Virgin Gorda is the second-largest island in the British Virgin Islands. The island, of volcanic origin, is made up of several distinctly different areas. A beautiful mountainous center is the location of Gorda Peak National Park. As well as the North Sound, the Beach Coast, The Baths, and the Valley, which is the island’s main habitation. Columbus named this island Virgin Gorda meaning “fat virgin“. He named it because of its shape as seen on the sea’s horizon.
Virgin Gorda, like the other British Virgin Islands, has tropical, hot temperatures throughout the year. However, the heat is tempered by the trade winds, with a more pleasant period from December to March. At that time the daily average temperature is around 75-77 °F. It is hotter from May to October when the daily average is around 82 °F.
Places to See
Certainly, all of the crystal clear waters surrounding Virgin Gorda’s beaches are excellent for snorkeling and scuba. Several of the most popular beaches are listed here.
- The Baths. Located on the southwest tip of Gorda you will enjoy the huge boulders stacked and strewn amongst the white powder sand and palm trees. The labyrinth of caves and caverns created by the massive boulders gives way to Devil’s Bay with truly breathtaking scenery and to be sure, a must for any visitor.
- The Crawl. Especially great for small children and novice snorkelers. Further giant boulders create a small lagoon of clear calm water. Complete with some reefs, tropical fish, and even an occasional sea turtle. In addition picnic tables with barbecue grills are nearby.
- Little Dix Bay on the Beach Coast. An absolute gem of a beach. This bay is hidden in its own cove and boasts a gorgeous white sand beach. Moreover, it is magnificently framed by small mountains and their rocky points.
- Long Bay the Beach Coast. A remote secluded beach perfect for birding and beach-combing.
- Mahoe Bay on the Beach Coast. In essence, this beach gives you the lovely feeling of being in a lagoon. Gently curving white sand is demarcated by its own small hillside valley onshore.
- Savannah Bay the Beach Coast. Overall one of the nicest pure beaches without development. You can find it located at an interesting geographic location, the neck of the island.
- Prickly Pear Island on the North Sound. A nice calm swimming beach with a beach bar. Then hike up over the ridge through the Prickly Pear Nature Refuge to North Beach. In fact known for outstanding swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing, and beach-combing.
Things to Do
- Hike to Gorda Peak. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water for this 50-minute hike to the highest point on Virgin Gorda. The views are spectacular.
- Shop. There are quite a few places to shop in Yacht Harbour. For provisions and tasty treats, visit the Bath and Turtle, Buck’s Food Market, or the Wine Cellar. For gifts and clothing, try the Blue Banana, B.V.I. Apparel Outlet, Dive BVI LTD, Flamboyance, Margo’s Jewelry Boutique, and Shereen’s Nauti Virgin Too. Additionally, art lovers will enjoy Next Wave, Thee Artistic Gallery, and the Virgin Gorda Craft Shop.
- Dine. Biras Creek – An elegant restaurant overlooking North Sound. Of course, a dinner dress code and reservations are required. Fat Virgin’s Café – Casual waterside café located at Biras Creek. Burgers, sandwiches, soups, ribs, roti, pasta, fish, frozen drinks, and gourmet coffee. Phone 284-495-7052
Marinas and Anchorages
- The Baths. The Baths is located on the southwestern shore of Virgin Gorda National Park. Moorings are available. This is a unique and beautiful location, but there can be swells at times. For this reason, anchoring is not permitted.
- Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, Spanish Town. The marina offers over 100 berths with full marina facilities capable of accommodating mega-yachts up to 160′. The Harbour also has a dive shop, restaurant, some shops, banking facilities, and a drug store. While Spanish Town and St Thomas Bay Beach are only a short walk away.
- Savannah Bay. A delightful anchorage behind the reef in Savannah Bay. Anchoring is usually done in Pond Bay in the middle. Giorgio’s Table Restaurant is on the Point with a small dinghy dock below. This anchorage is not recommended for an overnight stay since a significant swell can penetrate the reef in northerly weather.
- Long Bay. A day anchorage just to the southeast of Mountain Point. Anchor on the sandy bottom.
- Leverick Bay Resort & Marina, North Sound. A superb destination with moorings and a full-service marina. In particular a nice restaurant, dive shop, hotel, and laundry facilities. And the opportunity to stock provisions.
- Bitter End Yacht Club, Gorda Sound. Indeed a must-see unique nautical village catering to yachtsmen. Another key point: The Quarterdeck Club and Marina offer private showers, fuel, electricity, garbage pickup, and mechanical services. Contact: Phone 284-494-2745
- Biras Creek Marina. This especially well-protected anchorage is accessible directly from North Sound. Twenty-two moorings are available for a fee of $30 per night.
- Gun Creek. A protected anchorage to the east of Leverick Bay. Provisions, a ferry, a restaurant, taxi island tours, and garbage disposal are available.
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