Romantics and other escape artists inevitably find their way to the gorgeous island of Virgin Gorda – and its renowned Baths -- in the British Virgin Islands. The island itself is the third largest in the archipelago and the second most populous. Of course, one of your first stops upon arriving must be The Baths. You’ll find this striking rock formation at the southern end of the island. Massive granite boulders are strewn about the beach, making for quiet hideaways and private beach areas. When it’s time to meet the local residents and check out the life of the island, head to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda’s main town.
Beyond The Baths, there is much to see and do on Virgin Gorda. Many quiet beaches ring the island – they’re as close to a deserted beach as you may ever come. Check out Savannah Bay, Handsome Bay and Big Truck Bay. Hike from The Baths to Devil’s Bay, with its tranquil swimming and snorkeling beach. Small boats can also moor here, so you might consider renting a watercraft yourself. Snorkeling fans should also check out Spring Bay, brimming with kaleidoscope coral and marine life. Out of the water, hike up Gorda Peak, home to six species of native orchids, tree frogs, soldier crabs, tropical birds and the Virgin Gorda gecko, the world’s smallest lizard. And for a peek into the island’s past, head to the Copper Mine – the ruins of this 19th-century mine stand in stark contrast to the turquoise sea beyond.
Virgin Gorda was tailor-made for vacation home rentals. Families and groups of friends adore the island for its legendary Baths, pristine natural environment and friendly locals. Accommodations run the gamut from huge beachfront homes to in-town studio apartments. Depending on your group’s needs, you might find amenities such as a gourmet kitchen (or even a private chef!), state-of-the-art entertainment system, watersports equipment, Internet access, board games, a library, a hot tub, a private tennis court – really, the options are endless. A self-catering vacation is particularly valuable for families. You’ll save money by purchasing your groceries in town, then preparing meals and eating on your own schedule.
Consider a private villa set in two acres of tropical gardens on Baraka Point – such expansive homes are wonderful choices for families celebrating a special occasion, be it a landmark birthday or a wedding. If there are kids in your group, consider a beachfront cottage where it’s just a quick stroll, if that, to the water’s edge – that means less schlepping of beach toys and equipment because your home-away-from-home is close by at all times. Splurge on a Mahoe Beach villa with its own sparkling pool and Jacuzzi for eight. When you’re taking in the sunset from your private terrace, or watching the kids frolic on the beach below while you enjoy a cool drink, you’ll realize the priceless value of a Virgin Gorda vacation rental.