Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands - Stein Travel
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Virgin Gorda

Its coastline fractured with hundreds of bays and inlets, Virgin Gorda, third largest of the British Virgin Islands, is a haven for yachtsmen and holidaymakers, providing private, safe anchorages and secluded pristine beaches.

Christopher Columbus was responsible for the name of the isle, which means 'Fat Virgin', because its shape reminded him of a reclining woman with a distended stomach. The heavy belly is the island's central high point, known as Gorda Peak, from which lush indigenous vegetation crisscrossed with numerous trails spreads down to the coast and the azure sea.

Virgin Gorda, just less than nine square miles (23 sq km) in area, is still a virgin paradise in many respects, as land development is strictly controlled. The island's resorts are luxurious and discreet, staffed almost entirely by local residents, and blending gently into the idyllic surroundings.

The friendly locals are justifiably proud of their piece of paradise which, it is hoped, will long retain its reputation of being the peaceful, relaxing 'Caribbean as it used to be'.

Information & Facts


The climate in Virgin Gorda is humid and hot, tempered by trade winds, with an average annual temperature of 83° F (29°C) and little variation in the seasons. Most rain falls between June and December, and hurricanes are possible during the wet season.

Getting Around

Taxis are available, and scooters or bicycles can be hired.


English is the main language spoken on the islands.


The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Most establishments on the larger islands accept credit cards and travellers cheques, but on Anegada it is best to have cash. Banks and exchange facilities can be found in Road Town, Tortola. ATMs are available in Tortola and Virgin Gorda.


Virgin Gorda, like all the British Virgin Islands, has a number of idyllic beaches perfect for lounging and water sports, including Savannah Bay, Handsome Bay, and Big Trunk Bay. Devil's Bay National Park also has its own secluded beach, only a 15-minute walk away. The beaches are all beautiful, but the star attraction on Virgin Gorda is the Baths on its southern shores, where a jumble of gigantic granite stones lie half submerged. The boulders have formed fascinating grottoes, tunnels, arches and pools: a playground for exploring and snorkelling.

Near the Baths are the ruins of a copper mine over four centuries old, which are under the protection of the National Parks Trust and are being restored. In the middle of the island, Gorda Peak National Park has some good hikes up to the top of the peak, where you'll find amazing panoramic views of Virgin Gorda and the surrounding islands.

Yachting enthusiasts flock to the Bitter End Yacht Club, which has great views and boats for hire if you didn't bring your own, though it's expensive.

The island's main town, Spanish Town, presents an unhurried, laid-back atmosphere, where visitors can take their time browsing among a plentiful supply of shops offering souvenirs, beach-wear, fashion items and local arts and crafts. There are also numerous restaurants, most with catchy names like 'Mad Dog' and 'Sip and Dip', serving up the delicious local cuisine, including unsurpassed lobster feasts.


Local time is GMT -4.

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