Whether you feel like day tripping the southern islands or prefer to stay locally around Virgin Gorda, there's some great diving to be had from this gem of an island. It's the perfect place to relax and explore the many sites on offer, whether you're a diver or snorkeller, your choices are abundant.
The couple of dive centres on the island are located at the vG Yacht Harbour or Bitter End Yacht Club in North Sound. With shallow, sandy bottom dives for beginners to pinnacles, sloping reefs, grottos and swim throughs, you'll be surrounded by schools of fish and a great assortment of macro life to keep the budding photographer occupied.
Advanced wreck divers will love the Chikuzen, a remote site surrounded by schools of fish, rays and sharks. The Aquarium is exactly like an aquarium with colourful corals, tropical fish and nurse sharks hiding under the rocks. The Invisibles is a challenging site but well worth the effort, the pinnacle is surrounded by schools of fish and pelagics and covered in corals and sponges.
Mountain Point is made up of three sites, this slopping reef is frequented by rays, many fish and hunting through the grottos for macro life will turn up some interesting creatures.
So jump into the water off Virgin Gorda and treat yourself to some of the best diving in the British Virgin Islands.
(By Kelly Luckman)
If you´re looking for little piece of paradise, then Virgin Gorda will fit the bill. It´s the third largest of the Caribbean British Virgin Islands, favoured for its unspoilt beaches, secluded scenic grottos, and top class luxurious resorts.
There are no direct flights from Europe, America, Canada or South America so you travel first to one of the other Caribbean islands, such as Puerto Rico, Antigua, St Thomas or St Kitts. You then take a small nine seat plane to a small airport in the capital, Spanish Town. There´s also a ferry service from the neighbouring island of Tortola. There are several Jeep rental companies which will pick you up from the port and take you wherever you want to go on the island. Expect to pay around 55 to 85 US dollars a day. There are also plenty of taxis, and car hire is readily available.
As you might expect, Virgin Gorda has a choice of luxury accommodation, from award winning spa resorts to luxury villas, beach rooms and suites. For those on a smaller budget there are some lovely guest houses and smaller complexes, with rooms from 67 US Dollars a night.
The island may only be eight and a half square miles in total but there´s more to Virgin Gorda than just beaches. A the highest point, 1,370 feet, there´s the Gorda Peak National Park, one of the last remaining Caribbean dry forests in the region. With a wide variety of vegetation, wildlife and magnificent views, it´s great for hiking.
Then there´s The Beaches. A couple of kilometres south of Spanish Town, it´s a unique geological site with tidal pools and grottos which open out into sea, formed from volcanic boulders. The Copper Mine is at the south eastern end of the island and is said to have been worked by Cornishmen who toiled in the tunnels that extend under the sea.
Most food has to be imported to the island, from the U.S mainly, and there´s a mixture of contemporary cuisines with a heavy Cajun and Creole influence. There is, however, plenty of local fresh seafood to be found. Most of the best meals are found at the hotels and resorts, the crème brulee with caramelized fudge is famous here, and you might even see a celebrity or two if you keep your eyes out.
With its azure blue waters, colourful barrier reef, and relaxed atmosphere Virgin Gorda is a great place to escape for a truly peaceful break.
(By Pamela Atkinson)