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Virgin Gorda’s
BEACH COAST
A hidden beach treasury

Page Contents
The Dogs

Dog and Dolphin
Giorgio’s Table
Little Dix Bay
Long Bay
Mahoe Bay
Mountain Point

Nail Bay
The Pavilion

Savannah Bay
Upper Beach Coast

Villas


LittleDixBayVista.jpg (6894 bytes)Virgin Gorda’s "hidden" Beach Coast was revealed to the world when Laurence Rockefeller (whose land donations also started the National Parks Trust) spent the magnificent sum of $8 million in 1964 to create his famous Resort at Little Dix Bay.

Beach Coast. Found north of "The Valley"/ Yacht Harbour, this unique Beach Coast, an area of entrancing beauty, somewhat remote in character, but close by car, offers a variety of intriguing places to stay on pristine, secluded beaches. Pictured above is Little Dix Bay and the rest of the Beach Coast to the north, including beaches at Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Mahoe Bay, Nail Bay and Long Bay. See Touring Virgin Gorda by Land and Water.

Little Dix Bay

Touring
With walking distance from The Valley, Little Dix Bay is easily reached from the ferry. Simply take the first left going out and proceed up over the hill.

The Little Dix Bay Resort is well worth a visit for whatever reason.

The Pavilion’s breakfast and lunch buffets are surprisingly affordable.

Some simply stop to see the gardens, but most make a special trip for dinner (jackets are not required but trousers and shirts with collars are expected).

Sometimes it’s the drinks at the Pavilion’s Bar & Terrace that’s the attraction.

Others don’t want to miss the Pavilion’s lavish Monday night buffet.

LittleDixBayViewWboat.jpg (6095 bytes)Unparalleled in charm, Laurence Rockefeller’s Resort reflects exquisite design. Built originally to be an environmental hideaway, Little Dix Bay (web site, email 495-5555) has been redone, keeping its classic simplicity, while adding some modern amenities and design touches. Nonetheless, it is still world-famous, making many a best-of list.

Magnificent Setting. Behind its own emerald coral reef, the beautiful beach curves gently within its own cove. Cradled by two small picturesque mountains that wrap the small valley ashore, before spilling their minature rocky headlands into the sea, Little Dix Bay forms an intimate landscape–the idyllic tropical paradise. Gorda Peake can be seen in the background in the above picture.

LITTLEDIXBAYSUGARMILLRESTAURANT.jpg (7507 bytes)Dining. The Sugar Mill, open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner, has fine Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood in a romantic setting pictured here. The Beach Grill, open for lunch and dinner Thursday- Monday, offers casual American favorites.

The Pavilion (495-5555), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is the resort’s main dining room. Lavish breakfast and lunch buffets are followed by a la carte LittleDixBayPavilionRoofs2.jpg (4314 bytes)candlelight dinners served under the resort’s architectural trademark– majestic Polynesian "great roofs" LittleDixBayTerraceDrinks2.gif (4044 bytes)open to the tropical air with stunning views to the sea.

Come for cocktails and light fare at the Pavilion’s Bar with its moonlight-drenched Terrace and soak up the sounds from the romantic piano or Caribbean band nightly.

DiningTourIcon.gif (3836 bytes) Delicious dishes from Little Dix Bay’s fine cuisine that have appeared on Great Chefs of the Caribbean include entrees such as Colombo of Black Mussels with Leeks and Seared Red Snapper with Sweet Potatoes and Christophene with a Creole Sauce (see christophene) by chef Benoit Pepin as well deserts like Virgin Gorda Coconut Layer Cake by chef John Rhymer.
Pavillion Gift Shop (495-5555) at the resort has contemporary women’s and men’s resortwear as well as jewelry and a variety of gift items.

Lodging. For more on resort accommodations, see Beach Coast Resorts on Virgin Gorda.

Upper Beach Coast

Touring
To reach the upper part of this coast, take the turnoff on the Channel side at the resort signs to Plum Tree Bay Road at the low, thin isthmus "neck" of Virgin Gorda.

