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St. Thomas auf den Amerikanischen Jungferninseln, Bild: emperorcosar / shutterstock

The U.S. Virgin Islands – Vacation in Paradise

There are some spots on this earth that are made for holidays and relaxation. This includes the U.S. Virgin Islands. The successful films of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series could have been filmed there.

Where is the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The archipelago belongs to the Lesser Antilles. The US Virgin Islands, as they are officially called, consist of about 68 islands. Only the 3 largest among them, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, are permanently inhabited. The archipelago is about 70 km from Puerto Rico . It is also not that far to the Dominican Republic.

A few facts

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay on the island of St. John, Image: BlueOrange Studio / shutterstock

The islands are officially an unincorporated territory of the United States. They are home to just over 100,000 inhabitants, the majority of whom are of African descent. In addition, there are also many mixed races, whites and people of Asian descent. The history of the archipelago is as colourful as the population. Since its discovery by Columbus, the islands have been ruled by several nations. For example, the French played an important role. The last change of power took place in 1917. At that time, the U.S . bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark. The fact that the Virgin Islands were once a Danish colony is revealed by the name of the capital and some Danish street names.

How do you get to the U.S. Virgin Islands?

There are international airports on two of the islands. There are no direct flights from Germany . Most air travelers have to change planes in Miami. Alternatively, a flight to the neighboring British Virgin Islands is also possible from Great Britain. From there there are ferry connections to the US Virgin Islands.

By the way, the same entry and customs regulations apply as in the USA. The national language is English and payment is made with US dollars.

What can you expect in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Virgin Islands National Park
The Virgin Islands National Park, Image: Wangkun Jia / shutterstock

You could make it easy for yourself and answer: A Caribbean island paradise with dream beaches and wonderful weather. The climate is tropical. Temperatures hardly fluctuate throughout the year. Even in “winter” it is still 28 degrees. In “summer” the temperatures climb to a little over 30 degrees. However, the heat is mitigated by the trade winds, which provide a pleasantly refreshing wind. The official rainy season is between May and November, but even then only short showers fall. The sun shines almost every day. The US Virgin Islands are a year-round destination. However, you shouldn’t fly during the big holidays or when there are holidays in the USA. The islands are visited by millions of tourists every year, most of whom come from the US mainland because of their geographical proximity.

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What can you do in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The hilly islands (the highest point is the 474 m high Crown Mountain) offer you plenty of activities. To start, you can climb Crown Mountain, which towers over the capital Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas. A staircase of 99 (or 103?) Steps built from the ballast stones of earlier Danish sailing ships. The ships entered the port empty and left their ballast stones behind when they loaded cargo for the return journey.

From the top of the mountain you have a wonderful panoramic view of the island and its small capital.

But it has a lot of attractions to offer. At the first pillar is of course water sports. From snorkeling to surfing, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, wakeboarding and kite surfing, everything is offered. On land, you can go hiking, horseback riding, golf, or try zip-lining. The Coral World Ocean Park allows its visitors to experience the sea creatures up close. There you can pet sharks by hand or give food to stingrays.

Do you love nature? Then you should definitely visit the island of St. John. Almost two-thirds of the island is occupied by the almost 3,000-hectare Virgin Islands National Park. The park is a unique gem. You can hike through tropical rainforest, admire prehistoric petroglyphs of the long-extinct Taino Indians or visit the ruins of old farmhouses. In the past, there were numerous sugar cane plantations on the islands.

The national park even has an underwater part. The beautiful Trunk Bay beach has an underwater snorkeling trail, which is well marked and signposted. It introduces the most important sea creatures that you will encounter during your dive.

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On the island of St. Croix, a little further south, a visit to Point Udall is worthwhile. At the easternmost point of the USA, a monument in the shape of a sundial was erected at the turn of the millennium. In addition, you can explore a tropical rainforest on St. Croix.

One of the most popular activities in the Virgin Islands is island hopping. There is a lot of shipping traffic between the islands. You can use public ferry services or charter a private boat (also with a skipper). It would be a shame if you only stayed on one island during your vacation. Perhaps you would miss out on discovering your dream beach.

Beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands

You don’t have to worry about cold water in the Virgin Islands. In “winter” the water temperature is on average +26°C, in summer even +28.5°C! There are beautiful beaches on each of the many islands. Some of the most beautiful are located on the north shore of St. John, the second largest island. The sand is snow-white. the water azure blue and the beach lined with palm trees. It almost seems like a cliché of the Caribbean, but it’s real. There are quiet beaches with shallow waters, ideal for beginners and families, other beaches are very suitable for snorkeling. There you can observe coral fish and sea turtles.

Holidays and festivities

There is something to celebrate in the US Virgin Islands practically all year round. This starts with Martin Luther King Day in January, President Day in February, Rewriting Day in March (when the Virgin Islands joined the USA) and Independence Day on July 4 and Friendship Day with Puerto Rico until Thanksgiving in November (apart from Christmas, New Year’s Day, Carnival and Easter). Because of the beautiful weather, most of the events take place outdoors. In addition, there are weekly markets, music events and a variety of other events. As everywhere in the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands celebrate Carnival very intensively.

Result

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a dream destination that you can visit all year round. All the magic of the Caribbean awaits you there. The impressions will remain unforgettable and will make you want to return to these island paradises as soon as possible.