Located just northwest of Barbados, St Lucia is a possibly the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands, with its perfect white sand beaches and turquoise blue sea contrasting against its jungle-clad volcanic pinnacles.
As well as reclining and relaxing on their beautiful beaches St Lucia has a lot to offer with plenty of things to see and do. Highlights not to be missed are:
St Lucia's capital Castries. Previously named Carenage, but renamed in 1785, after the French Minister of the Navy Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, Marquis de Castries.
Castries is the island’s busiest sea port and houses nearly a third of the island’s inhabitants. The Harbour is one of the best in the Caribbean and was formed by nature when one side of a volcanic crater collapsed and the crater then flooded with water. Today it is ideal for trade and tourism alike, with cruise ships docking, fishmen bringing in their daily catches and cargo ships transporting local produce to other countries.
The city boasts a stunning mix of both French and British history and architecture. Unfortunately a lot of the original city was devastated by the Great Fire of Castries in 1948, which claimed many houses and business and left over 800 families homeless.
As well as the beautiful harbour you may wish to stop by Derek Walcott Square, situated in the heart of the city, named after Sir Derek Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. In the Square, you’ll discover a bronze bust for both Sir Derek Walcott and Sir William Arthur Lewis, who won Saint Lucia’s first Nobel Prize in 1979 for Economics. Another place to stop is the bright and colourful market of Castries, it is a great place to buy local produce, souvenirs, and do some duty-free shopping
The Pitons - Part of the UNESCO World Heritage, the Pitons are St. Lucia's biggest volcanic mountains. Formed by a volcanic eruption approximately 250,000 years ago they soar out of the sea up high into the clouds. The largest of the two ascends to approx. 800 meters high, and the smaller is not much smaller at approx. 750 meters high. As the Pitons are near impossible to climb they are most often enjoyed from a distance. You can however explore their bases if you are an experienced diver. Due to their size and scope you can get a good view of them from most spots on the island with many hotels boasting they have the best view!
Whale watching – Top of many holidayers wish lists, seize the day with a whale watching cruise and not only spot these beautiful creatures but also a wide selection of amazing and exotic Sea life.
Land and sea safaris – Mainly conducted in and around Soufriere – there is an array of wildlife to be spotted by land and sea. Prefer to be on foot then you can hike the mighty Tet Paul Nature Trail.
Sulphur Springs - aptly named for the sulphur that was previously mined here is the most vigorous geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles. Although the last major volcanic eruption in St. Lucia occurred approx. 40,000 years ago, Sulphur Springs continues to emit sulphur and heat nearby water to above boiling. A road navigates the edge of the crater making it possible to actually drive in a volcano and witness the bubbling pools and sulphur fumes.
Nearby there are some natural springs offering therapeutic benefits and the option to also partake in a mud bath.
Staying on the therapeutic route, you’ll want to take a trip to the Diamond Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls where you can once again bathe in the hot springs, be transfixed by the array of colours in the waterfalls caused by the mineral deposits and stroll around the beautiful well-maintained gardens, which contain an array of trees, plants, fruits and vegetables.
For the historian you’ll want to head to Pigeon Island National Park. One of St. Lucia's most significant historic attractions. Strategic lookouts on the island allowed the British to monitor the movements of French troops in Martinique during their struggle for control of St. Lucia. Ruins of the military buildings used during battles are still accessible by means of a causeway that connects the island to the mainland, you can walk or drive across and take in the panoramic views of St Lucia's northwest coast form the lookout points.
If you however, you prefer something a little bit more relaxed, you can relax on one of the many palm-lined beaches for example Rodney Bay. A beach lovers paradise that turns into a nightlife hotspot