As you climb up any of the steep roads that rise spectacularly to the top of Tortola’s spine, the air gets cooler, the breeze intensifies, and the views become more and more fantastical. Once at the top, the narrow Ridge Road winds past hillside communities and cool roadside bars. This is what Tortola residents refer to as “up country,” and in many ways it is truly the most rural part of the island.
The Ridge Road extends seven miles along Tortola’s backbone. A half dozen roads climb from sea level on both the north and south shores of the island to meet the road.
If you are going to explore in a car, it is best to start in either Carrot Bay or East End. From Carrot Bay, follow the Windy Hill road up until you reach a four-way stop. Turn right: This is the western end of the Ridge Road. From East End, follow Little Dixs Road (next to the East End police station) until you reach a four-way stop. If you turn left, you are at the eastern end of the Ridge Road.
The Ridge Road is also nice to explore on foot, but few people do it. Traffic is not too heavy, the breezes are cool, and you will have time to savor the views along the way. For the least uphill climbing, walk from west to east.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition