The marinas of Virgin Gorda are home to world-class yacht clubs, resorts, and beaches. The views and landscapes are gorgeous everywhere. The island is an exciting blend of Caribbean luxury, memories of old times, and protected natural treasures.
Location of Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is the third-largest island of the British Virgin Island, and the second-most populous. It is 8 km from the largest island, Tortola. It covers an area of about 21 km2. The capital city, Spanish Town, is also on the southwest coast of the island. This is one of the largest ports in the world. It is bordered by four islands, and thanks to the connecting reef systems, the nearly three thousand hectares of water surrounding the area are protected and calm. The first moorings in North Sound are to the east, at the mouth of Biras Hill. Bitter End, the most popular resort and marina are on the north-eastern coast of Virgin Gorda.
History of Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is part of the British Virgin Islands… It is believed that the name (Virgin Gorda means “Fat Virgin”) came from Christopher Columbus in 1493 when the explorer travelled to the “New World” for the second time. This is because the shape of the island is like a full-figured woman lying on her side. The first inhabitants were the Ciboney, Arawak and Caribbean Amerindians who mined copper here. Archaeological finds suggested that primitive copper works took place on the island long before western civilization arrived. The island served as an important guide for Caribbean sailors, but sailing was not without dangers. Some notorious pirates used Virgin Gorda as a base to hound the passing galleys in the bays. England took control of Virgin Gorda in the second half of the 17th century. This is when development began thanks to sugar plantations and copper mining. This boom stopped in 1862 when the mine closed. Then, the island began to flourish again in the 60’s after it became a popular tourist destination.
Weather ofVirgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda has a tropical climate. It is hot during the entire year, but the dominant trade winds somewhat cool the air down. The period between December and March is usually milder, with an average temperature of 24–25° Celsius. It is very hot between May and October: the daily average temperature is around 28° Celsius. The dry period lasts from January to April; the driest months are February and March. You can expect heavy rainfalls from May to December. The hurricane season is from July to October – it brings strong winds and heavy rains. The sea is warm during the whole year, with an average temperature of 27° Celsius.The sailing season is between December and April. During this time, the weather is not so hot and the amount of precipitation is also smaller; there is also a lower risk of tropical storms and hurricanes. The wind is north-easterly during the winter months, then blows towards the east in February and changes its course to the southeast by June. It usually has a velocity of 28–38 km/h, with the exception of the Christmas winds with 50 km/h. The seas are fairly calm.
Highlights of Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is full of dreamy beaches. We can visit any part of the island, we will find a secluded, white sand beach, embraced by colourful reefs.Yet, the most popular destination is still The Baths with the amazing granite boulders. This geological wonder is on the north coast of the island. These formations around the beach create protected sea basins. The area includes Devil’s Bay and Spring Bay to the north. A road also leads to Spring Bay, and it has a beautiful white sandy beach. One of the most significant historical monuments in Virgin Gorda is the old copper mine. Only the power plant, tanks, engine house and chimney are all that remain.
In addition to West Indian specialities, restaurants on Virgin Gorda offer international cuisine. What you can find everywhere are fish and lobster. If you are a gourmet, you can try the local specialities. These include seafood dishes, such as the unique fish soup, the chowder, edible whelks, mussel pie, or conch stew. Another delicacy is Roti, an East Indian flatbread with different fillings. Of course, when it comes to culinary experiences, let’s not forget about exotic fruits. Taste fresh papaya, mango, or guava. The most popular drink – being sailors – is rum and rum-based cocktails. Of the local rums, Pusser’s is the most popular, originally made for the Royal Navy.
Beaches in Virgin Gorda
The best thing about the shores of Virgin Gorda is that you can anchor at almost every beach, and vice versa. You can find a beach at every mooring where you can spend a quiet, relaxing day.
Stoney bay is at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda, at Devil’s Bay. Is a gorgeous beach, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. The scene that awaits you here is picturesque and wild at the same time. You have to pay an entrance fee of 3 dollars.
Savannah Bay is on the west coast of the island. It is secluded and quiet. The water is shallow and crystal clear. The marine life is rich, we can see sea turtles, squid, Caribbean fish and of course beautiful corals.
Spring Bay is in the southern part of Virgin Gord, north of The Baths. The beach is gorgeous, perfect for relaxing. There is a big outdoor grill where you can barbeque anytime, you only have to bring the food with you.
Mahoe Bay is on the west side of the island. It is a remote white sand beach, protected by colourful reefs. The beach is ideal for diving and you can try several water sports.
Virgin Gorda sailboat charters
Virgin Gorda has a lot of great anchorages and moorings. It is an ideal starting point for exploring the smaller islands in the area or the British Virgin Islands. Here are some of them.
Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor és St. Thomas Bay
The Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor is in St. Thomas Bay. It is easy to approach it, we only have to sail the marked channel. The harbour is beautiful, offering great services and marine gas. There are 100 berths, and it is possible to stay for only a few hours, a day, or long-term as well. It is close to the centre of Spanish Town. It is a very peaceful town where you can find many shops, restaurants, and bars. One of the most famous attractions of the town, The Baths, is about 3 km from here. This is a collection of granite rocks on the beach that have become large rock formations. The rocks from tidal basins, channels, and spectacular caves open to the surrounding waters.
Biras Creek is in the eastern part of Virgin Gorda. If the weather turns bad, it provides shelter. As you approach, pay attention because there is an obstacle on the south side, a mile from the resort, Oyster Rock. Fortunately, the rock is marked with a red buoy. You should pass it on the left side.Biras Creek is very popular among sailors who come to Virgin Gorda. In the evenings, you can admire the sunset or the glimmering reflection of the moon on the open water. Each one creates a very romantic atmosphere.
Deep Bay is at the north-eastern tip of Virgin Gorda. This beautiful beach is very peaceful and quiet, perfect for those who crave a little space. There are 14 moorings, but there are plans to build a port village of more than 80 berths on the north shore of the bay. The channel that leads to the bay is marked with a buoy system. There are great sandy areas to anchor on the north and south shore. Oil Nut Bay Marina provides fuel and water.
Bitter End is in the northern part of Virgin Gorda, where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It owes its name to its lonely and therefore idyllic location with fabulous views over North Sound. Thanks to the protected marina and constant trade-winds, it is a sailor’s paradise. It has an amazing marine life. The water is full of beautiful corals and fish. The local yacht club is a full-service marina with electricity, drinking water, ice and more than 15 berths.
Long Bay is a beautiful, crescent-shaped beach and marina on the northwest coast of Virgin Gorda, behind Mountain Point. This place rarely gets the attention it deserves. However, you should always check the weather forecast before visiting, as sometimes the waves tend to raise the level of the seabed. Thanks to its location, the beach is shaded in the morning, but for the rest of the day it is beautifully bright and the sunset is gorgeous from here.
Leverick Bay is a beautiful resort and beach on the southern side of North Sound. There are several mooring options in the bay – slip, anchoring, night mooring. There are nearly 40 moorings and 25 slips that give you access to water, ice, fuel and electricity. The depth of the seabed is between 4 and 7 metres.
Prickly Pear is opposite Virgin Gorda, located in North Sound. After it became a national park in 1988, the infrastructure of the island could not be further developed. The island does not have permanent residents, but there is a beach bar and great water sports facilities. The island’s most wonderful beach is at the south-western tip of the island. There is a part above Vixen Point where we can encounter corals, so we should be careful. It is a great place if we need some peace and quiet. There are ten mooring buoys nearby and a harbour for smaller boats. Another perfect spot for securing our boat can be found at the Cactus Reef at the northwestern corner of the island. It is not among the most frequently used docking places, despite the fact that it is protected well and there is also an amazing view from here.
Necker Island is about 3 km from the northern tip of Virgin Gorda. The island is almost entirely surrounded by coral, except for a narrow passage in the southern parts. We can drop anchor in this 4 km area. If you love animals, you will love this island.Virgin Gorda is a fantastic place to escape for a while thanks to its pristine landscapes, gorgeous seas and high-quality services. You have every opportunity to get on a boat, forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just focus on the present moment. Find more BVI sailing routes or choose another British Virgin Islands yacht charter
Rent a boat in Virgin Gorda, and cruise around Virgin Gorda
Day 1. Bitter End – Necker Island 3, 00 km (1, 86 mi), Day 2. Necker Island – Long Bay 8, 00 km (4, 97 mi), Day 3. Long Bay – George Dog – St. Thomas Bay 8, 95 km (5, 56 mi), Day 4. St. Thomas Bay – Fallen Jerusalem – Cooper Island, Manchioneel Bay 11, 40 km (7, 09 mi), Day 5. Cooper Island – Biras Creek Marina 20, 50 km (12, 74 mi), Day 6. Biras Creek – Eustatia 8, 55 km (5, 32 mi), Day 7. Eustatia – Saba Rock – Bitter End 1, 05 km (0, 7 mi) Day 1. Bitter End – Prickly Pear 1, 55 km (1 mi) Day 2. Prickly Pear – Anegada, Setting Point 23, 65 km (14, 69 mi) Day 3. Setting Point – Trellis Bay, Beef Island 35, 30 km (21, 93 mi) Day 4. Trellis Bay – Great Harbor, Jost van Dyke 23, 90 km (14, 85 mi) Day 5. Great Harbor – Scrub Island 25, 60 km (15, 91 mi) Day 6. Scrub Island – Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor 8, 40 km (5, 22 mi) Day 7. Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor – Leverick Bay – Bitter End 27, 70 km (17, 21 mi)Read more about Virgin Gorda boat tours