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Sand and Sun and Views Galore in the British Virgin Islands

Since 1680, the English have held possession of the tiny archipelago of the British Virgin Islands, using them intermittently in sugarcane production. Over the past 100 years, the islands have developed a reputation as an unspoiled vacation getaway, and on the back of that reputation have drawn wealthy Englishmen back down to the tropics. Most famously—and most appropriately due to his position as head of Virgin brands—Sir Richard Branson purchased Necker Island (above), north of Virgin Gorda, as a private getaway in 1979. He paid just $622K for the island, before plunging some $10M into developing the private resort. Today, the island can be rented for $54K per day.

? To the south of Necker Island lies Virgin Gorda, a much larger, more heavily populated island whose name is allegedly derived from the similarity between its profile and that of a pregnant woman. This particular villa is a brand new addition to the island, dubbed LaVita. The $5.5M five bedroom is perched high above the sand, with breathtaking views of St. Francis Channel. An infinity pool and 25-foot ceilings round out this spectacular property.

? Over on the next island, Tortola, this sprawling villa lies on a private peninsula with 270-degree views of the water. Ten minutes drive from the airport at Beef Island, the seven-acre estate justifies a $6.8M price tag with five bedrooms, four baths, and an exceedingly private setting.

? There are cheaper options to be had, like this hillside villa on Tortola known as Lone Palm. The four-bedroom stucco spread has elevated views of neighboring Jost Van Dyke, a quirky island interior, and a covered porch that runs the length of the house. What it's missing is a swimming pool, but considering the $1.2M price, that might not be the end of the world.

? For those in search of a more subdued island existence, this tiny waterfront villa might be just the ticket. Coming in at just $1.3M, the petite two-bedroom, one-bath house has a deepwater dock and the sort of proximity to the water that only a grandfathered structure can provide. The listing claims it's really "not about the house," suggesting that this is being marketed as a tear-down, but we'd be pretty happy with the tiny pied-a-terre.

? For $2.1M, buyers can get space (six bedrooms), amenities (infinity pool), and views that would please just about everyone. Set 500-feet above the ocean, this is a far cry from the last place, but coral details keep the beach feel flowing through the villa.
· Necker Island [Island Hideaways]
· LaVita [Coldwell Banker]
· Aslantic House [Christie's]
· Lone Palm [Sotheby's]
· Pebble Beach [Sotheby's]
· Summer Heights [Sotheby's]