The Virgin Islands are real paradise for the well-off people from all over the world. The untouched tropical nature in combination with all the extras that need the modern humans, have turned this place into one of the most attractive on the planet Earth. Here actually come people with large financial means, who want to spend the winter at a warm, sunny and exotic place, where the life is still heavily dependent on the nature and at the same time a place, where do not missing the luxury and comfort that are typical features of the modern civilization.
Topography and natural environment. Most of the Virgin Islands have a volcanic origin. This fact determines the mountainous forms of the islands. However, the peaks are not particularly high.
The highest point rises to less than 530 meters above the sea level. The islands are covered with magnificent, lush tropical jungles that are home to hundreds of species of rare plants and animals.
The islands have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They have fine white coral sand. The coral reefs make the waves to be broken far away from the shore.
So the beaches around the lagoon are always calm and clear. The beautiful coral reefs are one of the biggest attractions of the islands. The wealth of the underwater life makes the Virgin Islands one of the best diving sites on the planet.
Geography. The Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean. Belong to the Lesser Antilles and are part of North America. They are located between 17 and 18° north latitude and between 64 and 65° west longitude.
The archipelago has an area of about 505 sq.km. The nearest neighbour of the Virgin Islands is Puerto Rico. From the viewpoint of its belonging, the islands are divided into British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The area of the U.S. Virgin Islands is 352 sq.km., while that of the British Virgin Islands is just 153 sq.km.
Although smaller in area and population, the islands belonging to Great Britain have greater autonomy and they have the right of local self-government.
Climate. The Virgin Islands gets within the tropical climate zone. The summer lasts all year round. The coldest months are January and February, when the average daily temperatures are around 29°C.
The warmest month is August – about 32°C. There are two seasons – dry and rainy. The rainy season lasts from April to November, coinciding with the hurricane season.
The driest month is March and the rainiest – September. Best time to visit these heavenly islands is the winter semester, when the weather is more bearable, the rainfall is less and there are plenty of sunny days in general.
Furthermore, the humid and hot summer coincides with the hurricane season. The maximum of the tropical storms is in August and September, when the temperature of ocean water is highest.
Economy. The base of the local economy is the agriculture and tourism. In some of the islands has found oil. Here grows a great variety of tropical fruits such as bananas, which are among the most popular and requested fruits in the world.
On the Virgin Islands there are sugar cane plantations. The islands develop livestock-breeding and fishing.
From the sugar cane the Virgin Islands produce world famous products such as rum, which is exported in all over the world.
As a part of the United States and Britain, the islands have a high standard of living. The main currency is the U.S. dollar even in the islands, which are possession of the United Kingdom.
Population and settlements. The total population of the Virgin Islands is 150 000 people. 125 000 of them live on the U.S. Virgin Islands and 25 000 – on the territory of the British Virgin Islands.
The four largest cities are Charlotte Amalie, Frederiksted, Christiansted (USA) and Road Town (UK).
Charlotte Amalie is the most important center of the US Virgin Islands and Road Town – of the British Islands.
The islands have been used as a plantation for producing of sugar cane. In the 1917th the United States purchased the islands for 25 000 000$ by Denmark.
Today the Virgin Islands are one of the most attractive tourist centers in world.