Virgin Gorda At A Glance
Escape to this remote island for peace and quiet…stunning white sand beaches edging a transparent turquoise sea…wonderful pubs and local rum bars for fresh grilled fish and nightlife…superb beachcombing, snorkeling and diving…more cactus and goats than cruise ships…exploring the fascinating and world famous Baths…very laid back and relaxing…
Virgin Gorda is primarily a beach destination and you will, therefore, find that many of our listings are directly beachfront or within an easy walk of the beach. Virgin Gorda is an excellent choice for the more independent traveler as full staff is not included-although cooks are available for hire and maid service is included. Our villas on Virgin Gorda offer a perfect retreat for casual and relaxed family vacations at the beach.
Virgin Gorda is for escapists and family beach vacations. Of all of the major Virgin Islands, it is Virgin Gorda that feels the most remote and offers a greater sense of having escaped to somewhere off the beaten track.
Come to Virgin Gorda for beaches and water sports, for peace and quiet…Visitors with more on their agenda than those simple but idyllic pleasures will be disappointed. The Baths is perhaps the only truly mandatory sight on the island. Giant boulders are strewn along a shoreline of stunning white sand and clear turquoise waters. Enormous boulders create sheltered grottos and passageways between them. The Baths are quite a spectacular sight and swimmers and snorkelers alike can spend days enjoying this fascinating area. Other stunning beaches on the island such as Devils Bay, Spring Bay, Trunk Bay, Savannah Bay and Mahoe Bay await your exploration.
Alternatives to beachcombing include sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, windsurfing, sea kayaking and horseback riding.
Virgin Gorda offers a nice selection of bars and restaurants, ranging from simple grilled foods to gourmet affairs. Nightlife on the island is limited but best found at the casual pubs on the island where impromptu parties occur with some regularity and visitors do not feel like strangers for very long at all.
The people of Virgin Gorda take a genuine pleasure in making their guests feel at ease and at home. Choose Virgin Gorda for the simple pleasures of a perfect beach, fresh grilled fish and a refreshing lack of pretension.
No major airlines service Virgin Gorda due to it’s airport small size…Regional Caribbean carriers such as Cape Air and Air Sunshine service the island from nearby San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Additionally, private air charters are available from San Juan and are often times just as economical for groups of 6-8.
Air St. Thomas:
Air Sunshine: 800.327.8900
Caribbean Wings: Charter Service Only: 284.495.6000
Approximate flight times:
NY to Virgin Gorda: 4 hours
Miami to Virgin Gorda: 3 hrs.
Visitors arrive at the small Virgin Gorda Airport, which is located on the south shores of Spanish Town. The villas are located within a 10-25 minute drive of the airport.
Guests for the Leverick Bay villas will be given a map upon arrival from the car rental agency and will need to drive themselves to the Leverick Bay Resort where someone will then accompany them to their villa.
Guests for the Mahoe Bay villas will be met by one of our local representatives at the airport or ferry dock and escorted to their villa on a complementary basis.
Area Code: 284
The island offers one ATM in Spanish Town.
Car seats, cribs, high chairs, playpens, strollers, cots and bed rails are all available for rental for additional fees such as:
Portable Baby Crib with Mattress: $70/wk.
Be sure to bring your own mattress pad & linens.
High Chair: $25/wk.
Barclays Bank on Virgin Gorda is open from 10 AM –2 PM Mon.-Friday.
Virgin Gorda is known for its spectacular beaches, which are some of the best in the entire Caribbean. All of the beaches in the B.V.I. are technically public, even if they are part of a private resort complex with limited access. Virgin Gorda has no nude beaches.
A beautiful ribbon of white sand with vivid, clear blue water and two live reefs for exceptional close in snorkeling.
North of the Yacht Harbor-another white sandy beach.
White sand, crystal clear waters and great snorkeling.
A dramatic combination of giant, granite boulders and a white sandy shore. The boulders form a series of spectacular pools and grottos which flood with seawater creating a dramatic setting. Excellent snorkeling. Go early in the AM before the charters from neighboring islands arrive.
