Us Virgin Islands City Guide
White sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a vibrant culture make the U.S. Virgin Islands a
tropical dream come true. All you need to make that picture-postcard vacation perfect is your
own home away from home.
Our selection of island rentals allows you to find a comfy
beachfront villa or a downtown apartment easily, so you can enjoy a holiday with your friends
and family in comfort. The three main islands, St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, offer a
fantastic choice of accommodations and amusements for every traveller.
Powdery beaches, magical reefs and historic landmarks – you can find it all here.
The Virgin Islands are one of the best places in the Caribbean to indulge your love for water
sports or to enjoy complete relaxation on the beach while getting a bronze tan. There are more
than 40 beaches on the island of St. Thomas, 24 on St Croix and nearly 20 on St. John.
Kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are highly popular. Quite a large of local companies
make it easy to enjoy these and many other water activities. Venture off the waterfront and you
still find plenty to enjoy on the ground. Some local guides even offer tours that combine
kayaking with sightseeing and hiking.
Sightseeing on the Virgin Islands is quite an adventure that involves stories about
pirates and plantations.
Since the day when Christopher Columbus set foot on and named the islands, their territory has
changed hands many times. At different periods in time they were under Spanish, British, Dutch,
French and Danish-Norwegian rule. That colorful history has contributed to an eclectic culture.
The ruins of sugar plantations and sugar mills are reminders of the colonial past and the fact
that the islands were once a major supplier of sugar. More than a half of St, Thomas alone is
part of the Virgin Island National Park – a vast swathe of protected rainforest and cultural landmarks.
Sightseeing tours of the island always include a visit to Fort Christian, the oldest surviving
colonial building on St. Thomas. This 18th-century fortification served as an administrative
center, a point of defense against pirates and later as a prison.
Another popular activity for visitors is climbing the 99 steps to Blackbeard's Castle (aka
Skytsborg Tower), an observation tower from where the infamous pirate Edward Teach is said
to have observed the islands. While this might be just a legend, the views from the top are truly
rewarding after the arduous uphill climb. And if you want to see some pirates cast in bronze,
head to the Rogue's Print Gallery and pose for a pic with the life-sized sculptures.
Other notable historic sites include the beautiful 19th-century mansions left behind by European
settlers. Brittania House, Villa Notman and Haagensen House, all feature preserved period
interiors and antique furnishings, making them the perfect starting points for history buffs or
romantics to get transported to another, more refined age.
The Virgin Islands offer plenty of duty-free shopping and open-air fun tourists keen on browsing duty-free goods
can find lots of tempting offers at Havensight Mall, home to nearly 100 shops selling anything from luxury labels
to locally crafted souvenirs.
The Charlotte Amalie downtown area is yet another shoppers' paradise filled with jewelry shops, art galleries and specialist
shops selling antiques, liquor and chocolates. Luxury brands like Gucci have opened shops at the exclusive Yacht Haven Grande area,
while affordable shopping has its home at the open-air market known as Vendors Plaza.
The warm, sunny weather means that you get to enjoy a lot of outdoor activities besides lying on the beach.
Open-air buses take you on a breezy trip around the island and al fresco dining is the norm, with fresh seafood landing into your
plate soon after being pulled out of the water.
The most exciting part of island life, however, are the many festivals. Reggae and calypso beats,
dancers dressed in brightly colored outfits and mocko jumbies (the native name for stilt walkers) are part
and parcel of many local celebrations.
Making your Virgin Islands holiday that little bit more special is easy when you have the right
accommodation. Our choice of island vacation rentals will help you to relax and entertain in the
comfort of your own tropical home away from home.