Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Cruising in the azure waters of the British Virgin Islands (B.V.I.) has been popular for a long time. Although Virgin Gorda boasts a small airport, it seems that most of the visitors prefer arriving by sea - aboard their own yacht or on one of the ferryboats from Tortola or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Virgin Gorda is also a popular call for cruise vessels.
Although the British Virgin Islands are only a short distance from the U.S. Virgin Islands, they are vastly different in character. The slow and restorative pace is perfect for visitors who want to get away from it all and simply enjoy the pleasures of this small hideaway. The British Virgin Islanders, too, love their unspoiled tropical home and are determined to maintain its easy-going way of life.
Seven-mile-long Virgin Gorda has a population of about 2,500; the majority lives in the relatively flat southern portion. The northern half is mountainous; 1,370-foot (411-metre) Gorda Peak is the highest point on the island. Virgin Gorda's chief attraction, The Baths, lies in the island's southern part near the tiny capital of Spanish Town. The Baths consist of enormous boulders that form natural pools and underwater caves - an attraction seldom missed by visitors to the area.
Going Ashore in Virgin Gorda
The ship is scheduled to anchor in North Sound. Guests will be taken ashore via ship's tenders to Leverick Bay. Taxis may not be readily available. It is a 20-30 minute drive to Spanish Town.
Souvenirs and local arts are available at Leverick Bay and in Spanish Town's marina complex. The Leverick Bay complex includes several gift shops and a branch of well-known Pusser's Company Store, which offers a wide variety of souvenirs and resort wear as well as Pusser's rum. The local currency is the U.S. dollar.
In addition to seafood, typical local dishes include callaloo and goat stew. Roti, a Trinidad-style crêpe stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetable curry, is also very tasty. Eateries range from basic local bars to dining facilities in the island's resort hotels.
Virgin Gorda is noted for its unspoiled beaches. Watersports facilities are available from the dive centre at Leverick Bay landing.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing are limited to local taxis.