Updated: Aug 19
Norman Island is one of the only privately owned islands in the British Virgin Islands that allow access to their hiking trails. Hiking on Norman Island is way to stretch your sea legs, get some cardio and take in some magnificent views. The sweeping vistas are worth every step of the uphill climbs.
Hiking to the northeast will take you about 2.5 miles out and back to the top of Spyglass Hill, where legend says pirates had a lookout stationed. Hiking to the southwest takes you 3.5 miles out and back to Benure's Bay and on to Money Bay. AllTrails shows you all the trails on Norman Island and gives you specifics on the Bight to Money Bay portion.
Make sure you bring a day pack with water, sunscreen, and a sun hat. Be prepared, there is very little shade. The trails are very rocky. I always bring the shoes pictured below to the BVI, they work both as hiking shoes and water shoes.
Since Hurricane Irma, there is a salt pond behind Pirate's Bight Restaurant. If you take the walkway between the restaurant and the dive shop, you will come to a dirt road. Take the dirt road to the fork, go left at the fork and hike to the top of the hill behind the Pirate's Bight Restaurant. It seems a bit counterintuitive to go left, going right takes you to a dead-end above the salt pond.
Norman Island is one of the only privately owned islands in the British Virgin Islands that allow access to their hiking trails. There are about eight miles of hiking trails on the Island. At the top of the hill, with incredible views in either direction, if you head west you end up at Spyglass Hill. If you head east, you take the longer trail that ends at Money Bay.
There are all types of wildlife along the trails, especially birds.
Because the winter season is very dry, cactus flourish on the islands.
Essential Online Links For Booking Your Trip to the British Virgin Islands
Logistics: There is one international airport in the British Virgin Islands. You can also fly into St. Thomas USVI and take a ferry to Road Town, Tortola. : Taxis are available throughout the islands. Private Transfers are available from both airports: Private Arrival Transfer from EIS Airport to Tortola, Private Ground Transfers, St. Thomas, Ferry Schedules are available at USVI.net, Water Taxi transfers are available through Dolphin Water Taxi
Top-rated British Virgin Islands tours and experiences:
☆Conch Island Snorkel Tour: Contact Kelly at Anegadaconcierge@gmail.com or Whatsapp at 281 496-0961
Top places to stay in British Virgin Islands: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina (Tortola - Luxury) ***Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort (Tortola - Budget Friendly, ) *** Sebastian's on the Beach Hotel (Tortola - Budget Friendly) ***Rosewood Little Dix Bay Virgin Gorda (Virgin Gorda - Luxury, )***Saba Rock Resort ( North Sound - Luxury,) *** Anegada Beach Resort (Anegada -Budget Friendly, )
My favorite Guidebook for Bareboating in the British Virgin Islands: The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands
My favorite Guidebook for the British Virgin Islands: Top 10 US & British Virgin Islands
My favorite Novel about the Caribbean: The Embarrassment Of Mangoes or Vintage Norman Island: True Tales About a Real Treasure Island with Pirates and Buried Treasure
The picture on the left was taken in March of 2018.
The remains of the Willy T after Hurricane Irma.
Notice how the vegetation is just beginning to come back.
The photo on the right was taken in November of 2019.
The new and improved Willie T framed in dense, green vegetation.
Any photos in this post with minimal vegetation were taken on our March 2018 trip,
just 5 months after Irma.
As you hike east you have panoramic views of Soldier Bay, Benure's Bay and Peter Island in the distance. You can hike down to the shore at Benure's Bay and Money Bay.
There is a spur trail that takes you to the point above Kelly Cove. It is about a mile out and back. I would not recommend taking the short cut trail pictured above. It is incredibly steep and rocky. I ended up sliding down the steepest places on my bum.
As you hike to the west, you have beautiful views of St. John and the Caribbean Sea. From the southwest side you can see St. Croix in the distance on a clear day.
Whether you are traveling by boat or you are a land traveler, Normal Island is easily accessible. With over 90 mooring balls and a daily ferry service from Hannah Bay, Tortola, it is easily accessible to any traveler in the BVI.
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Have you hiked Norman Island? Please leave us your thoughts and experiences, so we can learn from your experiences. Looking for land accommodations in the BVI, check out the low rates on Booking.com.
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