United States Virgin Islands
The steep, spectacular hills that surround St Thomas's exquisite harbour provide a fitting entry point for this island of overwhelming natural splendour. The jungled-mountains reach up above tempting beaches and scuba diving sites, while Charlotte Amalie - the island's capital - sprawls down towards the water, bedecked with shops and tasty restaurants.
Part of the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands - together with St John and St Croix - these lands were purchased by the US in 1917. Nowadays, St Thomas is a patchwork of cultures, and a lively welcome to the islands, serving as a gracious host to the many visitors who linger - as well as those who jump on ferries, yachts and catamarans to explore the blessed beaches of the Caribbean's other retreats.
A stunning island of dramatic jungled-scenery, keep your camera close to hand as you swing up the Skyride to Paradise Point, to look down over the natural amphitheatre of the dock and city below. Snap some more postcard-perfect shots at Drake’s Seat - said to be Sir Francis Drake's lookout point, where he could survey for approaching enemy ships. Nowadays, the views over Magens Bay and the infinite sea are always peaceful, and this is a great spot to catch a fiery Caribbean sunset spilling across the sky.
Take catamaran cruises to explore the shining coastline, or seek out the glorious coves and caves that are hidden along the island's perimeter. Land on the secluded shores of tiny islands, before scuba diving and snorkelling above the twisted boughs of lost ships, reclaimed by the waters and inhabited by curious tropical fish life. Kayak over still lagoon waters, or take the chance to lay back on soft beaches strewn with tiny shells, as St Thomas's beauty washes over you.