St Croix - Abbey Travel, Ireland

St Croix

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Welcome to St Croix

St Croix

Less developed than St Thomas, St Croix is the largest and most remote of the three inhabited Virgin Islands, covered in forested hills, fertile lowlands and surrounded by coral reefs with excellent diving, particularly along the north coast.

Located 40 miles (64km) south of St Thomas, the island has two main towns, Christiansted on the north east coast and Frederiksted to the west. Both prospered as commercial ports during the 18th and 19th centuries. Christiansted is a lively town offering trips to the tiny Buck Island as a popular excursion. Frederiksted is smaller and a sleepy place until the occasional cruise ship arrives for a spree of duty-free shopping. Both towns contain numerous examples of fine Danish colonial architecture. The surrounding landscape is scattered with remnants of sugar plantations, stone windmill towers and ruined houses from the island's commercial heyday in the sugarcane industry. Whim Greathouse is an impressive planter's mansion, restored to reflect its glory days in the 1700s, and is one of the main historical sights on St Croix. Rum production was another of the island's primary industries and visitors can visit the Cruzan Rum Distillery for guided tours and free tastings. The Heritage Trail is a self-guided trip that links the main sights of interest on the island.

Along with its picturesque beaches and superb diving, St Croix has a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including hiking, historic sights and attractions, golf and horse riding. There are fine hotels, excellent dining and casinos.

Information & Facts


St Croix enjoys a year round sunny climate with little variation in temperature. Average daily temperatures range from 77ºF (25ºC) in the winter to 82ºF (28ºC) in the summer. Overnight lows average around 72ºF (22ºC) and 78ºF (26ºC) in the summer.

English is the official language. Spanish, Creole and some French are also spoken.

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD) divided into 100 cents. Most credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Diners Club Mastercard and Visa, and are useful for withdrawing cash at ATMs. Travellers cheques are widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants provided they are in US Dollars. Foreign exchange bureaux are available to exchange other currencies, but it is best to arrive with US Dollars as many banks and hotels will not exchange foreign currency.

GMT -4.

A few miles off the north eastern shore of St Croix lies the tiny paradise of Buck Island, one of the best excursions in the Virgin Islands. The entire island and its surrounding coral reefs is a protected nature reserve and includes a beautiful beach, an incredible coral marine garden, and two major underwater snorkelling trails with signs that introduce snorkellers to the types of coral and its sea life. Turtle Bay Trail and East End Trail together have become one of the most popular attractions in the US Virgin Islands. There is also some excellent diving off Buck Island Reef.

One of the prettiest towns in the Caribbean, Christiansted has a perfect harbour setting and is the capital of St Croix. Dominating the waterfront is the large yellow building, Fort Christiansvaern, built in 1774 to protect the town's harbour against pirates during its days as capital of the Danish colony when it served as an important trading centre for sugar and rum. Much of the original Danish colonial architecture remains, including the Old Custom House, government buildings and the atmospheric wharf area lined with pastel-coloured warehouses. Original Danish streets signs survive among modern enterprises like tourist shops, courtyard restaurants and a spirited bar scene on the waterfront. There are plenty of beach activities nearby and a popular excursion is to Buck Island, offering superb beaches and coral reefs.

St Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures (see the pun on SCUBA?), operated by Ed and Molly Buckley, has been called 'the friendliest dive shop on earth' - and offers a fantastic opportunity to anyone who wishes to become a fully-certified diver while on holiday in the Virgin Islands. While experienced divers will find their every need catered for (try the night dives!), the real beauty of the Buckley's operation is the ease with which complete novices - under the expert guidance of highly-qualified dive staff - can obtain their PADI Open Water Diver certification. Over and above experiencing the beautiful underwater sights of the Caribbean Sea, thanks to St Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, visitors to the island will also leave with a skill that they'll cherish for the rest of their lives.

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