Just east of Puerto Rico, in the island chain known as the Lesser Antilles, sit the Virgin Islands. It’s commonly assumed that the islands were named for their untouched beauty, but that’s not the case—actually, Christopher Columbus himself named them after the Catholic Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers. The sheer quantity of islands in the archipelago must have impressed him.
Nowadays, the island group is split almost down the middle into United States and United Kingdom territory. To the west lie the three major U.S. islands, Saint Thomas, Saint John, and St. Croix. Farther east lie Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada of the British Virgin Islands. Both groups are wildly beautiful and deserve your attention when you visit.
The capital and largest city in the U.S. Virgin Islands is Charlotte Amalie, on the island of Saint Thomas. It’s popular as a cruise ship port as well as a shopping destination, and it’s worth a trip if just to appreciate the town’s history. On Saint John you’ll find the Virgin Islands National Park. It comprises about 2/3 of the island, and its famous Trunk Bay is truly a sight to behold!
In the British Virgin Islands, make sure to visit “The Baths,” otherworldly boulders that form natural pools and grottoes on Virgin Gorda. When you’re ready to relax, head to world-famous Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke. There you can rest during the afternoon or party until the morning, depending on your state of mind.
Before You Go…
Pick up our Virgin Islands map. This GPS map will give you turn by turn directions to your destination using a point of interest (POI), city point, and/or latitude and longitude, with the ability to preplan driving destinations before getting into your car.The easy to follow instructions allow you to download and install the map into Garmin BaseCamp desktop software and transfer it to your Garmin GPS in minutes. This installable map is compatible with ALL Garmin GPS units .
It’s like having your own personal travel guide with you on your trip!