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The British Virgin Islands A Day On Virgin Gorda

Gorda PeakWe recently spent a wonderful day on Virgin Gorda. We were staying on Tortola at The Villas of Fort Recovery Estate for a few nights, with one of the reasons being that we wanted to visit the Baths again (we had done a day trip once from St. Thomas) but by ourselves, not as part of a group and not rushed through in an hour. We left from Road Town using Speedy's ferry. It was $25 round trip for adults, including the taxi ride (I think I remember that correctly) from the Spanish Town ferry dock to the Baths. It was a rough and windy day but the ferry is a newer catamaran and the ride was not that bad at all.

After arriving we easily found the safari (it said Speedy's on it and the driver was out on the dock looking for people). We made the short drive to the Baths in a few minutes with insightful commentary from our driver, Simon.

The Baths Upon arrival we hiked down the path to the beach, put most of our gear in the lockers ($2.00 each - we got 2) and started down the Devil's Bay trail.

The Baths are a magical place - the landscape to me in a word is "alien" - it is other worldly to see these huge boulders, sculpted by centuries of weather. Add to that the juxtaposition of the sparkling turquoise water and you have one of the most stunning vistas in the world. You first enter the path through the space made by two of these huge monoliths, and it only gets better. The trail is a fun mix of walking through sand, climbing boulders, wading tide pools, climbing some ladders and using ropes to help you along. You end up at a beautiful small beach bordered on both sides by huge rock formations that make up Devil's Bay (you can also keep going - there is a lot more to explore as you head further south towards the end of the island - we saved that for the next time).

Devil's Bay, The Baths, Virgin Gorda We had a great time getting to Devil's Bay, and then climbed up on the rocks on the south end of the beach to explore and people watch. The surf was really up, but still there were a few intrepid (and a few foolish) people who ventured out. We didn't see anyone get hurt, but did notice one young lady that was lifted up by a wave and actually placed down on her fanny on top of some rocks! Not exactly my idea of fun. After some more lounging around on the boulders, we made our way back, all the way to the restaurant called the Top Of The Baths.

We had a good lunch there (burgers, coconut chicken sandwich) and relaxed for awhile as our children swam in their pool. I went out to the parking area and found Simon - he agreed to take us on an island tour for $40 (3 adults and 2 children). That sounded fair to me so we took off for the Copper Mine ruins. Simon told us that he was originally from St. Vincent and had been on Virgin Gorda for about 13 years. He is a very nice guy and made interesting and humorous commentary - his best line was as we took off "my name still remains Simon" as he had already introduced himself on the way to the Baths.

Copper Mine Point, Virgin Gorda National Park Virgin Gorda is not big but it is extremely beautiful. The major stops on our tour were the Copper Mine ruins (the Spanish started mining copper here over 400 years ago). From this vantage point you can see why Columbus named this island the "Fat Virgin" - looking back at Gorda Peak the island looks like a pregnant woman lying down. Next was a roadside stop that pointed out the Katitche Point Greathouse and A Dream Come True VIlla (they are right next to each other and both are available as vacation rentals), with Nail Bay beyond, then a ride to the top of the Gorda Peak National Park with a spectacular view of The Bitter End, Saba Rock, Necker and Prickly Pear islands, and in the distance, Anegada. Biras Creek Resort is out there too, close to the the The Bitter End. Finally a stop at Little Dix Bay Resort, which looks like a great place to stay - we only walked the grounds for a few minutes and got a drink - but it was enough to sell us on this resort. We are hoping to be able to vacation there one day.

Little Dix Bay Resort After that it was a short ride back to the ferry dock and the ride home. It was a really great day and one I will remember for a long time. Although there really is not much on the island in the way of attractions (shopping, night life, etc.), and only a few thousand people, I definitely recommend a visit to Virgin Gorda for anyone spending a few days on Tortola, and I would recommend a vacation there if peace, quiet, beautiful beaches and turquoise water are what you are looking for.

Hotels & Resorts on Virgin Gorda:

5 stars Little Dix Bay Hotel

Little Dix Bay Hotel
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Tranquil, no-TV resort arrayed around calm bay
  • Featuring a half-mile crescent beach, this resort provides 600 acres of seclusion for restful vacationing in harmony with nature.
  • Without televisions or radios but furnished with custom Rosewood Beds, the 100 guestrooms supply privacy amid dense tropical gardens.
  • Resort boats take guests to secluded Virgin Gorda beaches. A hilltop health spa provides rejuvenation with spectacular views.

4 stars Bitter End Yacht Club (Full American Meal Plan)

Bitter End Yacht Club (Full American Meal Plan)
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Remote Virgin Islands sailing and water sports resort
  • Accessible only by water, this resort provides complimentary use of 100 sailboats and other watercraft.
  • The 77 guestrooms have wraparound ocean-view verandas, ceiling fans, and two-person hammocks.
  • Activities include swimming off three beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, and hiking.
  • The room price at this Full-American-Plan resort includes various amenities.

3 stars Nail Bay Resort

Nail Bay Resort
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  • Location: Virgin Gorda Airport-Approx. 15 minutes drive (3.5 miles). Spanish Town Ferry Dock: Approx 15 minutes drive (3.5 miles)
  • King/Twin bed. Equipped with Kitchenette, Balcony with spectacular ocean view. Phone with internet access. Walking distance from the beach.
  • Three fantastic, deserted, sandy sun bleached beaches. Fascinating, easy and adventurous, snorkeling to be found right off the beach, amongst the best in the Caribbean. Freshwater pools, waterfall and hot tub set amongst landscaped tropical gardens. Wonderful ocean and sunset views all around. Lighted tennis court. The Dog & Dolphin Poolside Bar & Grill. Landscaped Ruins of Sugar Mill, perfect for weddings, functions and parties. Bocce Court. Kayaks to explore the coastline. Sailing, fishing, diving, car and Boat rental all easily arranged.

Biras Creek Resort

Biras Creek Resort
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A secluded retreat for nature-lovers, far removed from organized activities. Only accessible by boat, the hotel magnificently overlooks the ocean. Contemplating this spectacular view, guests can enjoy cocktails and meals al fresco. Each of the spacious suites, decorated in the West Indian style, is near the water and has a private lounge, bedroom, patio and garden shower.

Olde Yard Village

Olde Yard Village
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Located in the Valley of Virgin Gorda, the Olde Yard Inn is an oasis where you can relax around the pool in the warm Caribbean sun with a book in your hand and a enjoy a cool tropical breeze. The Inn is set in a quiet garden of rolling lawns and tropical flowers and is encircled by a privacy wall to ensure guests' total comfort and seclusion. Trade winds from the sea cool the Inn's 14 tastefully appointed rooms, featuring original Caribbean art, rattan furnishings cedar wood walls, ceramic tile floors and large walk-in showers. Each of the rooms at the Olde Yard Inn has its own balcony with patio furniture to take in the view. All rooms have ceiling fans and some are air conditioned. From their rooms, guests can wander over to the library, which is located in two wooden pavillions with attached porches. It is considered one of the best libraries in the Caribbean and is one of the focal points of the Inn.

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