How Many Islands Are in the Virgin Islands: You’d Be Surprised

Do you think you know the Virgin Islands? Prepare to have your mind blown as we embark on an exciting voyage to discover an aspect that might surprise you – the actual number of islands this archipelago harbors.

If you’re picturing a couple of dozen sandy shores, brace yourself, because the reality is far more fascinating! There’s an untold story of mystery and majesty waiting just below the surface, filled with forgotten islands, undiscovered beaches, and secret coves.

In this article, we’ll reveal the true count of the Virgin Islands, leaving no stone unturned.

We assure you that by the end, you’ll view this tropical paradise with entirely new eyes, and perhaps, be itching to book your next vacation.

Ready to have your assumptions shattered? Keep reading, because we’re about to set sail!

Tropical white sand beach Jost Van dyke British Virgin Islands
Tropical white sand beach Jost Van dyke British Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands Overview

In case you’re wondering just how many islands there are in this Caribbean paradise, let’s break it down for you.

The Virgin Islands are a group of about 90 small islands, islets, cays, and rocks, stretching for about 60 miles from west to east.

Now, you might think that’s a lot of islands, and you’re absolutely right! But don’t worry, we’ll help you navigate through this archipelago in a fun and easy way.

These islands are split into three main territories – the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the Spanish Virgin Islands.

Imagine yourself traipsing across the breathtaking, sun-kissed expanses of the US Virgin Islands. Picture Saint Croix, Saint John, Saint Thomas, and 50 other captivating little secrets of nature just waiting for your footprints.

Now, add a dash of British flavor, with 60 uniquely charming islands to explore. The Spanish Virgin Islands invite you to lose yourself among their three exotic hideaways. That’s enough to fill up your island-hopping calendar!

These magnificent islands are located east of Puerto Rico and are known for their breathtaking views, lush greenery, and crystal-clear waters.

With a total population of over 147,000, the good vibes on these islands are practically contagious!

magens bay beach Saint Thomas US Virgin island
Magens Bay beach Saint Thomas US Virgin island

What are the Main Islands?

The Virgin Islands is an archipelago marvel, encompassing the British, Spanish, and U.S. territories.

First and foremost, let’s set sail to the US Virgin Islands (USVI), boasting three main islands—St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas.

These tropical gems bespeckle the Caribbean seascape with their pristine beaches and lush landscapes. The capital, Charlotte Amalie, resides in the vibrant haven of St. Thomas.

Did you know that there’s a fourth, lesser-known player in the USVI game? That’s right, Water Island became an official member in 1996.

St Thomas vs St Croix: Which Island is Better?

This charming little island may not bask in the limelight like its siblings, but it definitely knows how to make a splash!

Now, let’s switch gears and journey to the British Virgin Islands, also known as the BVI. This picturesque cluster of more than 60 idyllic islands is a sailing enthusiast’s dream come true.

The largest of these islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.

Fun fact: Anegada, literally meaning “drowned island,” is the only coral atoll in the BVI, while its siblings are volcanic!

The whispers of the Caribbean Sea beckon you to the realms of the Spanish Virgin Islands, a hidden gemstone of an archipelago yet to be fully unveiled.

Picture yourself on Vieques, the largest island of this paradise, where bioluminescent bays meet wild horses, and unspoiled beaches are scattered with remnants of history.

Or perhaps Culebra, with its renowned Flamenco Beach, a locale whose beauty consistently tops international rankings.

Point Udall in St Croix US Virgin Islands
Point Udall in St Croix US Virgin Islands

Most Popular Virgin Islands to Visit

Unleash the untamed, enthralling beauty of the Virgin Islands; experience the sun-kissed sands, azure waters, and verdant landscapes that seem to have been delicately painted by an artist’s hand.

Here, in the heart of the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands are a unique blend of wild natural charm, rich history, and warm, inviting culture. Let’s take a look at the most popular Virgin Islands:

Saint Croix

Ah, Saint Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, is a beauty to behold! With sparkling blue waters, lush green mountains, and sandy beaches, it’s a paradise waiting for you to explore.

No need to mention the fabulous food and vibrant culture that will make your vacation absolutely amazing.

  • Size Matters: Importance comes with over 130 square miles of land to show off! Now isn’t that grand?
  • Adventure Time: Feast your eyes on the stunning natural sights. From Salt River Bay National Historical Park to Buck Island Reef, there’s something for everyone.

