Introduction to the Virgin
The VI sit on the Puerto Rico Bank some 90 miles
east of Puerto Rico and southeast of the tip of Florida. They
are the most northerly isles in the Leeward Islands chain (in
the lee of the prevailing wind which blows from south to north).
They form part of the Lesser Antilles which is a long arc of
smaller land masses on the eastern and southern margins of the
Caribbean Sea stretching as far south as Trinidad. Mostly
volcanic, the Lesser Antilles have been pushed up
between two oceanic plates below the earth's surface where the
Caribbean plate is rising up above the North American plate.
The island group was named by Christopher Columbus during his
second voyage in 1493. The name Columbus gave them "Las Once Mil Virgenes"
means the isles of 11,000 virgins and is a reference to St
Ursula and her maidens who sacrificed their lives in Cologne.
The islands are split into two groups, the United States VI (USVI) and the British VI (BVI) and together
they encompass over 65 isles and cays of various sizes.
Marco Island Villa Rental
United States Virgin Islands (USVI):
US Virgin Islands consist of three larger islands, St
Thomas, St Croix and St John as well as over 25 smaller isles
and cays. Of the three larger islands, all are volcanic except
for St Croix which is a flat coral structure. St Thomas is the main
island with the largest population and Charlotte Amalie is
the capital of the USVI. Charlotte Amalie (named after a Danish
Queen) is one of the main cruise ports in the Caribbean and the
largest town in the VI.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI):
British Virgin Islands consist of four larger islands,
Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and
Van Dyke as well as over 40 smaller isles and cays. Of the
four larger ones, all are volcanic except for
which is a flat coral structure. Tortola is the main island with
the largest population with Road Town which is the capital of
the BVI. Within the BVI are three private island resorts
including the world famous Necker Island and the lesser known
Peter Island Resort and Guana. Road Town in
is the main cruise port and the BVI is also an established Mecca
for sailing with one of the largest fleets of bareboats and
crewed yachts in the world. The very beautiful
Virgin Gorda was named the "fat virgin" by Columbus due to
it's shape on the horizon and is today world famous for it's
lovely beaches including the The Baths which are not to be
missed if you are visiting the BVI.
This is a new website currently under development
and links above point to useful information guides on our
sister site, Paradise-Islands.org. By the autumn 2015 we should
have the entire site up and running.