Holidays to Saint Lucia have so much more to offer than near-perfect beaches and first class holiday resorts -although you’ll certainly find some of the best in the world here. The island itself is a true natural wonder, from its UNESCO listed World Heritage Piton Mountains to the abundance of underwater marine life and lush tropical rainforests. This, combined with the charming French Creole character of the islanders, makes it one of the most beautiful and lively places to visit in the Caribbean.
Don’t miss ‘Seafood Fridays’ at Anse La Raye. This family friendly night out is the Saint Lucian version of the Caribbean fish fry, and the focus is well and truly on great food and a lively atmosphere. Grab a place at one of the communal tables and watch as the locals cooklobster, conch, shrimp, crab cakes and fish stew at kiosks lining the street. After the food, the party gets going with music and plenty of rum. Another one to try is the ‘Jump Up’ street party at Gros Islet, also on a Friday.
A great place to visit on your Saint Lucia holiday is the colourful Castries Market, open Monday to Saturday, where you’ll see local produce being sold by characterful stallholders. It’s a great place to pick up gifts for those at home, including the island’s aromatic spices, fiery hot sauces or natural medicinal remedies. For those in search of local handicrafts, look out for the beautiful wooden sculptures carved from the island’s rainforest, and silk screen or batik prints for which the island is famous.
The sulphur springs, dubbed ‘The World’s only drive in volcano’ is another must-see. This natural wonder is in fact an open volcano or caldera, and from inside you’ll see its hot pools bubbling sulphurous steam into the atmosphere. As well as giving a glimpse of the island’s volcanic beginnings, these mineral waters are said to have natural rejuvenating and healing properties. From here, it’s also easy to get to Saint Lucia’s stunning Diamond Botanical Gardens, with their splendid displays of exotic foliage and fauna. Said to be the holiday destination of choice for Empress Josephine Bonaparte, the centrepiece is the tranquil waterfall.
For escapism, romance and a pure luxury holiday, you can’t beat Soufriere. The stunning beachfront location overlooks Saint Lucia’s most famous natural landmark, the Piton Mountains, and is encircled by lush rainforest. Rodney Bay, in the north west of the island is another excellent base, with its nightlife, restaurants and 5 star holiday facilities. The lively marina was originally a bay treasured by pirates in the early 1700’s, and is now home to a great selection of eateries offering all types of local and international cuisine, perfect for couples and families alike.
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