The dramatically shaped island of Virgin Gorda reminded Christopher Columbus of a reclining woman, so he named it Virgin Gorda, the “Fat Virgin.” The third largest island of the BVI, Virgin Gorda measures eight and a half square miles.
The island is considered one of the most beautiful of the British Virgin Islands although it is actually three islands in one. The southern third of the island that stretches from Spanish Town to Devil’s Bay is largely flat but also features spectacular giant bolder formations created during the island’s volcanic period. “The Baths” is perhaps the most famous of these formations where the enormous granite boulders have assembled on the shore to form private grottos and secret passages. The southern end of the island also features the island’s dirt airstrip and the historic Copper Mine, now part of the National Park System.
The middle section of the island is marked by rugged, mountainous terrain and spectacular sandy beaches. Savannah Bay is wrapped by a long stretch of secluded white sand and offers excellent snorkeling. Towering over the bay is Gorda Peak National Park. At 1,370 feet, Gorda Peak is the second highest point in the Virgin Islands. It is surrounded by 265 acres of dry wood forest that was donated to the National Parks Trust by Lawrence Rockefeller in 1974.
The northern most third of the island is dominated by North Sound, a well protected oasis for water sports. The sound is formed by the coast of Virgin Gorda, several reefs and the islands of Prickly Pear, Mosquito and Saba Rock. It is home to the Leverick Bay community where Villa Euphoria is located. North Sound also features a number of exceptional restaurants as well as the world class Bitter End Yacht Club Resort and Biras Creek Resort.
For much of its history, Virgin Gorda was a quiet agricultural community. In its earlier years, the island served as capital for the BVI and boasted a population of 8,000. Today’s population stands at an estimated 3,300.
Virgin Gorda is regarded as one of the BVI’s major tourist destinations and is home to a number of world class resorts including Laurence Rockefeller’s Little Dix Bay, the Bitter End Yacht Club and Biras Creek.
The island’s rugged, gorgeous terrain is best suited for those seeking to relax and enjoy its beautiful beaches and natural beauty.
The American dollar is used throughout the Virgin Islands, including Virgin Gorda, but foreign currency can be exchanged at all major bank branches on the island.
A valid passport is required for travel to the BVI.
Virgin Gorda lies within Atlantic Standard Time, four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road on Virgin Gorda.
110/60 volts AC, 60Hz. American two-pin plugs are used.
English is the official language.
Places of Interest
Little Fort National Park
Located south of the Yacht Harbor, it was the site of a Spanish fort whose stone walls are still partially intact. This 36-acre area also functions as a wildlife sanctuary.
The Copper Mine
On the southwest tip of the island, it was mined by Cornish miners between 1838 and 1867, and perhaps even earlier by the Spanish. Today, the remains of the chimney, boiler house, cistern, and mine shafts can be seen.
Gorda Peak National Park
This park contains a wide variety of indigenous and exotic plants and has been reforested with mahogany trees. At 1,370 feet, it is the island’s highest point.
Giant boulders form a series of spectacular pools and grottoes flooded with sea water.