Can decide on which of these two islands, does any one have any preferences?
Can decide on which of these two islands, does any one have any preferences?
What type of island experience do you want from your trip? Tortola and Virgin Gorda are two very different islands. List your desires in order of preference then it will be easier for forum contributors to help you.
Thanks Carib Surfer, we are a family of three who like to snorkel, dive, fish, We don't mind spending a little $$$ for really nice accomodations and it looked like Virgin Gorda has the upper end stuff. The boys need to be able to hook up with a fishing/diving boat pretty easily and we don't like to drive hours to and from the airport. I had started in St. Lucia, but quickly realized there was alot more driving than we chose to do, so I have ended up between these two. Bitter End Y club looked neat. Are you familiar with that one? I am also looking into the Villas, but I just don't want one too remote. Beef Island area looked very nice. Whats a person to decide. .
Islandgal: I am not trying to hyjack your thread but I think you and I would make a great research team.
Island gal that is exactly what we are looking for too. I have 16 and 13 year old sons and we are looking for almost an identical experience. I will keep you posted on what I find out and would love it if you woud do the same. We can be co-planners! (:
We would love to find the clear water and beautiful fish like we found in Cozumel.
We want options for day trips that it appears both islands have. We loved Hawaii because there is so much to do but the flight is so long and the beaches can be so crowded.
Islandgal: I looked into that resort and I think it might be little busy for our tastes. You might want to look into that.
Are any pools heated anymore??
We would like a beach front or near a beach villa or condo with a warm pool and kitchen. We don't want anything too remote or out of the way. Maybe something that has 10 villas, apartments, condo's. Some people would be great but we don't like crowds.
Which reminds me what area or Tortola or Virgin Gorda has less crowded beaches??
So, Islandgal, am I right?? We are looking for the same thing?? I would love to have some help!! It can get overwhelming.
Yes, it's too bad we're not going the same time! I agree with everything you said, maybe someone out there can assist, because March is not that far away . .
Tortola has uncrowded beaches, all different and all easily accessible if you have a car. On the whole, we have found beaches easier to get to and less crowded on Tortola than on VG.
We also have stayed at the Bitter End Yacht Club in a beach front villa. It was lovely. The activities were plentiful and well designed. The beach at the BEYC is small. The resort is busy. The experience is comparable to being on a cruise. VERY nice, but not as laid back and private as a villa vacation.
There are small resorts on Tortola that might suit. Surfsong, on Beef Island, is highly recommended.
Islandgal & GinaTay – hopefully I can answer some of your questions… Virgin Gorda is smaller and quieter than Tortola – generally there is more to do on Tortola and it’s the best island to stay on for ease of island-hopping to Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke and Anegada by ferry. Both islands have lovely beaches and quite a few are extremely quiet. On Tortola, many guests like to stay close to Cane Garden Bay, as there is a good selection of bars/restaurants etc within walking distance. Both islands are small – it takes approx 50 mins to drive from one end of Tortola to the other and approx 25 mins to do the same on Virgin Gorda so everything is within reach. Steep hills and sharp bends will limit your driving speed to 30mph or less. Driving, on the whole, is easier on Virgin Gorda.
On Virgin Gorda, there is a good selection of villas at both Mahoe and Leverick Bay, in my opinion the villas at Mahoe Bay are of a higher class but Leverick Bay is also a great place to stay and has good restaurants/watersports facilities. Both areas have fantastic views and as the island is so small, everything is within an easy drive. Guavaberry receives repeatedly good reviews and is close to The Baths.
On Tortola there is a good selection of quality rental villas in the Belmont area (west), which is close to some gorgeous beaches: Smuggler’s Cove, Long Bay and Apple Bay to name just a few. Restaurants and grocery stores are within a short drive too. One of my favourite beaches on Tortola is Brewers Bay, usually fairly deserted and I’ve found the snorkelling from the beach (rocks on the west side of the bay) to be very good.
Beef Island is where the airport is located but don’t let that put you off as no large planes can land there. Surfsong Resort is amazing… 4 small very high-quality villas within a couple of minutes walk to Well Bay which is a small but beautiful beach. Other beaches close to Surfsong are Long Bay (east), Josiah’s Bay and Lambert – all within a 10 min drive. Trellis Bay, which is also close by, has a few restaurants/nice coffee shop, art studio and small grocery store. It’s also where you can catch a ferry to Virgin Gorda and the free ferry to Marina Cay.
Personally, I always think if there are more than 4 people on the beach then I class it as ‘busy’! Avoid Cane Garden Bay if there is a cruise ship in port as most excursions end up there – alternatively, just move to either end of the beach for peace and quiet.
To be honest with you, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in either island. Both have a lot to offer. Rent a jeep to explore and have fun! Hope this helps a little but please post or email if I can assist further.
Monglet/Trudi: thank you for taking the time to help us out!!
From what you have said I am leaning strongly toward West Tortola. I think being able to take day trips and going to the beach on our own to snorkle is PERFECT!! Belmont and Smugglers seems like a good fit for us.
I am going to start a post asking for a villa/condo/apartment that has a heated pool and/or hot tub and a kitchen. Do you have any ideas Trudi in that area??
I appreciate all of the help. IslandGal even though we are going at different times we can help each other. Last year I wanted to go to the Virgin Islands and everything that I thought was perfect was booked. I think I was doing my planning in April. So, I plan on booking early for the high season.
Again, I have to recommend Fort REcovery. Our kids would fish off the dock till midnight. They loved it. We went to Smugglers every day! It's our favorite. Was near grocery store at Sopers Hole....near great restaurants...one on site at Fort Recovery others were Jolly Roger and Coco Plum. We like going on a day trip to Virgin Gorda to the Baths. Other than that, Tortola has more to do....swim with Dophins, visit all the very different beaches, or just chill at Fort Recovery. No heated pool, but to be honest that feature wasn't one of our priorities. We hung at the pool usually after a day at the beach when we just wanted to sit and have a cocktail. If you ferry over from St. Thomas you are 5 minutes away from Fort Rec. Hope info helps in your choice. This Feb will be our fifth time there. Enjoy.
Well I really thought Little Dix Bay was going to suit our needs, even though it is very $$$. Then I read that gentlemen needed to wear closed toed shoes and long pants for dinner, and that threw out that idea. I know the British like to dress for dinner, but that is one reason why my husband and son won't do cruises. Dressing up on vacation is not their idea of a vacation. So I am back to the drawing board. Every villa on VG is already booked for our time slot, so I think I'm back to Tortola, which after reading the above posts is probably a good thing. .
Islandgal: I agree!! We just got back from Puerto RIco and I brought one good outfit for all of us, 2 outfits for shopping etc., and 2 very casual outfits. Luckily we had a washer and dryer because all we wore were the casual clothes. Jean shorts and t-shirts.
Yeah, I am very impressed with the post about about how nice Fort Recovery is. Dnky: my family really dislikes crowds and really prefers to make our own meals. We are all very fussy so buying our own groceries and eating in is a lot better for us. Is the kitchen well stocked??
Islandgal: I was looking at a villa that looked pretty nice. THe pool is heated and the location is near Brewers. It is called Green Bank.
Thank you Moglet for the suggestions.
Moglet: I thought the cane area was a more crowded area. Is that correct??