St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix – the three islands known to many as the US Virgin Islands, and the reason millions of travellers head to the Caribbean every year. The laid-back lifestyle of the islands and crystal blue waters keep travellers booking flights to the US Virgin Islands every year.
Travellers booking St. Thomas holidays will find it’s not only the most visited island, but also the most overdeveloped of the islands. St. Thomas boasts some of the best beaches, resorts and dining and there is no shortage of things to do in this Caribbean island hotspot. In contrast, St. John is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands and is a protected landmass – more than 60 per cent of the land is controlled by the US National Park Service. St. Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands and while it’s not as serene as St. John, it’s more relaxed than St. Thomas. Tourists booking flights to the US Virgin Islands should hop over to St. Croix for its stimulating nightlife – the introduction of gambling to the island has brought more tourists, and more money, to the economy.
The US Virgin Islands are hot and humid all year long. Most of the rain falls between August and October. The best time for diving and snorkelling is between April and August, when waters are calm and underwater visibility is best.
November through May is peak season. A couple of the events taking place during this time are the carnival on St Thomas and the Crucian Christmas festival – look out for the mocko jumbies, the colourfully-dressed dancers on stilts – on St Croix (mid-December/early-January).
Takes in our summer (up to the end of October). One very special event taking place during off-season is 4 July, which is well celebrated on the islands.
There are airports on St Thomas (Cyril E King Airport, the most popular gateway to the islands) and St Croix (Henry E Rohlsen International Airport), but not on St John.
Airlines flying between St. Thomas and St. Croix include Air St. Thomas; Air Sunshine; American Eagle; Bohlke International Airways; Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) and Seaborne Airlines. Helicopter service is also available.
Once on the islands, there are several car-rental options with major companies. Remember, drive on the left.
The Virgin Islands Fast Ferry sails between St Thomas and St. Croix. Love City Car Ferries, Inc., a car ferry company, sails from St Thomas to St John.
(prices quotes are from London)