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Virgin Gorda v St John #66561
08/31/2015 08:12 AM
08/31/2015 08:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
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MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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MerSoleil1  Offline OP
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Hi all. We are considering trying a new island and since we only get to vacation every few years it's a BIG deal to us! We LOVE St John and Virgin Gorda has been recommended as a very similar island. We love everything about St John except driving it. And certain villas have fabulous views but to get to them requires serious 'straight up' driveways that can have zero turnaround and then scary access back to the roads. I've never been great in a car and it seems it is worse now that I am older - could not enjoy lunch after the drive to Salt Pond.
Looking for a good comparison/ pros/cons to each. I've read some on this forum that VG is expensive, food service maybe not as good??? I know islands are personal preference, so what we love are soft sand, easy in swimming with calm waters for snorkeling Thanks!!

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Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66562
08/31/2015 03:21 PM
08/31/2015 03:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 916
Virginia
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charlie Online content
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Virginia
What we love about Virgin Gorda is that there is no there there. Great beaches and easy driving, not crowded. Where we stay near the Bath's we can walk to several beaches, some of which are deserted. Only eight miles long, but you must take a free ferry to get to Bitter End. Check out Guavaberry Spring Bay's web page and you will get an idea from their photo's. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: charlie] #66563
08/31/2015 09:28 PM
08/31/2015 09:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,557
Toronto, Ontario
gordaguy2 Offline
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check us out at Adagio villa at Mahoe Bay


GordaGuy2
Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: gordaguy2] #66564
09/01/2015 10:34 AM
09/01/2015 10:34 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 78
Rosenberg, TX
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txjustin Offline
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Rosenberg, TX
I like staying at Mahoe. Was the best snorkeling I thought.

Love St. John, have been 2 times and plan on going back at least every other year.

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66565
09/01/2015 03:19 PM
09/01/2015 03:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 176
Virginia suburbs of DC
AquaGirl Offline
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AquaGirl  Offline
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Virginia suburbs of DC
What a nice choice to have - St John or Virgin Gorda! We alternate vacations between St John and the BVIs. They are different and we love both. Like you, a priority for us is a nice beach and great snorkeling.

Since you enjoy St John, you will probably really enjoy Virgin Gorda. The roads are not as steep as St John (with the exception of the road down to the North Sound ferry area for a short stretch) and its very easy to drive around the island.

We have stayed at Guavaberry near the Baths and Adagio villa at Mahoe Bay. We enjoyed both very much and can recommend them, depending upon whether you want a villa experience or a cottage experience. Both are within short walking distances of a beach with snorkeling.

We love the beaches and snorkeling on Virgin Gorda. Easy entry to the water and snorkeling fairly close to shore. StJ has more beaches, but we snorkeled and hung out at 5 or 6 VG beaches and enjoyed each one.

There are also other sights to see (depending upon what you like to do) - hike to Gorda Peak for a magnificent view and hundreds of butterflies, visit places in North Sound (Saba Rock is fun), Jumby party at Leverick, go to Hog Heaven for a fabulous view, explore the Baths (early in the morning without the crowds!).

Regarding restaurants, it really depends where you go. We found good, not-as-expensive places on VG where we got carryout and took it back to our villa. We enjoy eating on our private deck with a gorgeous view. We ate at some of the nicer restaurants on VG which were the same price range as StJ restaurants of the same type.

The only thing I don't like as much about VG is that it takes a bit more travel time to get there. We usually fly into St Thomas, then have to take several ferries to get to VG. Last time, we flew into San Juan, then took Air Sunshine directly to VG. We got to VG quicker, but it was more expensive than flying to STT and taking ferries. Of course, that is totally dependent upon flight schedules and prices which vary widely.

Happy trip planning!

