Virgin Gorda Tourism

Virgin Gorda: Natural beauty is in abundance and accessible via indigenous plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries, and natural wonders of our protected national parks. Hike to the island’s high point, Gorda Peak, for a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding islands.

For a quintessential Caribbean vacation, stroll or swim at the unspoiled beaches at Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Devil’s Bay, Mahoe Bay, or Spring Bay.

Evidence of the rich heritage of African, Indian, and Spanish history is plentiful, from the Spanish ruins at Little Fort National Park to the Cornish Copper Mines, where the ruins are set against the azure sea at the island’s southwestern tip. This eclectic influence extends to Virgin Gorda’s local cuisine, shops, arts, fashion, and gifts.

The British Virgin Islands

Getting to The Baths at Virgin Gorda

Speedy’s Ferry Service and Smith’s Ferry Service offer regular ferry access to Virgin Gorda, starting at $20 a person, each way from Tortola. The ferry ride is about 30-45 minutes depending on sea conditions.

Virgin Gorda National Park

Since being “discovered” as a tourist destination in the early 1960s, Virgin Gorda is still not over-commercialized. It is reminiscent of Saint John (Virgin Islands) before the designer shoe and handbag stores arrived. With only a few resorts and a sprinkling of villas, it has a pleasing intimacy. The passengers you meet on the nine-seat plane are likely to show up at the next table at dinner. The local people are well educated, friendly, and caring, family-oriented and remarkably aware of their place in the world. As elsewhere in the BVI, English is spoken, with a more or less strong accent. It is courteous to begin a conversation — even a brief question — with “Good Morning,” or other salutation appropriate to the time of day.

Virgin Gorda is a small island, about eight square miles, only a few miles from Tortola and its airport on Beef Island. In 2001, the population was 3100. The southwestern part of the island is known as the Valley. In this area of low gentle hills will be found most of the population, businesses, and services, mostly in and around Spanish Town, the capital. Below Spanish Town, the landscape and seascapes are strewn with granite boulders the size of houses; these provide dramatic settings for accommodations, restaurants, and beaches. In the center of the island, a low mountain rises from the sea to about 1350 feet. This area is sparsely inhabited, except for small neighborhoods in the North Sound area on its northeastern edge. Extending northeast from there is a chain of wooded hills accessible only by boat. A convenient excursion to one of the nicest outer island areas in Virgin Gorda would require hopping on the local Resort Ferry (Bitter End etc) in Gun Creek. This Ferry will take you on a short, but neat cruise into the heart of the North Sound area. Small islands in this area contribute to the very sheltered harbors in the sound.

The Baths Virgin Gorda

The Baths Virgin Gorda

At present (January 2013), Virgin Gorda Airport is open to scheduled flights. Island Birds, Air America, Air Sunshine, and Seaborne lands at Virgin Gorda.

Island Birds, 284-495-2002 or 877-515-5066,  Unparalleled, private air charter throughout the Caribbean, specializing in flights to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) from San Juan, St Thomas, St Maarten, and Antigua. More than 15 years of reliable, first-class service to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Anegada, with flights also operating from San Juan / Isla Grande to Culebra, Vieques, or any other Caribbean destination.

Air America, 787-276-5669, Over ten years of experience in charter flights departing from San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Croix to all Caribbean Islands. Direct flights to Virgin Gorda, Tortola, and Anegada.

Air Sunshine, +1 800 327-8900 from US and Canada, flies from San Juan to the tiny Virgin Gorda airport four times a day; in winter the last flight maybe diverted to Tortola, as the airport operates only from sunrise to sunset. The Virgin Gorda experience begins with an exciting approach as the small plane drops over a ridge and descends along the side of the hill that obstructs the approach to the landing strip. The reservation process is cumbersome, requiring faxes and a delay of up to 48 hours for confirmation, but Air Sunshine has a loyal following among regular visitors, many of whom are on a first-name basis with the pilots.

Fly BVI – Caribbean Air Charter, +1 866 819-3146 Toll-Free from US & Canada, +1 284 495-1747 Worldwide Reservations Line. Specializes in private charter flights to and from the BVI, as their name implies. Fly BVI operates a number of aircraft from the reliable Piper PA-23-250 “Aztec” with 6 seats, up to the King of the Ramp, the Cessna 404 “Titan”, Cessna’s Largest Piston Twin, configured for 9 Passengers. Prices will be comparable to commercial airline travel if you have at least four passengers.

Several airlines serve Saint Thomas and Tortola. Ferry service from Tortola’s Beef Island airport is convenient with several departures per day. From St. Thomas, the ferry terminal is a taxi ride away, and there are only a few direct boats per week.

Virgin Gorda Baths

• The Copper Mine, a national park containing the ruins of an abandoned 19th-century copper factory. Legend has it that copper was discovered on Virgin Gorda.
• Spanish Town is the second-largest town in all the BVI, with a relaxed atmosphere and tons of shopping. Every March is the Fisherman’s Jamboree, a food and fishing festival celebrating the island’s main industry (after tourism).
• The Baths are a beach area situated south of Spanish Town, near Devil’s Bay. The unusual boulder formations in the area suggest the island’s volcanic past and form a network of tide pools, grottoes, tunnels, and arches right on the sea’s edge.
• Little Fort National Park sits on the former site of a Spanish fortress. It’s now a 36-acre nature sanctuary, which offers strenuous hiking across its rugged terrain and dense vegetation.

The British Virgin Islands

Because the British Virgin Islands enjoy a warm tropical climate, your Virgin Gorda travel plans don’t need to account for whether—it’s beautiful year-round. The average highs are between 79 and 87 degrees F, and the lows never dip below the mid-60s. For this reason, tourists often escape to Virgin Gorda in the winter, when it’s cold back home. Be warned that many hotels close during the summer months, due to the threat of hurricanes.

White sand beaches, swaying palm fronds, friendly locals, and fresh fruits and drinks—is there a more peaceful, relaxing place on Earth than the British Virgin Islands? If you’re in the mood for a beach getaway, travel to Virgin Gorda, the third-largest isle in the BVI, and maybe the most idyllic. With its pristine beaches, turquoise water, astonishing landscapes, and fantastic villas and restaurants, a trip to Virgin Gorda is nothing short of paradise. This Virgin Gorda travel guide will help you get the most from your island retreat.

An exotic Caribbean destination that was settled, at various times, by Christopher Columbus, the Dutch, and the Spanish, Virgin Gorda offers breathtaking landscapes, natural geologic formations, and historical ruins.

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