|The central spine of Tortola is the route of a main road, called
aptly enough, "Ridge Road."
From the East End, look for the police station-a large white
building, and turn inland from the coastal road at Little Dicks Road to begin.
Climbing up onto the ridge, this section of Ridge Road has views to Josiah's Bay with its large salt
pond, which is reached via Josiah's Bay Road.
|An everchanging tableau of ridges, valleys and islands appear in
succession as the road follows the ridge or contour line, dipping through
"ghuts," or stream valleys and transversing slopes to navigate the next
The background views here show peaks from Tortola's
ocean headlands and outlying islands of Great Camanoe and easternmost Guana Island.
This scenic drive appears to slowly wrap around the "amphitheater"
created by the spacious Road Town Harbour. The
islands across the Sir Francis Drake Channel form a backdrop in the distance.
Since the top of a mountain is often its most level part, Ridge Road is the location of a whole
way of life, reflecting Tortola's historically rural and pastoral culture.
See Life on Ridge Road, including Shadow Stables for
Here are found island farm houses with the traditional red tin roofs.
Just past the Cool Breeze Bar is the turn off to Brewer's Bay at Brewer's Bay Road East.
Mt. Healthy National Park,
the ruins of windmill powered sugar mill at an historic sugar plantation, is down this
Further on is the turn-off to the right to Skyworld, the restaurant in the clouds
with the 360º panoramic views.
Another turnoff, at an outdoor bar sitting
next to the road, goes down to Cane Garden
Still further on, a turnoff goes up to Mount
Sage National Park, with free trails, a semi rain forest,
mahogany trees, mountain doves and spectacular views.
As Ridge Road finally dips to the North Beach Coast, half way down toWindy Hill are the overgrown
stone walls and other ruins of the18th century St. Michael's Church, reputedly
headed by a pirate priest who used this vantage to spy passing ships, now
usually charter boats.
Lost on Ridge Road? Click here.
This dramatic drive enchants and weaves itself amongst some of the finest
beaches and places in the islands.
To begin, take Ridge Road's ocean-side turn-off to Cane Garden Bay Road
past Skyworld. From Road Town, take Joe's Hill Road and continue over
Ridge Road to Cane Garden Bay Road.
|There are dramatic views of Brewer's Bay
seen here, reached by Brewer's Bay Road West.
Follow this Tour
Tortola icon for more detailed descriptions for traveling by foot or vehicle.
|Preferably in a valiant little jeep like the one perched here
(with four-wheel drive) on a crest above Brewer's Bay.
The road offers a panoramic view of its namesake, Cane Garden Bay, before
descending steeply and then slipping along this beautiful beach.
The route ascends out of Cane Garden Bay through woods before reaching Ridge Road's
terminus at Windy Hill. The road becomes the North Coast Road as the North Beach Coast
This route drops once more, past into Great Carrot Bay, a
On the cliffside way down is Just Limin' and on the flatland is Mrs. Scatliffe's and
Palm's Delight restaurants. Also, the North Shore Shell Museum
is found at a restaurant by that name.
|Keep a look out for fascinating cloud formations as the tradewinds
lift over Tortola's mountainous spine, often dropping very localized rain and sprouting
rainbows. The play of cloud shadows over these rolling ridges
and ethereal peaks is a continual, and majestic, work of art.
Passing Little Carrot Bay, the road goes on by Apple Bay, home of the
famous Sugar Mill Restaurant.
It quickly passes Cappoon's Bay,
Tortola's best surfing spot and home of Bomba's Beach Shack, a
ramshackle structure right in the surf.
Next door is Little Apple
Bay, where Sebastian's On the Beach serves as a kind of crossroads
at Zion Hill Road, the way to Soper's Hole.
The coast road becomes Long Bay Road and surmounting the next ridge presents a view of spectacular
Long Bay Beach. Drive right
through this fine resort, perhaps stopping to sample the great local food at Nathan's Snackette, right before
climbing some more.
Further on, a "rustic" road leads past Belmont Point to cozy
Here you will find a unique "living museum" in a decaying beach bar as well as a
giant Arawak zemi.
Another coastal road (this island is all coasts) runs along Tortola's
Sir Francis Drake Channel from the Beef
Island Airport on the East End to Soper's
Hole on the West End.
This route is split into two main sections by Road
Town in the middle.
The section from the Beef Island Airport
on the East End, called Blackburn's Highway, passes Fat
Hog's Bay, Maya Cove
and other bays, going over a series of ridges looking out to Virgin
Gorda, like this one seen from the Virgin Gorda ferry.
The route then comes into Road Town,
becoming Waterfront Drive and making a half-circle around the harbour
Capital and main habitation. Here is a modern supermarket and the beginning of
Tour of Road Town with great dock and dining spots on the harbour.
Other intown sights include the Virgin
Island Folk Museum and J.R.O'Neal Botanic Garden
as well as a Dining Tour of the largest
selection of restaurants in the islands.
A delightful side tour can be taken of Road Town's Main Street Shops.
Before leaving Road Town, don't miss Fort
Burt, still guarding the harbour as Tortola's most intact historic ruin
|The section past Road Town, called Drake's Highway, quickly passes Sea
Cow's Bay, a quaint village with the Struggling Man's Place, an
local restaurant with great coastal views.
|Going on by Nanny Cay, a
nautical village, this is a generally easy, low-lying, route, the
flattest stretch of road on Tortola.
|Picturesque views to the outlying islands across the Sir
Francis Drake Channel characterize this route. A vision of serenity!
Ft. Recovery, at the Ft. Recovery Estate
Villas resort, has the unrestored remains of a 17th century Dutch fort facing the
|There is an turn-off inland at Zion Hill Road to the North Beach
Coast, marked by this gas station, and the hillock in back that is one of a shapely set
called The Towers.
This route finally reaches beautiful Soper's
Hole on the West End of Tortola. The
Wharf, with its West Indian style shopping village on Frenchman's
Cay, is a delightful ending to this route.