A wide sand beach reachable by boat or along a rough path from Spring Bay.
The waters around the British Virgin Islands are so crystal clear that many visitors elect to explore the islands islets and cays by boat. Indeed, the BVI’s many sheltered moorings allow you to explore on a variety of day sails without making any long overnight sails. The area boasts minimal currents and well-marked reefs and shoals, making these placid waters some of the best in the Caribbean.
The countless coves and bays invite a variety of vessels from day and evening sails, to speedboat rental to charter yacht rentals. Day cruises on catamarans and sailboats are available as well.
Budgeting/Costs to Rent a Villa on Virgin Gorda:
In addition to the weekly rental rate for a villa on Virgin Gorda, the additional costs involved include but are not limited to the following:
Groceries & beverages
Tip for the maid (hotel type tipping is recommended).
Cancellation penalties do apply to confirmed bookings/reservations. Upon confirmation with our company, a written cancellation policy will be issued along with the written invoice for the booking. The villas on Virgin Gorda are subject to the following cancellation penalties:
Cancellations made 61+ days prior to arrival, 20% penalty on the gross weekly rental rate of the villa + &$100 ad. Fee.
Cancellations made 46-60 days prior to arrival, subject to a 50% penalty & $100 ad. Fee.
No refunds within 45 days of arrival.
**Cancellation insurance is strongly advised to cover the cost of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances
Capital: Roadtown, Tortola
Carnival: August 5 – 7
We highly recommend that clients rent a vehicle for their stay on Virgin Gorda, as there is no reliable cab service between the villas and around the island. We are happy to make those arrangements for our clients and all that is required is that our clients inform us of their selection.
Rates are as follows:
Suzuki Samurai (4 pax.)-2 door/manual transmission: $45/day or $280/wk.
Suzuki Sidekick (4 pax.)-2 doors/automatic/air-conditioning: $55/day or $350/wk.
Suzuki Sidekick (5 pax.)- 4 doors/automatic/air-conditioning: $65/day or $420/wk.
Daihatus Terios Jeep (5 pax.)-Automatic/air-conditioning: $60/day or $385/wk.
Cars (5 pax.)-4 doors/automatic/air-conditioning: $55/day or $350/wk.
Suzuki/Grand Vitara (5 pax.)-Automatic/air-conditioning: $65/day or $420/wk.
Mini-Van (7 pax.) - 4 doors/manual transmission/air-conditioning: $65/day or $420/wk.
Ford Aerostar Van (8-9 pax.)- 4 doors/automatic/air-conditioned: $80/day or $525/wk.
Montero (8-9 pax.)-4 doors/automatic/air-conditioning: $70/day or $455/wk.
Mini-Safari Pick-Up Truck (10-12 pax.)-Automatic/air-conditioning: $70/day or $455/wk.
May be arranged through CCT Boat Phone by calling them direct at (284) 494-3825.
Check-in time is generally after 4:00 PM and check-out time is 10:00 AM.
We have access to an excellent cook who is available to our clients for just one special dinner or for all of their evening meal preparations during their villa stay.
The cook’s pricing is based on the number of guests, type of meals requested etc. The cook shops, prepares, serves and cleans up.
Warm & sunny with temperatures between 75 F and 90 F year round. During the winter, the nights are slightly cooler and so it might be a good idea to bring a cotton sweater.
The villas all are equipped with telephones and guests will be advised of the particular phone number of the property prior to departure. Direct dialed overseas calls are not permitted, but collect calls may be made from the villas.
The currency of the B.V.I. is the U.S. dollar.
Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted as well. Please note that there is a 10Cent stamp duty on all checks and traveler’s checks.
Virgin Gorda is in close proximity to several neighboring islands such as St. John, Tortola, Anegada and St. Thomas and is served by regular ferry service. Additionally, there are numerous day sails and boat charters available for island hopping.
Vast arrays of big game fish live in the oceans surrounding the British Virgin Islands.
$10 per person leaving by air, $5 per person leaving by sea.
A 50% deposit is required to confirm a reservation.
The final deposit is due at least 60-75 days prior to arrival.
