Virgin Gorda

British Virgin Islands The Baths Virgin Gorda copyright M. Timothy O'Keefe -

Virgin Gorda is home to the BVI's most famous place, the incredible beach known as The Baths.

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Virgin Gorda
Popular Day Trip Destination

Called the "fat virgin"
by Columbus because of the bulge in her middle, Virgin Gorda is far less developed than Tortola.

And Virgin Gorda isn't as mountainous as its name implies. It's mostly flat at the east end with a very hilly mid-section that reaches 1,359 feet, the so-called belly of the Fat Virgin and location of Gorda Peak National Park.

Seven-mile long Virgin Gorda enjoys regular ferry service from Road Town. Small commuter airlines also fly in from San Juan and St. Thomas. The easiest way to get around spread-out Virgin Gorda is by taxi.

Virgin Gorda Sailboats at Cow Hill copyright M. Timothy O'Keefe - Guide To Caribbean
Virgin Gorda, Cow Hill

However, the entire island is not accessible by car but the ferry does stop at the major resorts that can be reached only by water.

Virgin Gorda is a quiet place, a favorite retreat of sailors and anglers. And it's the most popular day sail destination from Tortola because of The Baths, located south of the island's main center, The Valley.

More than half of all visitors to the BVIs make a trip to The Baths, where massive boulders create a series of caves, grottoes and pools interspersed with open beach.

Swimming and snorkeling in the protection of the rocks is a favorite with families. Snacks and restrooms available.

The huge pile of granite boulders was formed an estimated 70 to 100 million years ago when the islands were formed. Weathering has eroded and rounded the stones into the fanciful shapes we see today.

This popular location can become crowded with cruise ship tourists, so it's best to visit when there isn't a cruise ship docked in Road Town. However, you can always can rock climb to adjacent Devil's Bay or access it from the pathway at the top of The Baths, where there's a large restaurant.

About 2 miles from the yacht harbor are the stone ruins of a copper mining operation, first worked by the Carib Indians. Below the copper mine, the Atlantic waves make a powerful display as they crash onto the point, surge high, then wash back down the gray-colored promontory.

You can get a good look from the top, but if you want to feel the raw power of the Atlantic, make the descent. It will give you more respect for early explorers.

For a detailed Virgin Gorda road map, click here.

Major Attractions

Biras Creek Resort Walking Trails
They can be reached only by boat

Baths National Park
One of the region's most famous beaches

Copper Mine Point
Worked by the Caribs first

Cow Hill
Short walk with a good view

Devil's Bay & Little Fort National Parks
Walking trails in two very different parks

Gorda Peak National Park
More mountain hiking

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