Destined to the Caribbean, holiday in St Lucia

versione italiana english version
 
home photogallery map AIRLINE TICKETS guest book

What's St Lucia like?

 

Getting to and around

 

Useful information

 

Where to stay

 

Restaurants and locals

 

Activities and sports

 
 

Printable guide

 

Links

 
 
 
 

Saint Lucia - Pitons

 

Saint Lucia - atlantic coast

 

Saint Lucia - Soufrière

 

Saint Lucia - tropical forest

 

Saint Lucia - Marigot Bay

 

 

WHAT'S ST LUCIA LIKE

 
Beaches and Seaside

 

A volcanic island like all the islands on the arch of the small Antilles, St Lucia has both black and white sands. Most of the white sand beaches are concentrated on the Caribbean coast to the north of Castries, between Vigie and Gros Islet, but you mustn’t miss more to the south in the Soufriere region, the most spectacular creeks set around a small bay encircled by palm trees set in the rigorous emerald scenery of the tropics.


 beach saint lucia

From Castries to Pigeon Island

The beach at Vigie, or Rendez-vous beach, (From the name of the resort which is there,) next to the regional airport of Vigie, is a long white sanded beach. Choc Bay beach, is also the name of the restaurant bar on the wharf next to the beach, is pretty and calm. Marisula beach, is a tranquil beach mostly frequented by local families. Reduit beach is a long beach in the zone of Rodney bay next to the hotels and resorts, is equipped with deckchairs etc., the waters are crystal blue which makes it perfect for water sports. Causeway beach is another long beach which stretches from Gros Islet to Pigeon Island. Around the natural park on Pigeon island there is a further two beaches, mostly frequented by tourists.

 

reduit beach st lucia

 

reduit beach st lucia

 

cuti cove st lucia

 

cause way beach st lucia

 

gros ilets beach saint lucia

 

vigie beach st lucia

 

vigie beach st lucia

 

smuggiers cove beach st lucia

 

From Castries to Vieux Fort

Marigot bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean is a series of sands and palms which you can be taken around by taxi boat. Anse Cohon, is a beautiful black sanded beach at the Ti Kaye Village hotel, 10 mins from the main road, is a great place to snorkel. Anse Chastanet, just before you get to Soufriere, is also ideal for snorkeling, but unfortunately taken up a Hotel. By taxi boat you can also get to Anse Mamin a picturesque beach encircled by palms, often chosen by wedding parties. Malgretoute beach and Jalousie beach, (Anse des Pitons,) are both beautiful tropical beaches located under the Pitons. You can get to them from the road through the hotel Jalousie Plantation.

 

marigot beach saint lucia

 

anse chastanet st lucia

 

anse cochon saint lucia

 

anse cochon saint lucia

 

anse malgretoute st lucia

 

In Choiseul you can move from the beautiful black sanded beach of Sab Wee Sha beach park to an emerald green zone behind, often frequented by local families. Laborie, is at the entry of the region coming in from the North is a beautiful white sanded beach. Sandy beach in Vieux Fort is a long windy beach adapt for surf and kite surf.

 

laborie beach saint lucia

 

sandy beach st lucia

 

The beaches on the Atlantic coast

Mostly isolated wild beaches only accessible by 4x4. Cas en Bas is reachable from Gros Islet, it is a wild windy beach, adapt again for surf and kite surf. Grande Anse is reachable from the village of Desbarras and is a long white sanded beach, where you can spot marine turtles, iguanas and many different birds species.

 

atlantic coast beaches saint lucia

 

 

 

Emerald forests of St Lucia

 

 St Lucia is attractively covered by a valley of tropical green forests all encasing cascading waterfalls.

 

forests and waterfall st lucia

 

The humid forests cover 10% of the surface of the island of St Lucia many of which are nominated protected natural parks. St Lucia houses a wide variety of tropical flora and fauna. Among the animals present in St Lucia don’t forget the St Lucian parrot an endemic and protected species, the boa constrictor, the Fer de Lance viper, many species of frog, iguanas and lizards, mongoose and agoutis. On the nature reserve of frigate island on the Atlantic coast in the region of Dennery, it homes many different listed species, comprising of some endemic birds and many different types of herons. Maria island nature reserve, in front of Sandy beach in Vieux Fort, is the only known habitat for the rare St Lucian racer snake and home to the Zandoli lizard unique to the island, as well as numerous species of birds.

 

maria island st lucia

 

There are many different trekking circuits to discover these marvelous places, but a guide is always recommendable.

