Sailing 5 Top Spots in Virgin Gorda
- April 30th, 2014
- in Yachting
From Sea Level – Sampling the best of Virgin Gorda
Photography courtesy of respective establishments and Antilles Helicopters
The British Virgin Islands consists of 60 islands and cays—both large and small—the most famous being Tortola, Norman, Peter, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda. While everyone has their favourites, it seems Virgin Gorda, the third largest of all the British Virgin Islands, contains some of the best sites and activity – especially for those travelling by sea.
Virgin Gorda was aptly named for her horizontal profile which made explorer Christopher Columbus think of a plump virgin lying on her side in profile view. Her layout on the ocean makes for many safe havens and her visitors can find everything from fine dining to luxurious pampering to natural aesthetic beauty.
On our charter yacht SV Lolalita, we have favourite spots adopted over many years of experience, that we love to share with our guests. Here are a few just for you:
The Baths – The Natural Wonder
Starting at the south end of the island is the world renowned ‘bucket list’ natural phenomenon – The Baths. Here we have a glimpse of the island’s origins. History’s volcanic eruptions, giant granite boulders, results of molten deposits, and mesmerising tidal pools create a serene setting.
The trek is usually self-led or led by a charter yacht crew and best seen in the morning hours before the highest traffic times.
The memorable journey can start by land or sea and most opt to swim or snorkel in from either Spring Bay or Devil’s Bay, letting the swelling waves help toward the beach.
Signs lead to the entrance of the National Park’s path where numerous photo opportunities emerge. Some areas require light climbing over a protruding boulder and others, wading through inches of water. All steps along the way offer 360º views of truly wondrous sights from the beautiful blue waters to the colour-streaked rocks. The end of this path finds you at a large area of boulders bulging from shoulder-height ocean, with places to sit, swim, and climb. The rushing waves are fun and exciting for all, both in and out of the water. One might think the end is here, but a short walk through the trees on a natural path leads to Devil’s Bay. Here there is a longer beach and submerged boulders creating a secluded cove – perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and anticipating the waves splashing through the ‘keyholes’ in the boulders.
Travelling north, we find ourselves in Spanish Town, where the marina attracts a cluster of great restaurants. For a gourmet lunch on the beach, CocoMaya is perfect. Diners can sit on their deck area or with their toes in the sand and the food is delicious – some of the best fare in the Virgin Islands.
They have incredible sushi, towering hamburgers, and other impressive dishes. For a great dinner spot in Spanish Town, The Rock Café and Sam’s Piano Bar always bring delight. Here patrons dine under the same giant boulders that can be found at The Baths, strategically lit for a magical experience.
The Rock Café specialises in pastas and pizzas; the specialty pasta is Spaghetti Rock, made with fresh, handmade pasta, and is a creamy, bacon-y piece of Heaven. Throw in its great wine list and impeccable service and you’re ready for their Piano Bar, Sam’s. Enjoy an espresso martini while a skilled piano player—new every few weeks—entertains you with your favourite songs.
After our unforgettable day of natural beauty and gourmet dining, we wake up thinking about moving even further north toward Leverick Bay. Sailing the distance on board, the tour is stunning with views of the Virgin Islands from grand perspectives. If guests opt for this option, the crew repositions their mobile resort. The charter yacht is anchored or moored in Leverick Bay, which is thankfully a short distance from a famous favourite The Michael Beans Happy ARRRRR Show. Pirate-clad with clank-ARS and shake-ARS, guests sing along to old and new pirate songs. The show is perfect for all ages, interactive, and unforgettably hilarious. Dinghy back to the charter yacht, singing old salty sailor tunes along the way for stunning dinner under the stars.
Eustasia Sound and North Sound
Next morning finds us moving our way over to Eustasia Sound for incredible scuba diving and snorkelling. There are century-old cannons submerged in 20-30ft of water and the marine wildlife is akin to an aquarium – often sighted are spotted eagle rays and turtles.
When the weather is right, this is a lovely sleeping spot. Charter Yacht crews often motor back into North Sound where all the action is happening.
In this small area are gourmet restaurants, five-star hotels, luxurious spas, high-end marinas, incredible views and your neighbours are some of the most beautiful and impressive Super Yachts.
Again, North Sound hosted the Loro Piana Super Yacht Regatta at the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda in Oil Nut Bay. The race was outstanding – to see the elite and impressive yachts with their unbelievable abilities is a fantastic opportunity. These giants are often found in the North Sound, staying close to the best services and luxuries in the Virgin Islands.
This is a sample of the great treasures of Virgin Gorda, but can’t go giving them all away. What fun would that be?