16 St. Thomas Beach Hotels You’ll Never Want to Leave


Moving on to the British Virgin Islands, let’s talk about Tortola. It’s the largest and the most populated island in this archipelago, and it’s got it all. Picture white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush hillsides.

Dive into the beautiful world of Road Town or explore the hidden gems of Smuggler’s Cove.

  • Sail Away: Get ready to hoist the sails, because Tortola is a sailing mecca where you can indulge in some refreshing water activities or simply relax on a yacht while watching the sunset.
  • Where History Meets Nature: Visit Sage Mountain National Park and soak in the rich history surrounded by Mother Nature’s finest work.

Virgin Gorda

Last but not least, let’s set our sights on Virgin Gorda, another British Virgin Island treasure.

This stunning work of nature is pure magic. From the jaw-dropping beauty of The Baths to Gorda Peak National Park, you’ll be in awe at every bend.

  • Get Lost in The Baths: Discover the boulders-filled wonderland where you can swim, snorkel, and unwind in style.
  • Reach the Pinnacle: Climb Gorda Peak and witness breathtaking panoramas that will make you feel on top of the world.
The Baths on Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands
The Baths on Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands

Things to Do & Best Time to Visit

In this section, we’ll give you an overview of popular activities and the best time to visit this delightful destination.

While visiting the Virgin Islands, you’ll find an array of exhilarating activities that will surely keep you entertained:

  • Beaches: Lounge on beautiful sandy shores, like Trunk Bay and Magens Bay, where crystal-clear waters beckon you for a swim.
  • Snorkeling and Diving: Marvel at the vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs that surround the islands. It’s an underwater paradise that you won’t want to miss.
  • Hiking: Venture on scenic trails within the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John for breathtaking views and an invigorating experience.
  • Historical Sites: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural history of the islands by visiting fascinating sites, such as Fort Christiansvaern and Blackbeard’s Castle.
  • Sailing: Why not let the wind take you on a thrilling journey as you sail around the islands and cays, enjoying the magnificent scenery?

16 St. Thomas Beach Hotels You’ll Never Want to Leave

Best Time to Visit

Although the Virgin Islands are a fantastic destination to visit all year round, there are some periods when the islands are particularly enchanting:

  • December to February: This period offers the perfect respite from chilly winter weather, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. It’s also the high season for tourism, so expect a lively atmosphere and various events to take place.
  • April to June: As the high season mellows, you’ll find fewer crowds, more affordable accommodations, and still enjoy fantastic weather, making this an ideal window for your visit.

Be cautious when planning your trip between June and November, as this is hurricane season, and though rare, storms may impact your travel plans.

Fort Christian is a Dano Norwegian built fort in Charlotte Amalie Saint Thomas U S Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie Saint Thomas U S Virgin Islands

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Virgin Island is the Largest?

The largest island in the Virgin Islands archipelago is St. Croix, USVI. This slice of paradise spans about 82 square miles (214 square kilometers), making it the most spacious playground for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, or anything in between.

Best Virgin Island for Tourists?

Oh, the eternal question of “which island is the best for tourists”! Fret not, because we have a surprise for you: there’s no definitive answer, as it truly depends on what kind of getaway you’re craving.

You see, each island in the Virgin Islands has its own unique charm and attractions.

If you’re the type who yearns for that picture-perfect postcard view, then look no further than St. John.

16 St. Thomas Beach Hotels You’ll Never Want to Leave

Boasting stunning white-sand beaches and the majestic Virgin Islands National Park, where you can immerse yourself in the island’s vibrant nature, St. John is a prime candidate for those seeking an idyllic escape.

Now, if you’re after a lively and bustling experience, St. Thomas is the destination for you.

With fantastic shopping opportunities, exquisite dining experiences, and oh-so-many activities to choose from, you’ll never run out of things to do. Just don’t forget to catch your breath between adventures!

At the end of the day, what makes an island the “best” for tourists is truly subjective, as each individual has their own vision of what paradise looks like. So trust your instincts, and let the Virgin Islands work their magic on you.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the vibrant Virgin Islands archipelago is a sublime cocktail of awe-inspiring islands, featuring the US, British, and Spanish territories.

Who would’ve thought there are 90-plus islands, cays, and islets to explore, and that’s not even dipping our toes in the hundreds of awe-inspiring reefs!

Are you scribbling down your vacation bucket list or meticulously planning a sailing route already?

Before you leap into your adventurous expedition, wouldn’t you love to have a dash more insight?

How about delving deeper to distinguish the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands from one another; isn’t that a treasure hunt you’d want to embark on? Full sails ahead!