 

nature st lucia

 

The geological formation of St Lucia makes it attractive for volcanic activities, ever present over all in the Soufriere region, the last volcanic eruption on the island was in 1766.

 

sulphur springs saint lucia

 

A place you must visit is the sulfuric springs, waterfalls and gardens around the area of Soufriere, where you can take a bath in its 40 degree waters, whilst taking in the tropical emerald forests which surround this site.

 

piton waterfall st lucia

 

For nature lovers and passionate botanists, we would like to point out Roger Graveson's site. Co owner of the Panache guest house and expert on St Lucia’s plants and fauna.

  saintlucianplants.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geography and landscapes

 

geagraphy saint lucia

 

The island of St Lucia is part of the small Antilles, between 60 and 61 longitude west and 13 and 14 latitude north, and about 30 km south from the French island of Martinique and 25km north of the island of St Vincent. Its coasts touch both the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea. St Lucia is in the form of a tear-drop and stretches over 43 km long and 23km wide, for a total surface area 619km.

 

A volcanic island, St Lucia is a mountainous island with valleys rich with tropical forests, which slope down towards the sea giving way to space for banana and sugercane plantations.

 

The highest point is Mont Gimie at 959m, but the characteristic panorama of St Lucia is the pitons, two spectacular volcanic cones, Petit Pitons and Gros Piton respectively high 750m and 790m, they have become the symbol of St Lucia and listed by UNESCO as a human heritage site.

 

pitons saint lucia

 

The northern end of the island is less mountainous and has a dryer climate. It homes the major part of the large hotels and containing the route from Castries to Gros Islet, has become the main commercial area, stretching beyond the capital and the surrounding hills. Along the west Caribbean coast is the main residential area and it here that most of the best beaches are

 

panorama north st lucia

 

The east Atlantic coast, is less populated, there are not so many beaches and the waters are often hostile; the north eastern part of St Lucia has no road connections to the central part of the island.

 

 

 

PLACES TO VISIT

in Saint Lucia:

 

click here

 

A Little bit of history

 

storia st lucia

 

The first natives to the island where of Amerindian origin, first the Arawak’s, who settled on the island between 1000 and 500 b.c., overrun after by the Caribs Kalinago around 800 b.c. The name of the island was Iouanalao or Hewanorra, which means the island of iguanas. St Lucia was never discovered by Christopher Columbus, they say that his Spanish campaign Juan De La Cosa settled for a while in 1500, but the discovery of the island is still a point of controversy. The first Europeans on the island where French and where led by Francois le Clerc, known as Jambe de Bois (Peg leg) a pirate who around 1550 settled on Pigeon island to be able to attack the Spanish fleets.

 

pigeon island st lucia

 

The English arrived on the island the first time in 1605, then again in 1638 but where defeated by the Caribs. The French then tried to settle they tried to negotiate with the local population. In 1746 they founded the city of Soufriere. The island then became a contest between the French and English changing hands some 14 15 times between the 17th and 18th century. In 1778 the British founded the naval base of Gros Islet and fortified Pigeon island, starting a series of attacks on the French, which ended in a English victory in the famous battle of Les Saintes in 1782. In 1794 St Lucia’s brigands war eliminated the island of French and freed the slaves. The freed slaves revolted against the English, and it turned out to be the longest battle which happened on the island and resulted in 6000 dead amongst the local population. Again this was followed by different changes of hand until finally in 1814 the British took final possession of the island with the Paris agreement. St Lucia became autonomous in 1967 and became part of the British Commonwealth on the 22nd February 1979.

 

 
Visit St.Lucia

 

panorama morne fortune castries st luciaCastries is the capital of St Lucia, a typical Caribbean town, protected on one side by the bay, which today homes at least two cruise ships a day, and on the other side by the fort, which today houses the civil offices. The fort sits on top of the mount of Fortune, 852m high, from which you can enjoy a magnificent view over the city and the port. Unfortunately the historic antique part of the town of Castries, (Founded in 18th century by the French,) only a small part survived the fires of 785, 1812 and 1948. The town has grown up around these few principle streets, giving life to many new renovations and the quartier has developed in a disorderly manner. Today in the antique part of the town you can admire the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception built in 1897; an interesting architectural piece, influenced by Antillean and African architectural styles. You can also visit the public library built in a Victorian style. The central market, particularly Saturday morning is interesting to visit.