A narrow isthmus, separating The Valley from Gorda Peake, presents picturesque views of the water on both sides. On the Channel side are Savannah and Pond beaches.

The Upper Beach Coast derives its character from and is framed by the mountainside of Gorda Peake as a backdrop. From this point on, the upper Beach Coast road runs between mountain and sea, sometimes challenging the driver.

Boat Touring
A lovely daytime anchorage in the swell-less summer, Savannah Bay is reached via Blowing Point’s southern entrance by working your way in good light through the extensive reefs, which offer excellent snorkeling.

By Land
Savannah Bay is reached by the first road, somewhat obscured, on the Channel side in the flat area. The sandy path to the beach is an excellent spot to find hermit crabs.

KatitchePointVillaVistawBoat.jpg (10006 bytes)Savannah Bay.
A beautiful long beach of white sand, Savannah Bay (as well as Pond Bay) is unspoiled and pristine and not too far from The Valley.

These bays, and Mahoe Bay on the other side of Katitche Point, form one unique and unparalleled watersports playground behind their continuous protective reef. Pictured above is Katitche Point Great House on top and Giorgio’s Table below.

An ideal location for sea kayaking by novices, expert paddlers can travel past the point into The Channel to Little Dix Bay and go on up to "town" at the Yacht Harbour. Just remember that Blowing Point may earn its name on the way back.

A nice hike starts from the bluff coming from The Valley side where the beaches first appear. The trail goes all the way down to the beach. Found here are cactus, aloe, exotic butterflies, an abundance of lizards and other wildlife favoring dry, sunny habitats.

Pond Bay. Part of one continuous bay from the water, Pond Bay is reached by land at the turnoff to the Upper Beach Coast.

Lobster Tank

Anegada lobster are kept in a 5000 gallon tank with seawater pumped in continuously, then chosen and caught, baked in foil with butter sauce or Catalana Style (boiled live and flavored with fresh chopped tomatos, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and parsley).
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Touring
To reach Giorgio’s Table by land, as well as the rest of the upper part of this coast, take the turnoff to Plum Tree Bay Road at the low, thin "neck" of Virgin Gorda. Further up, take the lower "Y" down through the Mango Bay Resort.

Dining at Giorgio’s Table
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Savannah Bay view with Blowing Point on right
That’s our table. Where is Kim? Late as usual!

On Katitche Point next to Pond and Savannah Bay beaches, Giorgio’s Table (495-5367, VHF 16) came to the BVI in 1994 to offer 100% Italian food with all the regions of Italy represented. Giorgio’s uses fresh local seafood, bakes its own bread and makes its own pasta and deserts. Typical mediterrean ingredients in this fine cuisine matches the Virgin Gorda climate.

Favorites are homemade cake of the day for breakfast, linguine with lobster sauce and gnocchi (dumpling) for dinner, eggplant parmigiana and shrimps flambe with brandy. And pizza of course!

A welcoming jetty greets sailors and a bar and dining pavilion overlooks both bays and the Channel to George Dog and Great Dog islands. Georgio’s Table is a great spot for a drink and a chat with a friend!

Resorts. See Beach Coast Resorts for great accommodations in this area, including Mango Bay Resort and Paradise Beach Resort.

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Touring
Going straight, Plum Tree Bay Road quickly reaches a vantage point for a great view of the hillside valley with its enclave of Mahoe Bay villas.

Mahoe Bay

VillaOnTheBeachBayIcon.jpg (6801 bytes)Protected by picturesque reefs just offshore, Mahoe Bay forms a tropical lagoon with ample areas for water activites like swimming and windsurfing off its white sand beach. These shallow reefs afford good snorkeling with abundant marine life, especially sea turtles. Tennis is also available for villa guests. Villa On The Beach is pictured here.

The Gardener
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Mahoe Bay Villas

MahoeBayIntwinedPatioIcon.jpg (6928 bytes)MahoeBayPoolStoneworkIcon.jpg (7096 bytes)An enclave of red tiled villas, Mahoe Bay has blossomed into a veritable tropical garden set in a hillside valley of terraces leading down to the gently curving beach.

