Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
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
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
Getting to Virgin Gorda
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.