They are like night and day. Do you like busy or not busy? I love VG and am a big fan of the BVIs in general and do not like St Thomas at all, but it really depends on the type of experience you want. Many people love it and It may be perfect for you. I used to go to STT a lot 25 years ago, but it has changed a lot since then and will let others tell you what it is like to spend more than a day there now I just pass through on the way to the BVI.
VG is very quiet even in high season. It is much smaller than STT and has two distinct areas, the Valley which is the southern part of the island and is the part strewn with big boulders and is rather flat. It is the part of the island where the Baths are. The northern part of the island is called the North Sound and many parts are reachable only by boat. It is where the Bitter End Yacht Club is and Biras Creek Resort. You can get there by free ferry from Gun Creek. The two areas are separated by Gorda Peak. VG has gorgeous beaches and wonderful snorkeling. There are some good restaurants too. It is a wonderful island and if you have not already done so I would recommend that you post on the BVI forum as well.
One thing you can do easily from VG is a day trip to Anegada which is well worth it. It is a coral island on the very end of the BVI chain and is definitely worth a day trip.Edited: 06 August 2011, 22:42
We normally stay in STT one week every year, and last year decided to add 3 days stay in Virgin Gorda. The prior reply is correct, Virgin Gorda is night and day different from STT! We found a condo from VRBO.com, located in the valley. The whole island is either locals, or yachters. We are neither and quickly got that feeling. There are a few restaurants, and not much in the way of a grocery. It is indeed a different country, and often got the feeling we weren't welcome. The Baths were quite pretty, but if we had it to do over again, we could see all we wanted to see in one day. Overall, a nice place to visit, but not to stay.
I am sorry you had what seems to be a bad experience on VG. Our experience with the local people was very different. We found them to be warm and extremely friendly. They are more reserved than people in the states, but if you use the normal Caribbean greetings of good morning and good afternoon, etc they warm up really quickly. There are 3 decent grocery stores in the Valley and things are a bit more expensive and there is less selection than on STT but that is to be expected.
Not a local or a yachtie and loved Virgin Gorda- like Saffie I found the people to be friendly and the (more than few) restaurants and grocery stores just fine- I guess it all depends on what kind of vacation one is looking for. I was in ST for 5 nights this summer and it confirmed again that I really do not care for ST at all (the trip was a gift- I would have chosen SJ or the BVI's in a minute over ST.
Whatever you decide, have a great time!
It's all comes down to what you're looking for. Do you want lots to do, restaurants, people, shopping...or do you want to a laid back vacation where you can beach hop and do some exploring.
STT for shopping...VG for laid back island vibe.
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