Pools are inlaid in handsome stonework, patios entwined with flowers, and walkways lined with a riot of color.

Touring
As the road climbs around and up the valley wall toward the sea side, a great view looks back down to the Mahoe Bay beach.

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Both beachside and hillside, these quite unique and charming villas have spectacular views to The Dogs and across The Channel. See Virgin Gorda’s Beach Coast Villas.

Touring
The road past the Mahoe Bay enclave is a challenge and a four wheel drive vehicle helps on any of the steep hills.

Passing Plum Tree Bay (that gives the road its name) and then Mountain Trunk Bay, the road leads on to Nail Bay.

Mountain Trunk Bay’s sandy beach is great for beginner snorkelers and swimmers, but watch for winter swells.

Nail Bay beach offers quiet walks and great snorkeling on its reef, but swimmers must exercise caution. A rocky hike leads to Long Bay beach.

Nail Bay

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Scenic Nail Bay looks out over beaches to Mountain Point and The Channel beyond. See Nail Bay’s Beach Coast Resorts (photo: Nail Bay Resort).

Nail Bay Sugar Mill Ruins. Off a side trail 500 yards up the mountain, the stone ruins include a small overseer’s cottage on the right, the crumbling sugar mill with its boiling bench and holes for copper boiling kettles, and a horsemill out back, where the cane was crushed before flowing through a trough to the boiling room. See Virgin Gorda: On Foot or By Car.

Dog&Dolphin.jpg (9342 bytes)Dining. An excellent adventure off the beaten path, the Dog and Dolphin (494-8000 email), open breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers an all-you-can-eat continental breakfast and island specialties like ackee & saltfish, conch fritters and flying fish for lunch. Swim up to the bar for cocktails and incredible views over The Channel!

Touring
The long road trip ends at Long Bay. This beautiful beach is often found deserted.

A beachcomber’s dream, Long Bay beach invites a stroll in search of seashells, surf-crushed coral and storm-tossed treasures.

Long Bay. The ultimate secluded beach, reached partly by dirt road, Long Bay has a long beach with fine swimming and snorkeling. Your only company may be a sailboat or two anchored when the ground seas are down.

LongBayBeach.jpg (11682 bytes)Great birding spots, Long Bay and adjacent Nail Bay are common habitat for blue herons, spotted sandpipers, black- necked stilts, and ruddy turnstones as well as brown boobies and pelicans.

Mountain Point
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This point before the turn toward the North Sound makes a familiar landmark for those on the North Sound Express

Mountain Point. Its rocky ridge, coming down from Gorda Peake, breaks into sections as it extends out into the sea, leaving "cuts" like "cow’s mouth" for experienced divers.

On the sheltered beach side, novice divers can explore large coral heads and overhangs with abundant parrotfishes and butterflyfishes. Large tarpon chase huge schools of fish fry in the summer. Even experienced snorkelors should be wary of the surge in the shallow reef areas.

The Dogs. Small islands in the Sir Francis Drake Channel offshore from the Beach Coast, The Dogs are a marine national park and seabird refuge with great diving and snorkeling. Named for the barking sounds of an extinct Caribbean seal population, The Dogs are a great windsurfing venue as well as a good day anchorage with dive moorings, but watch for ground seas.

The Chimney

Popular sites include the well-known Chimney, with a wide-arched tunnel, Joe’s Cave (Wall-to-Wall), a cathedral-like cave, and the Cockroach, with canyons and crevices lushly covered with coral growth and teeming with reef life due to the strong current in this area.

This nurse shark, napping on a ledge at George Dog Island, was photographed by the famous ScubaMom as described here.

Named for its occasional winter surge, Bronco Billy has an archway leading to a shallow canyon that curves gently into a "reef amphitheatre" with pillar coral and grottos hiding lobsters.

Airplane Wreck
"Steward" pointing to overhead bins,
for a safe flight

Off the south side of Great Dog, Coral Gardens features beautiful large coral formations as well as the fuseluge of a commuter plane (photo: Sunchaser Scuba).