Saint Lucia is a destination that lifts all the senses. The island boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the Caribbean from unspoilt rainforests and idyllic bays to beautiful palm-fringed beaches and, of course, the iconic magical Piton Mountains.
Visitors can relax in one of the many spas on the island and be enveloped by the smell of essential oils while enjoying a range of treatments using traditional and local ingredients. Indulge in fresh fish and seafood at the Friday night barbecues at Anse La Raye or sample the French and Creole influenced cuisine in the fine dining restaurants across the island. Saint Lucia offers a wide array of award winning, diverse accommodation from boutique hotels and all-inclusive resorts through to spacious villas and luxury retreats.
Visitors can be as relaxed or as active as they choose with an abundance of activities to choose from including zip-lining adventures, aerial trams, bird-watching, horse-riding, snorkelling, sunset boat trips, and whale and dolphin watching. There is something for everyone in Saint Lucia whether you are travelling in a group, as a family or a couple.
Saint Lucia is easily accessible from the UK with 13 direct flights from London Gatwick operated by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and a flight from Manchester with Thomas Cook. From May 2017, visitors will also have the option to fly with TUI on recently launched direct flights to the island. For more information visit www.saintluciauk.org
Top 10 things to do
- TREK UP GROS PITON
The taller of Saint Lucia’s iconic twin peaks soars to 798m (2619 ft) above sea level and if you like highwire adventure you can hike to the summit. The ascent is steep in some parts, but otherwise isn’t too difficult for most. As you rise, the views become increasingly breathtaking – and you’ll be able to see all the way to the neighbouring island of St Vincent.
- TAKE A LONG, WARM SNUBA DIVE
Snuba is a cross between snorkelling and scuba diving. Descend 6m (20ft) unencumbered by heavy equipment, as a guide accompanies you through the reefs on a hunt for exotic marine life.
- GO ZIPLINING THROUGH THE RAINFOREST
Unleash your inner adventurer on the Adrena-Line – one of the most exciting ziplines in the Caribbean. Get hitched to a series of cables that allow you to zip from platform to platform in the tree canopy. Less athletic types can take the aerial tram, which ascends through the rainforest and offers spectacular views of gommiers, chatanniers and the unusual strangler ficus, where hummingbirds and bananaquits play.
- DRIVE INTO A VOLCANO IN SOUFRIERE
Yes, it’s true – Soufriere is home to the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. Known locally as “sulphur springs”, you can follow the road right up to and through the dormant volcanic crater, which emits steam and sulphur, as boiling mud and water bubble just a few metres away from your feet. But it’s not all rocks, pops and lava – nearby there are hot springs and mud baths blessed with health-giving properties, ready for you to dip right into.
- GO CHOCOLATECRAZY AT RABOT COCOA ESTATE
The volcanic soil and high altitude of the old Rabot Estate provide the perfect conditions in which to grow fine cacao beans. Now owned by Hotel Chocolat, it has a gorgeous setting with views of the Pitons at the front and rainforest at the back. You can tour lush cacao groves and get some hands-on chocolate-making experience before savouring a cacao-inspired menu at Boucan, the estate’s fine dining restaurant.
- GO JUNGLEBIKING IN ANSE CHASTANET
Visit the spectacular hillside resort of Anse Chastanet and book a jungle-biking tour that takes you through 12 miles of private trails. At the end you can swim and recover at the secluded beach of Anse Mamin.
- EXPLORE PIGEON ISLAND NATIONAL LANDMARK
With its colourful military past, Pigeon Island is one of Saint Lucia’s treasured historic sites. Once a separate island, this 18-ha (44-acre) reserve is now connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway.
- BECOME A TRIATHLETE FOR A DAY
It doesn’t all have to be about relaxing – the Saint Lucia triathlon takes place on 19 November, attracting fitness fanatics and keen competitors alike with courses over three different distances.
- VISIT DIAMOND FALLS BOTANICAL GARDENS
Saint Lucia is a haven for flora and fauna. At Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, one of its natural wonders, bushes and shrubs bursting with blooms nestle beneath trees and line winding trails that lead to a gorge, while water from underground springs streams downhill to meet at the Diamond waterfall.
- PARTY IN RODNEY BAY AND GROS ISLET
On any night in Rodney Bay village, you’ll find a variety of bars and restaurants that offer live music, dancing, karaoke and fantastic food. Every Friday night, the village of Gros Islet throws a street party called Jump Up, where you can feast on barbecued fish and chicken, and wash it down with local rum and beer while giant loudspeakers pump out Caribbean rhythms.