|Virgin 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.