• US Virgin Islands
    © iStockphoto.com / Christian Wheatley
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United States Virgin Islands

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
East of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands are situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Three main islands stand out in this archipelago made of small and verdant islands: Saint Croix, Saint Thomas and Saint John. Evidently, each island possesses sumptuous beaches visited all year round by cruisers. However, they also have the advantage of offering cities and mansions that ought to be visited, exhibiting the islands' distinct colonial heritage. Those after a beach break or a cultural exploration should travel to the US Virgin Islands.

Our Editorial team's advice

In the islands, the cost of living is extremely high. If you are travelling without a travel organisation, prepare to spend £50-150 per day, depending on the accommodation you choose. Travelling during the low tourist season, between April and early December, is a good way of saving money. During this period, hotels half their prices, which is not insignificant. Also, think about buying cosmetics and sunscreen before leaving. Finally, if you are planning on going to St. John island during the tourist season, book in advance, because accommodation options are limited.

pros

  • +The US Virgin Islands are a seaside destination where you can also practice hiking.
  • +There are a lot of water sports and good hotels.

cons

  • -Cost of living is high, especially between December and April.
  • -There are no direct flights from the UK.

Traditions

Although the archipelago is touristy, here courteousness is essential and inhabitants do not appreciate sloppy appearances outside of beaches.

Food

Americans could not help importing their tex-mex food. In the main cities, you will find many small restaurants that serve hamburgers, huge salads, served with 'diet' coke or beer. Service is however a lot more relaxed than in the United States, and it is a good way to meet expatriates. Fortunately, you will also find restaurants that serve local food such as grilled fish, crayfish and a surprising variety of fruits.

Souvenirs

You will find a wide range of duty free products in Charlotte-Amalie (St. Thomas) and Christiansted (St. Croix) ports including cosmetics, Hi-Fi equipment and branded clothing. Dronningen's Gate, Charlotte-Amalie's main street is the best place for duty free in the Caribbean. You can also take advantage of the place to bring back Danish products. The archipelago has a very attractive contemporary artcraft with colourful paintings and wood carvings. In St. Thomas, you will find a wide range of shops at the American Yacht Harbor in Red Rock. Shops usually open during the week from 9:00 am to 17:00 pm, including on Saturday.