Exploring Virgin Gorda
An unusual geologic formation on the south-western end of the island called The Baths is a must see. At the Baths, the beach shows evidence of the islands’ volcanic origins, as huge granite boulders lie in piles on the beach forming scenic grottos that are open to the sea. There are hiking trails throughout the formations that are great fun to venture to.
Spring Bay National Park
Spring Bay National Park, about ½ mile north of the Baths, has the same captivating landscape and beautiful beach as the Baths, but often with far fewer people. A moderately sized crescent bay is fringed by shade trees and equipped with a few picnic tables. A swimming area is framed by large boulders while smaller pools are ideal for explorers. Hunt for the “crawl” a magical, calm pool of water entirely surrounded by boulders.
Savannah Bay is a white sand beach about a mile north of Spanish Town, near Mahoe Bay. The sand is narrow but long with plenty of sea grape bushes for shade and the same exquisite white sand as other Virgin Gorda beaches. A handful of thatched roof beach shelters add to the appeal and practicality of spending the day here.
Savannah Bay is notably shallow a good distance out and is protected from swells, making it a good beach for children or unsure swimmers and good anchorage for yachts. It is also usually nearly empty, and a healthy offshore reef entertains snorkelers. The bay is a good place for running or walking in the early morning or late afternoon.
Gorda Peak National Park
Although Gorda Peak National Park is relatively small, just 265 acres, the percentage of rare and endangered species is remarkably high. Gorda Peak’s richness led it to be chosen as a U.K. Darwin Initiative site for preservation of biodiversity.
Two trails cut through the Gorda National Park to a lookout tower near the peak. The main trail provides the most direct route (about 0.75 mile) to the summit. The other trail is less steep and meanders pleasantly through the forest before climbing to the summit. The lookout tower climbs above the tree tops and provides a stunning view of North Sound below. On a clear day, you can see Anegada.
The Copper Mine
These interesting ruins contain an abandoned 19th century copper mine. Copper was first discovered on Virgin Gorda. Local legends suggest the shafts were originally dug by Spanish adventurers to mine silver in the late 15th century.
After the islands came under British control, the copper mine was constructed in 1837 and its first shaft was sunk in 1838. In two separate periods over the next 24 years, 36 Cornish miners extracted ore from this site with the aid of some 140 British Virgin Island workmen. The extracted ore was sent first by road to Spanish Town and then by ship to Wales, and on return trips the ships would carry provisions, wood for construction wages for the workers and coal with which to power their steam engine.
The mine was abandoned in 1862.
North Sound is the general term used to describe all the land and sea-based locations near Virgin Gorda’s northern tip. Leverick Bay houses two restaurants, a handful of shops, and a hotel. This is a great place to rent water sports gear.
Gun Creek faces the ferry dock that links Virgin Gorda with the islands and bays that circle North Sound. Here you will find a small grocery and a few more bars. There are no roads past Gun Creek, so you must explore North Sound by boat. Biras Creek, Bitter End and several restaurants on other North Sound Islands provide free ferry service for guests wanting to explore. You can also rent a small boat and putter around North Sound on your own.