Driving is on the left, British style. A valid foreign or U.S. driver’s license is valid for 90 days but a $10 temporary BVI license must be purchased.
Documents for arrival onto Virgin Gorda:
Every person entering the British Virgin Islands/Virgin Gorda should be in possession of a valid passport and a valid return ticket. A visitor who is a citizen of the United States of America or Canada traveling direct from these countries may be admitted without a passport for a period not exceeding three (3) months. However, that person will be required to produce proof of nationality, by means of an original birth certificate or certified birth certificate and photo identification.
The islands are fairly relaxed and informal when it comes to dress code standards. For upscale restaurants, lightweight slacks with a tropical shirt (with sleeves) are perfect for evenings out while for ladies “casual elegance” is the key. It is not, however, acceptable to go barefoot, shirtless or dressed too provocatively in public areas other than the beach.
110 volts/50 cycles-same as in the U.S.
No adapters necessary for visitors from North America but European visitors will require one.
The British and Virgin Islands are serviced by inter-island ferry service. Please note, however, that it does not work for guests to fly to ST. Thomas and then plan on ferrying over to Virgin Gorda as it is not a direct ferry and proves to be quite cumbersome with luggage and attempting to catch flights. The schedules vary according to the day of the week and may be affected by sea conditions, so it’s critical to verify the time of departure.
North Sound Express:
Operates between Beef Island and the North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Current daily afternoon departure times are: 1:45pm, 4:15pm, 6pm, & 8pm.
Smith’s Ferry Service:
Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town) and, also, from Road Town and the West End to downtown St. Thomas.
Speedy’s Fantasy/Speedy’s Delight:
Phone: 284.495.5240 or 5235
Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town).
General Information-Government & Standard Of Living:
Virgin Gorda was mined for gold during the 17th century, but since the gold ran out not much has happened. Yachtsmen have long known the beaches as soft and white as talcum powder but it took the vision and money of Laurence Rockefeller and his team to breathe new life into Virgin Gorda.
Rockefeller’s affection for this area and his previous experience with the building the prestigious Caneel Bay on St. John led to his development of the Little Dix Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda. Prior to Rockefeller’s investment (in the early ‘50’s), the island had no phones, no power supply, no doctors, no paved roads and no adequate schooling or jobs for the several hundred people who resided on the island.
Today there are only around 2000 inhabitants on Virgin Gorda and visitors will find the people quite friendly. Visitors will, also, find roads, generators, an airport, a yacht Harbor and a few shops.
The overall feeling on the island, however, remains one of blissfully casual and uncomplicated
The British Virgin Islands, including Virgin Gorda, enjoys a stable government with both the United Party and the Virgin Islands Party dedicated to a democratic government. The British Virgin Islands are a Dependent Territory (formerly referred to as a colony) of Britain with self-governing status. The government gives firm respect to the beaches and protection of the environment.
Virgin Gorda General Information for Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals:
Virgin Gorda villa rentals and Virgin Gorda villas by Villas Caribe feature tremendous beachfront value. Virgin Gorda villas in Mahoe Bay are all within walking distance from a pristine Caribbean Beach. Furthermore, villas in Leverick Bay also demonstrate tremendous value in Virgin Gorda rental villas. All Virgin Gorda villas on our website feature exclusive Virgin Gorda rental villas virtual tours. Although just gaining a reputation as one of the last unspoiled of the Caribbean Islands, Virgin Gorda villas offer something for everyone. Finally, divers will find some of the most amazing dive trips found anywhere in the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands to include Virgin Gorda do not offer golf of any kind.
Visitors will find the Buck’s Supermarket on Virgin Gorda to be fairly well stocked.
A variety of hiking opportunities exist on Virgin Gorda…Visitors will enjoy a ground-level view of all of the tropical flora and fauna.
Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New World, in 1493. He named the area “Las Once Mil Virgines” after the 11,000 followers of St. Ursula. Virgin Gorda was so named by Columbus because he felt the island resembled a reclining woman with a protruding belly when viewed from the sea.