 

North of Castries

rodney bay marina st lucia Rodney Bay is by excellence the main touristic area; it houses the international marina of St Lucia which goes by the same name. Along the beach of Reduit is concentrated the major part of the hotels in St Lucia, with the years Rodney Bay has become renowned for its restaurants and night life.
rodney bay by nightGros Islet is a fishing area on the Caribbean coast and has become famous for its Jump Up party every Friday night. It is a typical Caribbean village; it offers several small eateries, bars and economic places to stay.

 

Pigeon Island National Park. The history of the island goes back to 1550; when the French pirate nicknamed Peg Leg made his base there in order to be able to attack the Spanish galleons on their way through the small Antilles. Two century’s latter the English built a fort on the island in order to pigeon island st luciacontrol the passage of the French ships in the Antilles. It was from here that admiral Rodney in 1782 launched a campaign starting in Fort Royal in Martinique (today Fort de France) defeating the uniting French and Spanish fleets which plane to attack Jamaica. After the two day campaign the enemy fleet met off the coast of Les Saintes giving life to one of the most celebrated navel battles. Cessation of hostilities by the French –English the fort was abandoned during the 2nd world war.

Cap Estate - St LuciaIt was transformed into a Radio Control base for the Americans. Today Pigeon island connected by a dam, built in 1970, is now a national park, where you can admire the antique military ruins and buildings, one of which homes a museum which traces the historical dates of St Lucia. The fortified mount dominates the bay of Gros Islet, with a breathtaking view over the Caribbean coast of St Lucia until the Pitons; with Martinique right in front view. The park also homes a bar, restaurant and two white sanded equipped beaches, which are often frequented by cruise ship passengers.

Cap Estate, the part furthest towards the meridian on the island, is the main residential area for the town, it also homes the odd hotel & the golf resort.

 

South of Castries

Leave the suburbs of Castries, head south and mother nature reclaims here space, the region is mountainous and the pluvial forests dominate the small fishing villages where the rhythm of life is ruled by fishing and Friday night.

marigot bay saint luciaMarigot Bay, described by the English writer James Michener as the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean, has been throughout the ages the center of terrible events. For years a hideaway for pirates and in the 18th century location for battles between the French and English, during the second world war became a hideout for Nazi U boats. During the last few years however, due to the natural beauty of the bay has developed into an impressionable touristic area, other than the development of several luxury hotels, it has also given rise to a series of bars and restaurants around the marina, housing an apartment complex with a spa. The marina has become almost obligatory for yachts and sailing cruises. Its beauty has made it the choice location for many film sets, as in Doctor Doolittle and Water and Fire power with Sophia Loren.

anse la raye st luciaAnse la Raye is a characteristic fishing village which has conserved its Caribbean atmosphere, it is still the center of black magic, l’obeah, similar to voodoo, still survives the advances of modern times, the obeah man, are respected and feared. Characteristic street parties on Friday night and fish fry’s are typical. In the small bay nearby there has spouted many different types of resorts and hotels, oases of protected vegetation in lush tropical forests which descend towards the coastline. Canaries is a small village on the Caribbean coast, just like Anse la Raye is an area frequented by fishermen.

soufriere st luciaSoufrière, founded in 1746 and founded by the French is a lively town built around a beautiful bay dominated by the Pitons and takes its name from the sulphuric springs which the area is rich with. It keeps a pleasant Caribbean atmosphere and a starting point for many an excursion. The sulphuric springs the only volcano accessible by car in the world was called by the Carribs Qualibou and is an area rich in mysteries and superstitions. During the periods of strong thermic volcanic activity young virgins where sacrificed to calm the rage of god. Before the Caribs in 200 b.c. the Arawaks believed that the well of boiling lava was the home to the fire god Yokahu. The Diamond Botanical Gardens with its mineral bath, the Toraille waterfall encircled by tropical gardens and the Piton waterfall with its sulphuric waters are some of the places which merit a visit and why not a delightful bath in restoring waters. Thanks to the spectacular beauty of the zone many luxury resorts have grown up around the zone of Soufriere but you can also find more economic options.

choiseul st luciaChoiseul, once callled the bay of limes was named in 1763 by the French after the Duke of Choiseul a minister for Louis 15th, is a fishing village on the coast line painted a lively blue with a small fish market. Just a little north of Choiseul there is a beautiful black sanded beach frequented often by tourists. In Choiseul there is an arts and crafts center.

Laborie just like Choiseul is far away from tourism. It is a lively fishing village typical for its laborie st luciasmall wooden huts and typical verandas in Gingerbread style and on the Caribbean coast and with its volcanic beaches to the extreme north of the region.

