One of the most fabulous vacations I’ve ever taken was to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. And since this trip fell during both a busy time of year for me at work, I haven’t shared anything about it yet. So, I think it’s high time.
We deliberated over which island in the Caribbean to visit for a long time, but it paid off. We chose to visit Virgin Gorda, which looked too much like paradise to miss. We flew into St. Thomas, then took the ferry to Virgin Gorda. It was the farthest island on the route from St. Thomas, but it was so worth it. Here were a few of the highlights:
This was my boyfriend’s and my first international trip just the two of us, though we had traveled a lot within the U.S. and with family together, and we wanted to do it right. We booked a luxurious cabana at Rosewood Little Dix Bay, and got a deal where paying for five nights bought seven nights. The villas were incredible, with spacious rooms, vaulted ceilings, a complimentary bottle of rum, no television, and a view to die for.
The hotel had two main restaurants, plus a cafe open for lunch only down the beach. We ate at the hotel most days, enjoying fresh fish and tropical drinks. Twice we ate at the fanciest of the two main restaurants, which offered seating literally on the beach itself. Between the food, the champagne, and the magical view, I was in heaven.
As if we hadn’t indulged enough, Rosewood Little Dix Bay also has a beautiful spa atop the highest point on its property. I bought an hour-long massage, and came away feeling the most relaxed I had felt in a long time. For those who don’t want spa services, a pool and hot tub are available for lounging, next to the most incredible view.
We didn’t just relax the entire time we were on the island though. One of the coolest parts of the the hotel was that they offered free boat rides to nearby beaches. We took the opportunity to visit two of them while we were there, and would have done more if we hadn’t learned about this perk so late in our week there.
The first beach we visited was on its own uninhabited island just off Virgin Gorda, named George Dog Island. In its clear blue waters we found good snorkeling with tons of fish and coral. The second beach at Nail Bay was on Virgin Gorda itself, off of an area with private residences; yet somehow, there was only one fisherman in sight. There was plenty of good snorkeling here too, with coral and fish (even a barracuda) galore.
We also were able to enjoy the beach at our own hotel, which was pretty idyllic. I was able to snorkel a number of days. Most impressive was that there were about three sea turtles that lived in the bay; you could find them quietly enjoying the seagrass that lined the beach floor. I watched them for probably ten minutes one day without them even appearing slightly perturbed. We also saw a blacktip reef shark enjoying the bay’s shallow waters, though fortunately not while snorkeling.
We did make it off the resort to visit two incredible spots, one famous and one much less so. Our first trip out was to the Baths, one of the most iconic places in the Caribbean. We explored the caves, snorkeled, and swam; and after venturing through the furthest section of the caves, we stopped at Devil’s Bay for the afternoon. The sand was hot, but the water was cool, and we spent the afternoon eyeing fish of all colors.
Our other trip was to Gorda Peak National Park, to climb to the top of the highest point on Virgin Gorda. It was a trek through thick foliage but worth the hike. At the top of the peak, you are able to see for miles, even as far as Little Necker Island, Richard Branson’s island. I certainly recommend a quick hike up the mountain if you are on Virgin Gorda and can tear yourself away from the beach.
At the end of our trip, we took a small plane back to St. Thomas, where we flew back to the United States. Even looking back now, nearly two years later, I have to say it was one of the best weeks of my life, and if you are ever considering visiting the paradise that is Virgin Gorda, I would strongly encourage you to go. You will certainly not regret it.