The Spaniards officially laid claim to the territory in 1555…For almost a full century; however, the islands were considered too small and unimportant for Spanish settlement so they remained largely uninhabited during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Pirates terrorized the Caribbean shipping lanes with the blessing of one European country or another and the Spanish Armada was finally defeated. Many of the islands were names after various pirates, such as Thatch Island, which is named after Edward Thatch (or Teach-also commonly known as Blackbeard).
The islands were claimed by England in 1628 but the Dutch were the first true settlers arriving in Tortola in 1648. In 1666, British planters took over control of the islands from the original Dutch settlers and they attained the status of a British Colony and remained part of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1956 when the British Virgin Islands became a separately administered entity. In 1967, a new constitution provided for a ministerial system of government and the islands remain under British control today.
Not available on Virgin Gorda at the present time.
To arrange for temporary internet access from the villas, please contact Ray direct at Cable & Wireless at (284) 495-5444.
For internet access the guest have to sign up with Cable and Wireless on arrival who is responsible for that service. We will have the telephone unbar for them on arrival with an imprint of their credit card.
There are internet shops on the island however it will cost more. The cost is $5.00 for fifteen minutes and $0.50 for every extra minute and $20.00 an hour.
The Cable and Wireless internet charges are as follows:
The official language is English spoken although islands residents often speak it with a West Indian lilt.
The villas laundry facilities are NOT available to villa guests to use at any Virgin Gorda villa due to water shortages and restrictions. Personal laundry may be done by dropping it off at Steven’s Laundry in town or there is a do-it-yourself Laundromat located at Leverick Bay (open 24 hours and just steps away from the marine, bar etc.).
Black Sea Urchins
No-see-ums or sand flies which normally dwell in the earth or sand but do come out in the late afternoons or after heavy rains. Insect repellent will keep them off of you.
The British Virgin Islands are grouped around the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which is renowned as one of the finest sailing waters in the world. The British Virgin Islands are located some 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and form part of a chain (archipelago) of Caribbean Islands created millions of years ago.
Marriage & Weddings:
Getting married on Virgin Gorda involves being in the British Virgin Islands for three days before applying for a marriage license, which must be done in Road Town on Tortola. For the requirements, pleas check with the Register’s Office at 284.494.3701 ext. 5001 or 284. 494.3492.
Occasions BVI specializes in weddings and villa services and their team is available to plan, coordinate and custom tailor your special event to include entertainment, photography, decorations and flowers. Call Tina Tigane at 284.495.7313 or Fax her at 284.495.7341 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nurses & Doctors are available on-island plus we do have a clinic (Nurse Iris Oneal Clinic) that's open 24 -7 and their number is (284) 495 - 5337.
Nightlife is fairly limited on Virgin Gorda and consists mostly of a local reggae or calypso bands at local bars and resorts.
While the villas on Virgin Gorda do not include staffs (cooks), for visitors that will be arriving late in the day or evening, we recommend that they have the villa pre-stocked with some arrival beverages and snacks. Please Fax or e-mail us your list well in advance. The charge for this service is 25% of the total cost of the groceries and supplies purchased.
Bath & Turtle:
Located at the Yacht Harbor in Spanish Town, it is a pleasant and casual patio tavern that serves lunch and dinner. Good burgers.
Accessible only by boat, this remote resort offers elegant surroundings and gourmet cuisine.
Bitter End Yacht Club:
Overlooking Gorda Sound, the restaurants features fresh fish, lobster, steak and island specialties.
Located at the water’s edge at Mahoe Bay and within walking distance of the Mahoe Bay villas, this charming restaurant serves a wonderful selection of Italian dishes as well as fish, lobster, veal and beef.
Lighthouse Restaurant and Beach Bar:
Located at Leverick Bay, a casual place that serves lunch and dinner daily.
Little Dix Bay Hotel:
Dress code required.
Located near Spanish Town, a spacious dining terrace is located beneath a dramatic pavilion roof.
Located amongst the rocks and close to the Baths, a casual and breezy bar with panoramic views serving drinks and sandwiches throughout the day.
Mine Shaft Café:
Casual food and burgers located on Coppermine Road.
