Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean

The Baths Beach rocks, Virgin Gorda, Caribbean beaches

Getting away from The Baths Beach in Virgin Gorda.

Vacations on Virgin Gorda

With its stunning beaches and unique The Baths rock formation Gorda is the BVI’s number one beach destination.
The ‘Fat Virgin’ was so named by Christopher Columbus due to the island’s shape when seen from the sea looks like a woman with a big stomach lying on her side. This 8. 5 sq km island, the the third largest of the BVI, is 19 km east of Tortola. The main attraction here is Gorda’swilderness and abundance of natural beauty.

Things to do

Spanish Town

The second largest town in BVI after Tortola’s Road Town, Spanish Town is also known as the Valley. It has its own airport, a marina/port serving as ferry dock and yacht harbour and a shopping centre in the heart of the town. Sadly this sleepy town has little to see or do. Just passing through is the best attitude to take on approach to The Valley!

Touring the island

Rent a car or hire a guide with vehicle to tour the island. Alternatively an island tour can be arranged by ferry companies such as Speedy’s when you book a trip from Tortola or St. Thomas.

Devil’s Bay National Park and The Baths

This is ‘the must do’, not just because it is Virgin Gorda’s number one attraction but because it really is special and demands attention.
A 15 minutes walk down from the park entrance and you reach this iconic beach, world-famous for its hidden caves and pools created by giant granite boulders blasted to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The narrow path winding through these boulders to get to the Devil’s Bay Beach is a half the fun of the visit, crawling between the massive stones and climbing over rocks aided by a rope. And after that, what a delightful beach! This small but photogenic beach has calm, clear water that is excellent for snorkelling. A small entrance fee of $3 required.

BUT! as the result of this unique approach and beach quality, The Baths is often hideously congested. With numerous yachts anchored across the bay, you may have to line up to get through the narrow passes, and then swim in the relatively crowded sea. Go there early or late afternoon or off season.

Gorda National Park

The mountainous northern side of the island rises to a high point of 1, 370 feet and the park features some of the last remaining patches of Caribbean dry forest in the region. It is also home to the smallest reptile in the world – Virgin Islands dwarf gecko (Sphaerodactylus parthenopion), measuring just 18mm.
The park offers two moderate hiking trails, the longer one taking about 45 minutes through the woods. It’s worthwhile mainly because hikers are rewarded with a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the BVI from the peak, especially the northeast side, a view of North Sound with the islets including Sir Richard Branson’s Mosquito Island and Necker Island. Even Anegada is visible on a clear day. No worries, non-hikers can also enjoy the view of North Sound from the highest stretch along the North Sound Road.

Best Beaches on Virgin Gorda

Spring Bay Beach

Spring Bay Beach, Virgin Gorda, BVI, Caribbean beaches

Spring Bay Beach.

Although it might be an alternative to Devil’s Bay and the Baths for some, Spring Bay is Bugbog’s favourite on Virgin Gorda because while it has a similar picturesque setting to Devil’s Bay it is prettier, more secluded and much less visited. For example on an afternoon in May there was nobody on Spring Bay at all while the Devil’s Bay and the Baths were occupied by at least 50 people and about a dozen yachts. Spring Bay water has almost no waves so it offers good snorkelling, especially around the Crawl at the southern end of the beach. It’s not accessible from the Baths except by boat, but has public access by land from Tower Road.

The Baths

This celebrated beach is often busy with visitors particularly those who are arriving and leaving by boats as well as keen photographers so as a beach it is surely attractive but not exactly a relaxing one.

Devil’s Bay

Next to the Baths and reached by a trail through the boulders forest, this is the bigger beach of the two. It is an excellent place to hang out after sightseeing the island and fighting past tourists at The Baths. Its clean, calm waters are fine for snorkelling.

Mahoe Bay

Mahoe Bay beach, Virgin Gorda, BVI, Caribbean

Mahoe Bay.

Little Trunk Bay

Just north of Spring Bay and accessible by climbing over a few rocks, Little Trunk is as pretty as Spring Beach and rarely occupied. With less huge rocks around, it feels spacious!

Savannah Bay

North of Spanish Town, Savannah is one of the longest beaches on the island, a natural beauty with soft white sand fringed by vegetation. It is claimed by some visitors to be Virgin Gorda’s best beach. It’s usually deserted and peaceful unless a tour operator has arranged to bring a large snorkelling party along. Meaning the bay is a specially fine spot for snorkelling! But be aware of a strong currents and occasional riptides.
There are few facilities and you will need to protect your picnic from wild chickens. Get there via a short dirt road from North Sound Road or an easy hiking trail from Little Dix Bay.

Long Bay

Long bay beach pan, Tortola, BVI, Caribbean beaches

Another unspoilt beach all to yourself more often than not, Long Bay is worth mentioning though getting there is not so easy. It can be found near Nail Bay resort. Travel along the road to get to the Nail Bay from the south until the road splits in two, take the left down toward the water. Long Bay offers great view of the Dogs, a group of islets, from the beach.

A perfectly located beach, Mahoe is protected from the currents of the Sir Frances Drake Cannel by reefs, and has a picturesque view of the Dogs Islands. This narrow but manicured beach is home to some of the island’s most secluded and luxurious resort villas.

Fallen Jerusalem National Park

North Lee Bay on this uninhabited island off Virgin Gorda is a Bird Sanctuary with massive volcanic boulders similar to those found in Devil’s Bay, the Baths and lot more!
The bay is almost as dramatic as the Baths and the beach is as secluded as Spring Bay and best of all is NOBODY THERE!
Enjoy some of the best diving and snorkelling in BVI, with underwater tunnels and caves, home to many nocturnal fish.

Getting to Virgin Gorda

BVI map of Caribbean

BVI Map by Google with additions by Bugbog.

The scheduled ferry operates daily from/to Tortola 2-3 times in the morning, 3-4 times in the afternoon and a couple of extra ferries in the evening on Wednesdays and weekends. Between Beef Island, 4 times daily. Also ferries from/to St. Thomas in US Virgin Islands, available three days a week. $30 Adult round trip. Getting to BVI.