Vieux Fort. Leaving Soufriere behind you the passage changes radically, from the steep mountains and profound valleys you pass through soft rolling hills towards a big plain in the extreme south of St Lucia, where the Carribean sea and the Atlantic ocean and where you find Vieux Fort. This small town, gets its name from a fort built in 1654 by the Dutch has nothing by the way of interesting touristic points. The lighthouse vieux fort st luciasecond commercial port on the island it is home to the International airport of Hewanorra. In the east of the town you find Sandy beach, bath in the Atlantic ocean ideal for windsurf and kitesurf.
The island of Maria is a nature reserve which homes the unique species of lizard the Zandoli, which remains in only a hundred or so specimens of its kind. There are also several rare serpents between which you find the Kouwees. A breathtaking view point is the lighthouse Moule à Chique (223m) which dominates the island of Maria and the island of St Vincent in the south, therefore letting you enjoy the panorama of the Caribbean and Atlantic coast. There is several accommodation options from luxury hotels on the beach to more economic hotels in the area.

atlantic coast st luciaThe oriental coast

From Vieux Fort the road carries on passing through the fishing villages of Micoud and Dennery, the countryside along this coast is dryer and you can stop inn panoramic bays along the Atlantic coast. To note Frigate island Nature reserve, which is home to many different species of heron, boa constrictor and the viper fer-de-lance. There is several different hiking, trekking tours, 4x4 circuits and adventure parks you can take part in in the area. From Dennery the road heads back towards the center of the island, back through the mountains and lush forests leading back to Castries, in total 1h30 min from Vieux Fort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Lucia, an Independent state


flag st Lucia

 

In 1979 St Lucia became an independent state, formed by a democratic parliamentary government based on a model of the British system and part of the Commonwealth.

 

 

Economy

 

economy st lucia
 

Tourism is the principal source of income for the island, foreign investments and touristic structures are in rapid expansion. Agriculture is the second main activity on the island. The largest exports are bananas, coconut and cacao.

 

 

Culture and Population


culture saint lucia
 

St Lucia has a population of 160 000 inhabitants, like most of the other Caribbean islands the population is the result of different ethnic routes with the predominance of African origin. The official language is English, but Creole from French origin is widely used amongst the locals. The principal religion is Catholic at 70%, with a smaller Adventist, Anglican, and 7th day Adventists, percent. The numerous Rasta’s on the island are Rastafarians. We can find Creole heritage in many aspects of everyday life, encompassing the serenity and want to party in the weekend (Jump up, fish fry etc.) In October they have Creole day, an appointment which celebrates Creole culture and is celebrated on the last Saturday of the month. Locals dress in Madras, eat typical Creole dishes and craft local traditional arts, celebrating the traditions in forefront.


 

St Lucia Jazz festival


Since 1992 this world renowned jazz event in May is unmissable not only for the passionate. The St Lucia Jazz festival has become a world renowned musical event. From the 30th of April to the 11th of May 2014, is a nonstop concert, which stretch over day and night and showcase internationally famous artists.


 

Shopping and Duty Free


duty free saint lucia
 

The duty free area of Seraphine is considered the best duty free area in the Caribbean. You can find other duty free areas on the island too, Carenage Place in Castries and at the departures of Hewanorra international airport. You can buy jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics, liquors, cigarettes, cigars, presents and local crafts.

 

shopping duty free st lucia

 

In Castries central market , you can find different local craft items, woodcraft, ceramics, baskets and natural fiber objects. In Choiseuil there is a reputed local crafts center.

 

castries market st lucia


 

The Barber Shop

 

A long standing tradition all over the Caribbean Islands is the barber shop you will find Carribean men go frequently about once a week, to have an traditional style 'cut throat razor,' cut, neaten up their hair, tidy up other facial hair or have a beard design. The barber shop also serves as a meeting point to chat, discuss sport and catch up on local news.

Some salons are unisex and the ladies section will offer eyebrows, hair styles, wash & blow drys and some shops offer nail extensions. The prices are very reasonable, but be prepared to wait your turn. Profit on the wait and join in with the gossip.

 

Brothers International Barber Shop

Gros Islet - St Lucia

Tel: 713-5508 or 715-3391

facebook page

 

 

 

Local guides

 

Local guides for touristic services for the island, such as; Taxi's, airport transfers, evening outings, shopping trips, excursions.
 

StLucia Tour
Tel (001-758) 7171882 / 7158577

 

Smally's Island Tours
Marigot Bay
Tel (001-758) 4843618 / 4514406

 

King Nigel
Soufrière
Tel (001-758) 7200178