Burgers, pizza and live music most nights (jazz, blues, reggae & calypso).
The majority of the villas (with the exception of the villa Bigger Splash) do not require guests to pay a cash security deposit with their payment for the villa. They do, however, require that guests provide a credit card upon arrival to serve as a security deposit (as you would in any major hotel).
The British Virgin Islands and Virgin Gorda in particular are not known as a shopping mecca. Leverick Bay offers a few gift shops and the Ship Store at Little Dix Bay carries an assortment of clothing and
Palm Tree Gallery:
Located in Leverick Bay offers the most extensive collection of Caribbean art and gifts on the island. Hand crafted gold and silver jewelry, stunning ceramics, sculptures, paintings and accessories by many local artists.
Olde Yarde Inn Boutique:
Located in the Valley offers paintings, pottery, small sculptures and jewelry by local artists.
Gorda Peak National Park:
The highest point on the island at 1,500 feet it contains a wide variety of indigenous and exotic plants and has been reforested with mahogany trees.
Giant boulders form a series of pools and grottos.
Little Fort National Park:
The site of a Spanish Fort whose stonewalls are partially intact. A 36 acre area, it is also a wildlife sanctuary.
An abandoned copper mine where a boiler stack and other 19th century stone buildings may be observed.
Snorkeling & Diving:
Virgin Gorda offers exceptional close in snorkeling directly off it’s spectacular white sand beaches where snorkelers will see plenty of brilliantly colored parrotfish as well as lots of other marine life.
The diving is well known among scuba divers for the areas colorful coral formations, abundant marine life and wreck diving. Indeed, the nearly translucent waters make for wonderful visibility and the rock formations provide plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.
The most popular dive site is the RMS Rhone, a 310-foot royal mail steamer that sank in 1867. Featured in the movie The Deep, the ship’s four parts rest at depths from 15-75 feet. Another favorite dive site are the four caves located at Norman Island, the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
Phone: 800.848.7078 or 284.495.7328
Dive BVI is located at Leverick Bay and offers a full service dive shop with equipment rental and sales. Some of the best reef and famous wreck diving in the Caribbean is close at hand. Full scale PADI and NAUI certification lessons are available as well as resort courses at the entry level.
Hiking, Sports Fishing, Diving, Parasailing, Sailing, Tennis, Kayaking and Windsurfing are all available on the island.
The villas on Virgin Gorda generally only include limited maid service daily with the exception of Sundays and holidays. Please note, however, that cook service may be arranged for additional fees.
Tipping of the staff:
It is appropriate to tip the villa’s housekeeper for excellent service and a job well done. We recommend $2-$4 per guest, per day.
Status: Crown colony.
Tennis is available on a complementary basis for guests at the villas on Virgin Gorda at both the Leverick Bay location and the Mahoe Bay location (Astroturf courts). While the villa office at Leverick Bay has some loaner racquets available, it is best to bring your own tennis racquets and balls.
Virgin Gorda falls in the Atlantic Time zone, which is one hour ahead of US Standard time. The island does not observe daylight savings time.
Virgin Gorda is only ten miles long and two miles wide. The northern half of the island is mountainous with its highest peak of 1500 feet (Gorda Peak National Park) being the highest point on the island. The southern half is flat and scattered with giant boulders.
Tourist Board Contact Information:
USA/New York Office: 212.696.0400
TV & VCR Rentals:
AT this time there is no cable TV service available in the Mahoe Bay area, so if the villa you are renting does not specify that it has Satellite TV, then it only has a TV set and VCR. TV’s & VCR units are available for rental and the costs generally run approximately US $18-$23 per day plus service charge and 15% VAT.
The villa’s cistern water is filtered before it comes out of the faucets and is safe to drink but for those who have delicate stomachs it would be wise to drink bottled water
The sheltered waters off of the North Sound offer a spectacular environment for a multitude of activities. Water skiing is available behind the only Mastercraft competition ski boat in the islands, parasailing; Hobie 16, sunfish, windsurfers, kayaks and more are all available. Dinghies are, also, available for rental so that you can find your own secluded beach and snorkel spot.