Virgin Gorda Island is BVI's 3rd-largest (following Tortola and Anegada) and 2nd most populous. The island covers land area of 21 km2 (8 mi2) and has population around 4,000. Its main commercial port and largest settlement is Spanish Town (on the southwestern coast). Ferries and domestic airlines connect Virgin Gorda with the islands St Thomas (USVI), Antigua (St Johns) and Tortola.
The island was discovered and named by Christopher Columbus (Italian coloniser, 1451-1492). Virgin Gorda translates from Spanish as "Fat Virgin", as island's profile on the horizon looks like a fat woman lying on her side.
"The Baths" is an unusual geologic formation on the island's southern end and one of the major tourist attractions. Enormous granite boulders lie on the beach in piles, forming scenic grottoes open to the sea. The most notable ruin is the old Copper Mine. North of "The Baths" is Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor - also serving as dock to where cruise ship passengers are tendered from the anchored at sea liner.
North Sound is one of world's greatest harbors. It is located at island's northeastern end and is bordered by four isles. There is a reef systems that shelters the sound and keeps it calm, thus creating one of world's best locations for watersports - over 3000 acres (1200 hectares) of protected sea waters.
At Gorda Sound's eastern end is located Bitter End Yacht Club - premier anchorage, village, marina and resort. The property runs approx 3 km along the coastline. Gorda Sound is a famous destination for charter yachts, having over 130 slots (moorings). Bitter End Yacht Club have served (at least once) each of the world's top 200 mega-yachts anchoring in the harbor.
The anchorage off Bitter End was once the site of Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake's 1595 fleets rendezvous, A combined fleet of 26 warships anchored here and used Bitter Hill as shooting practice for the attack on then Spanish San Juan (Puerto Rico). Both admirals died during the 1595-1596 campaign.
Virgin Gorda Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Virgin Gorda BVI dock (anchor) at Spanish Town - port town on the southwestern coast).
This is BVI's second largest town - after Road Town on Tortola Island.