Gorda, the fat virgin, is the second largest and
perhaps one of the most interesting of the
British Virgins. The island was once the capital
and is now the home of Little Dix Bay, the
luxury resort built by Laurence Rockerfeller.
The island is approximately 10 miles long with
high peaks in the northern and central areas.
All land over 1,000 feet high on Virgin Gorda
has been designated National Parks land to
preserve its natural beauty.
Spanish Town, the
original capital, is still the major settlement
on the island. Although opinions vary it is
commonly thought that Spanish Town is so called
for the number of Spanish settlers, who came to
work in the copper mines in the early 16th
century. The mines were still working until
1867, and the ruins at Copper Mine Point are
still visible today.
Virgin Gorda Yacht
Harbor is located in Spanish Town and is the hub
of shopping and boating activity on the south
end of the island. There is an active night life
and you can take your pick of entertainments,
from steel bands through to night clubs.
The Baths, are a
batholithic formation of enormous smooth granite
boulders creating deep caverns and vaulted
rooms. They are washed by the tides and floored
with warm natural pools. One can wander, climb
and crawl amongst the rocks for hours, sometimes
becoming quite lost.
The Baths are thought to
have evolved when a layer of molten granite was
forced gradually to the earth's surface,
solidifying as it moved. Those parts of the rock
that were less solid were affected by the
harshness of the sea and weather and eventually
fell away from the harder segments, thus leaving
the irregularly curved passages and smoothly
pocked walls. Many of the boulders, encrusted
with coral, rise up out of the sea, creating a
paradise for both snorkelers and sea life.