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66566
09/01/2015 04:38 PM
09/01/2015 04:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 916
Virginia
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charlie Online content
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Crowds at the Baths depend upon time of year and cruise ships. We go to VG in May and there are no cruise ships, so we go to the Baths at anytime. Except, we go to the Baths by going halfway down the Devil's Bay trail, turn left at the Stony Bay trail and check out the three stony bays and hike over to Devil's Bay from Stony Bay. There is a trail. Then we snorkel Devil's Bay then hike to the Baths and go through "backwards." Then up the main trail to Top of the Bath's and over to Mad Dog's and visit with Edith. At Guavaberry you have a very short walk to Spring Bay, then go over to the Crawl, then take the path to Little Trunk and Valley Trunk beach'es. With a car you can hit Savannah Bay, but not on a Sunday, that's local's BBQ party day and crowded. Mahoe is always on our list. Great reef and fish and turtle's there. Drive on the road to Nail Bay Resort, park there and hike down the Mt. Trunk beach road, about 100 yards, and enjoy. Great snorkeling off to the right with lots of reef and lots of fish of all kind. Then, continue on the road from Nail Bay resort and as you cross a drainage ditch, turn left on the dirt road and you will come out at Long Bay. Great beach and an unrestored rum distillery. Then go on up to Hog Heaven and enjoy the food and the views. If you are curious about where stuff is like grocery stores or restaurants and roads, etc. Guavaberry Spring Bay's web page has a printable two page map. I think it is in the "getting here" folder near the bottom, so scroll down or search around and you can see where everything is. Oh, Guavaberry has a deal with a rental company for discounts. And, they have snorkel gear for kids, life vests, etc. Is it May yet? I've got a severe case of DIF now... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66567
09/01/2015 04:44 PM
09/01/2015 04:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 916
Virginia
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charlie Online content
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Virginia
Oh, I forgot...in the old days before American pulled out of San Juan, we would fly into Beef Island on Am. Eagle and walk from EIS to North Sound Express ferry and go over to VG. Now we fly into St. Thomas on a Tuesday or Thursday and take Speedy's 5 o'clock ferry straight to VG and skip transferring in Road Town. Ferry schedules are online and easy to google. And yes, we do have our tickets for May. Three weeks again this coming year. Can't wait. Hope I win the lottery tonight... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: charlie] #66568
09/01/2015 06:18 PM
09/01/2015 06:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
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MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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This is such great info! I'm finding that villas on VG are more expensive than STJ! Maybe less competition??
Did I read somewhere that there are some easy day trip islands to hope to from VG?
I'm also noticing villas seem to have netting over beds. Should I assume bugs/mossies are bad?
Sorry to be asking so many questions, but we only take vacation every few years which puts tons of pressure on doing it so ....absolutely...right!

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66569
09/01/2015 07:56 PM
09/01/2015 07:56 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16,653
Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Manpot Offline
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Same bugs on VG as on St John! To me VG is the big winner..like St John but I always feel I am back in the US..not in the BVI..there I feel I am in the real Caribbean..just my 2 cents worth.

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66570
09/01/2015 08:15 PM
09/01/2015 08:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 916
Virginia
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charlie Online content
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Virginia
How many are there of you going to de Ilon's? Just two of you, Guavaberry is not much more than a hotel room for a couple. We are just two, and don't need a villa, so the one room cottege w/all amenities, ie.: fridge, stove, microwave, bedroom, bath and shower, living area and lovely porch work fine for us, and cheaper than a hotel room in Miami/Wash. DC/NYC. Plus...wifi and puppy dog's...what else do you want or need? And, is it May yet... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66571
09/01/2015 08:24 PM
09/01/2015 08:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,179
Vero Beach, Fl and South Sound...
tpcook Online happy
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tpcook  Online Happy
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Vero Beach, Fl and South Sound...
The pricing of the villas depends on the season and the number of persons. My villa faces into the trade winds so critters are not a problem. The South Sound Villa also has water in three directions and fabulous views. We also have rental ,which make the villa affordable for even the smaller number of guests.


tpcook
Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66572
09/01/2015 10:29 PM
09/01/2015 10:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,572
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Woodstock, GA
Quote
MerSoleil1 said:
This is such great info! I'm finding that villas on VG are more expensive than STJ! Maybe less competition??
Did I read somewhere that there are some easy day trip islands to hope to from VG?
I'm also noticing villas seem to have netting over beds. Should I assume bugs/mossies are bad?
Sorry to be asking so many questions, but we only take vacation every few years which puts tons of pressure on doing it so ....absolutely...right!


I don't see many pixs of VG villas with netting over the beds. All you have to do is read the description of the particular villa and if it says "A/C in bedrooms" you DON'T need nor likely have netting.

Last edited by RickinAtlanta; 09/01/2015 11:09 PM.
Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: RickinAtlanta] #66573
09/02/2015 01:56 PM
09/02/2015 01:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
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MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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We will need at least 3 bdrms maybe 4. As plans are not even close to 'done' we will want to have enough room for family to come/go... won't be there the entire time.
You are all a great help!

Off to google more villas!! smile

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66574
09/02/2015 03:19 PM
09/02/2015 03:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,572
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Woodstock, GA
Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) is a great resource and the least expensive of any of the "villa rental sites"

Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66575
09/03/2015 11:52 AM
09/03/2015 11:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,557
Toronto, Ontario
gordaguy2 Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
When are you planning to come down as rates vary by season and number of bedrooms - cheers Brian


GordaGuy2
Re: Virgin Gorda v St John [Re: gordaguy2] #66576
09/04/2015 09:47 PM
09/04/2015 09:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 553
Maine Coast
Nemos Offline
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Nemos  Offline
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Maine Coast
Our first two visits to the Virgin Islands were on St. John, Caneel Bay and Gallows Point. We loved both. Then we discovered Virgin Gorda, have been there 11 times and never returned to St. John. And we probably never will return to St. John. Nothing really wrong with St. John, it's just that we find Virgin Gorda to be much less crowded and far more relaxing. As someone else already said, check out Guavaberry Spring Bay. You won't find another place anywhere in the VI as clean, as hospitable, and as well maintained - and with its own private access gorgeous uncrowded beach too!

Last edited by Nemos; 09/04/2015 09:49 PM.

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