Virgin Gorda- the fat virgin – apparently so-called
because Christopher Columbus, in 1493, thought the shape of the island reminded
him of a fat woman lying down – well, he had been at sea a long time.
If you arrive here by ferry from Road Town, you can get some fabulous
views from the open-air upper deck, but you might remain a little perplexed by
||Virgin Gorda, the second largest of the British Virgin
Islands and about 12 miles from Tortola, is often considered to be the
‘perfect’ Virgin Island, managing to combine some of the most incredibly
stunning beaches and mountains in an undeveloped environment but with a number
of highly luxurious resorts.
The southern end of this narrow island, where you can find
the main settlement of Spanish Town, has some sumptuous, flat white sand
beaches. Along the central spine
and up to the northern shore there are the lushly covered hills, the highest of
which is Gorda Peak, the virgin’s belly.
This is only 366 meters high and totally engulfed by mahogany trees but
offers a breathtaking panoramic vista of the coast and some of the smaller
islands nearby, notably Peter Island to the south and Richard Branson’s
private island, Necker, to the north, along with Anegada, the drowned land.
At Leverick Bay, in North Sound, there is fabulous kayaking and sailing
available. On the western coast of
the island is Trunk Bay, another perfect white sand beach, which you can access
either by boat or along a path leading from Spring Bay.
The Baths of Virgin Gorda
Undoubtedly the most spoken about attraction of Virgin
Gorda, though, is the magnificent natural phenomenon known as The Baths.
Found at the southwestern corner of the island, The Baths is a truly
awe-inspiring collection of huge
granite boulders lying in piles strewn on the beach.
Here, you can delight in secret rooms illuminated by ethereal shafts of
light, snorkel amongst coral ledges and caves and take some of the most
spectacular photographs imaginable.
extravagant grottos and pools, scattered on the unblemished white beaches, are
totally captivating. The Baths,
quite rightly, is a ‘must see’ sight of the Virgin Islands.
At the entrance to The Baths you can find the Top of the Baths
restaurant, which has a stunning open air verandah, affording eye-catching views
over the beach, and its own freshwater pool.
The Top of the Baths has its own blend of Caribbean cool, casual
In addition on Virgin Gorda, is Little Fort National Park,
a wildlife sanctuary around the ruins of a disused fort; the Aquarium dive and
snorkeling site at Fischer’s Rocks, the sublime beach at Devil’s Bay and the
ruin of an old copper mine.
The Bitter End Yacht Club
is one of a small number of high class resorts and hotels which,
incidentally, includes Little Dix Bay, which was the very first luxury resort
built in the BVI in the 1960s by Laurence Rockefeller.
There are also a number of private villas available for rental dotted
around the island.
'She was right here a minute ago!!??'
There is undoubtedly a special magic to Virgin Gorda, which
its visitors notice straight away. Virgin
Gorda – it is home of some of the Caribbean’s most magnificent beaches; home
of outstanding sailing and water sports; and home of one of the world’s
unforgettable secret places – The Baths.
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