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Nevis Island is the smaller of the two islands that make up the small Caribbean island nation of Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis. A former British colony, the islands became independent in 1983. They are separated by a 2-mile wide channel known as “The Narrows”.
Nevis is not very commercially developed. It is still a very quiet and relaxing island, and a lot safer than many Caribbean islands. The local people who live on Nevis Island are kind and welcoming, but Nevisians who don’t work with tourists on a regular basis tend to be shy at first. Nevis has one of the highest literacy rates in the world; education and religion are very important aspects of the islanders’ lives.
The island of Nevis is divided into five parishes:
- Saint George, Gingerland
- Saint James, Windward
- Saint John, Figtree
- Saint Paul, Charlestown
- Saint Thomas, Lowland
Nevis Island is almost round in outline, with a large dormant volcano (known as Nevis Peak) in the middle. The island divides naturally into three regions: the peak itself, which is so steep that it was never farmed, the coastal plain which rises up towards the central mountain, and hills of various sizes around the island which are the remnants of far more ancient volcanic activity.
Charlestown, the capital of Nevis, is a small, picturesque town, with a Main Street lined with Georgian stone buildings which are examples of the architectural style of the colonial era, sporting breezy balconies and wooden upper floors over a ground floor built of stone.