) and dependable. Once on the island you can rent a jeep at White Bay or use water taxis around the perimeter.
Great Harbour is the busiest port in the BVI, with cruises as well as plenty of private boats visiting year round, a great beach for sunning and a lot of small bars including the famous/infamous Foxy’s Bar with its signature drink, the Painkiller. A better swimming and snorkelling spot is White Beach, and nothing is very far from anything else.
For a rare and delightful treat, you can head to Diamond Cay and follow the goat track to Nature’s spa, the Bubbly Pool. This is a natural pool sheltered by rocks that funnel waves through a very narrow gap so the pool boils and bubbles like a powerful salt water jacuzzi.