Around St Lucia

 

Cap Estate is the Northern most tip of the island where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.  It is an affluent area with upmarket houses and an array of luxury Hotels. From the hilltops you can enjoy uninterupted views acrosss Rosdney Bay and out to Martinique.

The attractions include The Altantic beaches of Cas En Bas, Five Dollar Beach and for those with a 4WD vehicle Secret Beach.  It is also home to The St Lucia Golf Club, The National Tennis Centre and for Cricket Fans it is also the home of the famous Beausejour Crisket Ground which regularly holds International matches.

 

Pigeon Island is a national landmark and designated  as St Lucia National Park.  It is a great place to relax or wander amoungst the military ruins, which clearly illistrate St Lucia's colourful history.  The walk up to Fort Rodney and Signal Hill are a must for the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

For the less energetic you can enjoy a swim on one of the beautiful golden sand beaches, or lunch at Jambe de Bois, a rustic waterfront restaurant, famous for it's roti, which was named after the French pirate Francois Le Clerc, who based himself on Pigeon Island to attack passing Spanish Ships for their treasure.

During May Pigeon Idsland is home to the Internationally renoun St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival which now incldes not only jazz but Fashion, Poetry, Art and Theatre, as well as many different typres of music..

 

Gros Islet  is the most northerly of the fishing villages and still flourishes to this day.  It is interesting to visit to see the colourful wooden Caribbean homes.  The Catholic Church is also worth a visit to see it's Caribbean style interior.

Every Friday night it is home to the famous 'Jump Up', a vast Street party where local people and visitors get together to party and celebrate the weekend!  BBQ and drink stalls are set up all along the main street serving an array of food including steamed fish, BBQ Pork & Chicken or Lambi (Conch) with all the trimmings.  The music, partying and dancing goes on until the early hours.  A great way to experience a slice of St Lucian lifestyle.

 

Rodney Bay  is the main tourist developement for the island, with 2 large Shopping Malls and a fine array of bars, restaurants and hotels all leading down to Reduit Beach.  It's central location and fine golden sand make it the most popular beach on St Lucia.

It is also home to the Treasure Bay Casino the only Casino on St Lucia.

 

Castries  is the capital of the island as well as being the commercial & governmental centre for the island.  Over 1/3 of the population of the island live in Castries.

Although much of the town was destroyed by fire in 1948 there are still a number of landmarks to visit including Derek Walcott Square which was dedicated to St Lucia's Nobel Laureate, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, & The Catherdral of the Immaculate Conception noted for the brightly coloured frescos covering the walls.

Castries is also home to Craft Market as well as a lively, bustling food market recently voted the 3rd Best Food Market in the World & a must for every foodie.  There are also 2 large Duty Free Shopping Malls at La Place Carenage & Pointe Seraphine, which cater to the hundreds to cruise ships that dock in St Lucia every year.

While in Castries it is well worth visiting La Toc Battery & The Mourne Fortune View Point for stunning views out over the city.

 

Marigot Bay lies on the West Coast of the Island just south of Castries.  Often called the 'Most Beautiful Bay in the Caribbean' it has been used as the location for a number of films including the famous original 1967 version of Dr Dolittle starring Rex Harrison.

Marigot Bay can be reached by both land & sea & is a mecca for the yachting fraternity.

 

 

Anse La Raye .  Travelling further South along the West coast lies the fishing village of Anse La Raye.  As you travel through the town the wooden houses are full of caribbean character, & the people going about their daily business gives a great insight into the Lucian way of life.

Anse La Raye is also home to the Friday Night Fish Fry.  Another great opportunity to enjoy a slice of St Lucian culture.

 

 

Canaries.  Leaving Anse La Raye & travelling south is Anse Cochon renoun for it's snorkelling & diving & Anse Le Verdure, where yu will find Plas Kassav, a little bakery which sells  Cassava Bread a speciality of St Lucia.

Cpntinuing on you reach Caaries another quaint fishing village full of colourful Caribbean houses & fishing  boats pulled up onto the beach.

 

 

Soufriere.  Our next stop is Soufriere, the oldest town in St Lucia & the orignal caoital of the island.  The name iterally means 'Sulphur in the Air' & a Strong smell of sulphur hangs over the town from the nearby Sulphur Springs, Drive-In Volcano & Mud Baths.

Soufriere is most famous for the UNESCO World Heritage site, The Pitons.  You cannot fail to be captivated by the beauty of Gros & Petit Piton the 2 volcanic spires that rise majestically from the sea to a height of 2619ft (786m) & 2461ft (739m) respectively.  The more adventurous can book trips to climb Gros Piton.

Also situated out-side the town are the Diamond Falls & Gardens.  Whle it is no longer possible to bathein the falls it is still worth a visit to enjoy their natural beauty.  For anyone wishing to bathe in the waterfall the Toraille Falls are close by as are the Piton Falls & The Jerusalem Baths, 3 pools naturally heated to differeing temeratures.

This area is also home to several plantations.  Fond Doux is a Cocoa plantation vusited in 2008 by Pronce Charles & Camilla on their trip to the Caribbean.  The Rabot Estate is home to the world famous Hotel Chocolat & The Bouchan Restaurant.  

 

Choiseul & Laborie are two small villages in the south of the island.  They are both very pictuesque with ba strong Creole heritage, with the Kweyol language being spoken widely in this area of the island.  The town of Choisel was first established in  1765 when the sugar, coffee & cocoa plantations were it's main industries.  Today it is famous for it's crafts such as bamboo & wood carving, dolls, traditional coal pots & woven baskets etc.

The first sttlers to Laborie were French.  Originally a fishing village, a reef protects the beach & makes for a calm anchoarge for passing yachts.  Close to Laborie is the 75 acre Balenbouche Estate. A historic estate housing a Plantation House & Sugar Mill.

 

Vieux- Fort is the home of Hewanorra International Airport, a commercial centre & the 2nd largest port on the island.  Close to the town on the most southerly tip of the island is Moule a Chique lighthouse.  It has amazing views along tge East & West coasts of the island & across to St Vincent.

Just below is the beautiful beach of Anse de Sables & beyond that Maria Islands.  The Maria Island were declared a nature reserve in 1982 & are managed by the St Lucia National Trust.  They are a nesting site for migratory birds, have over 80 different species of plant & are home to 5 endemic species of repile including the worlds rarest snake the Kouwes or St Lucia Racer.

 

Dennery  On leaving Vieux-Fort & travelling north along the east coast we arrive at Mamiku Botanical Gardens & the beautiful Latille Falls.  This is also where you will find the Errand Falls, & just to the south of Dennery is the look out where you can enjoy fabulous views over the town & Atlantic Ocean.  This for many is their first view of St Lucia as they make their way from the airport to their hotels in the north.

Continuing on we arrive at the fishing village of Dennery with it's purpose built harbour to protect the fishing boats from the strong Atlantic currents.  They too have a weekly fish fry called the 'Seafood Fiesta', it is very similar to those in Gros Islet & Anse Le Raye but it is held on a Saturday.  Finally no stop at Dennery is complete without a stop at the traditional St Lucian bakery which sells the most fantastic Creole bread a delicacy for all bread lovers!!

 

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