© Saint Lucia Tourist Board
Much coveted by French and British colonialists for its lush tropical climate and fertile lands, it is St Lucia’s dramatic scenery, abundant wildlife and idyllic beaches that today’s visitors find completely irresistible. All along the island’s west coast you’ll find tranquil bays and long stretches of soft sand to sink your toes into while inland there are superb hiking and biking trails through lush jungle and rainforest. In the southwest, the famous Piton mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rising majestically from pristine waters that are teeming with sea life and a joy to discover in person. With your relaxing holiday villa as a base, you can choose to explore the island’s natural riches at a gentle, unhurried pace.View villas in St. Lucia
From the coral gardens beneath the waves to the top of the Pitons’ iconic peaks, incredible landscapes open up a world of possibilities. Here in St. Lucia villas scatter the choicest resorts, so you’ll be perfectly placed to enjoy all that this captivating island has to offer. Learn more about St. Lucia
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Such a picturesque island as St Lucia deserves to be admired from the water at every available opportunity. There are numerous operators offering catamaran cruises, snorkelling tours, sunset sailing, deep sea fishing and whale watching excursions - seeing the iconic Pitons from the sea at sunset will surely be one of the highlights of your visit. While it’s possible to hike up Gros Piton, it’s a fairly strenuous challenge; a less demanding option is to walk the Tet Paul Nature Trail near Soufriere. A local guide will accompany you, pointing out the wonderful flora and fauna en route and there are magnificent views of the Pitons and the coastline.
One of the most popular excursions is the Treetop Adventure Park at Dennery, with no fewer than 12 thrilling zip wires to send you whizzing through the rainforest. There’s also a mini course for younger children and you can combine the trip with a rainforest hike or mountain biking adventure.
Families and the young at heart will love Splash Island Water Park, a giant floating obstacle course located off the shore at Reduit Beach – exhausting but fun!
A chilled cocktail while admiring a dramatic sunset, a mouth-watering dinner in an open air restaurant, a little live music or a stroll along the beach under the stars… for many visitors, this is the perfect evening in St Lucia. Restaurants are of a high standard and the cocktail list extends way beyond rum. Musical entertainment can vary from jazz to reggae, creole to soul. There are plenty of friendly bars around should you feel like being a little more sociable and the islanders are only too pleased for you to join them for a Piton beer, dancing or even a karaoke session.
Rodney Bay Village is one of the livelier areas with a number of hip clubs playing dance music into the early hours. The Friday night Jump Up is a must – it’s a weekly street party in Gros Islet with Caribbean music, street entertainers and delicious barbecued fish and chicken served from street stalls. Anse La Raye’s Seafood Friday is a similar, more low-key version with succulent lobster, shrimp and octopus stew on offer along the seafront.
As elsewhere in the Caribbean, duty free shops are a large part of the retail offering, with Castries no exception. There are a number of such outlets in Pointe Seraphine, close to the cruise ship terminal, where you can pick up luxury goods such as international designer watches, perfume, jewellery and cosmetics. Castries also has a couple of malls with a variety of shops and art galleries selling the work of local artists. If you want to try your hand at cooking up a tasty Caribbean dish of your own back at your holiday villa, there’s a variety of hot, spicy local sauces to experiment with, as well as the more unusual banana ketchup. Pick up some of the fabulous fresh produce available at Castries’ fruit and vegetable market – coconuts, plantains, breadfruit and limes to name but a few. The craft market alongside is also worth a visit for reasonably prices souvenirs.
St Lucia’s clothes boutiques have some good quality cotton and beach-style garments on offer as well as traditional batik and basketware, wood carvings and pottery.
St Lucia’s breathtakingly beautiful beaches are open to all and are undoubtedly the island’s most enticing feature. The volcanic nature of the island has created variations in the tone of the sand and the vegetation along each stretch of coast, though all are blessed with warm, multi-hued turquoise waters and a lush, velvety-green backdrop of hills and mountains.The west coast beaches are sheltered from the Atlantic winds and are where most of the resorts are located. In the north, Pigeon Island National Park occupies the north tip of Rodney Bay, a deep cove with some of the island’s favourite beaches: Pigeon Island and Reduit. The park is a lovely place for a leisurely picnic while the southern end of Reduit Beach has a party atmosphere at the weekend with locals and visitors alike enjoying the sun, often with live music.
Reached by boat or water taxi from your resort, the dark sand beach of Anse Cochon is set on an immaculate bay that’s ideal for snorkelling as the reef begins quite close to the beach. Anse Chastanet, just north of Soufriere, is possibly the best place on the island for snorkelling and scuba diving. It’s also extremely pretty, with steep, jungle-clad hillsides, tall palm trees and rustic parasols arranged along the silver grey sands.
Whether you take part or simply admire the impressive antics of the experts, the breezy Cas En Bas beach on the northeast coast is very popular with kite-surfers and windsurfers and is shielded by an offshore reef.
Grand Anse on the east coast is the island’s primary nesting spot for endangered leather back turtles. If you’re visiting between March and August you can take part in organised overnight camps on the beach to watch the huge turtles laying their eggs - a magical experience.
For a true taste of St Lucia, visit the colourful food markets at Castries. You’ll find a bewildering range of exotic, locally sourced fruit, vegetables, seafood and spices on offer, as well as a bustling atmosphere and a warm welcome from the traders.
Chocoholics will be delighted to discover a resurgence in St Lucia’s cocoa plantations as demand grows for more refined chocolate in the overseas markets. The Rabot Estate near Soufriere offers tours and a demonstration of the whole chocolate-making process from bean to bar, or visit the Emerald Estate at Anse Chastanet for sensory tasting and truffle-making.
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