St Lucia is a Caribbean island, and like all Caribbean islands it is famous for its beaches. However, St Lucia is also one of the best islands for nature – with its forested interior, volcanoes and coral reefs.
The island also has an interesting history – it has changed hands between the British and French 14 times in total.
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St Lucia is an island of two halves. In the North of St Lucia you will find scenery that you traditionally associated with the Caribbean – golden sandy beaches surrounded by green hills, whilst in the south, the landscape is more rugged and the beaches have darker, volcanic sand. Most of the beach resorts are in the north-west, with a few more isolated resorts in the south-west.
North St Lucia
The north of St Lucia is the lively part of the island and is generally chosen by families and people who want some nightlife. The resorts in the north are near to the capital city Castries and the lively town of Rodney Bay.
Reduit Beach is the most popular beach on St Lucia and also the longest. There are several resorts along the beach and the safe swimming conditions make it ideal for families.
Nearby is the town of Gros Islet, which has lots of bars and lively restaurants, so if you are looking for some nightlife then Reduit Beach is a good option for your holiday.
The beach is good for watersports, including sailing, kayaking and waterskiing/wakeboarding. There are also good sites for diving and snorkelling nearby.
Other Beaches in Northern St Lucia
Many of the other beaches in Northern St Lucia are smaller than Reduit and have a single hotel, giving the impression of a private beach (although all beaches are public). If you are looking for a beach holiday with lots of activities the BodyHoliday Resort is a great option.
South St Lucia
The south of St Lucia is dominated by the Pitons volcanoes, and the volcanic activity has led to the beaches being darker than in the north. The area is less lively and resorts tend to be quieter and more exclusive. This part of the island is generally favoured by couples (especially those on their honeymoon) and people looking for a tranquil setting.
The beaches are small and only have a single hotel on them.
Anse Cochon is a very quiet beach in the south west of the island. The area is ideal for snorkelling as there is a reef very close to the shore. Ti Kaye Hotel is the only accommodation on the beach, but it rents out sun-loungers and snorkelling equipment to people not staying at the hotel.
Anse Chastanet hosts a hotel of the same name. The beach is one of the best spots for snorkelling, and the dive shop attached to the hotel can arrange diving trips.
The forest slopes steeply down to the beach and there is great mountain biking available in the hills behind that can be arranged from the hotel.
Anse Des Pitons
The exception to the darker volcanic sands in the south is the Anse des Pitons beach, which has white sand that has been imported. The very exclusive Sugar Beach Hotel is located on this beach.
Things to Do in St Lucia
Beaches are the main draw of the island, but if you want a break from sunbathing there is plenty to do.
The Pitons are two volcanoes at the south west of the island. Petit Piton is 743m high, and Gros Piton is 770m. The slopes of the volcanoes are covered in forest, and trekking is a popular option if want to do something active.
Soufriere is the closest town to the Pitons and has retained its French architecture, making it an interesting place to stop off at before or after visiting the Volcanoes.
Castries is the capital of St Lucia, and whilst it has limited interesting sites, the lively market is worth visiting if you have time.
Gros Islet is a town in the north of the Island near Reduit Beach. The town has lots of lively bars and nightclubs. On Friday there is a street party in the town, so if you are looking for some nightlife or live music Gros Islet is the place to go.
As with anywhere in the Caribbean boat trips are very popular with tourists. Whether you want to do a speedboat tour of the island or a sunset cruise on a catamaran, boat trips are very easy to arrange.
Pigeon Island National Park & Fort Rodney
Pigeon Island is at the north west of St Lucia. It is no longer an island as it was connected to the mainland in the 1970s. The national park contains what’s left of the colonial Fort Rodney, and there are a couple of good beaches as well.
Hiking is popular in St Lucia, and the Pitons are not the only destination. Heading inland you will walk through cocoa plantations, some of which have restaurants and are open for tours, including one owned by the Hotel Chocolat chain.
Where to Stay in St Lucia
Most people stay in all-inclusive beach resorts, of which there is plenty of choice. However, there are also more secluded resorts in the hills set back from the beaches that have stunning views.
When to Go to St Lucia
The low season in St Lucia is from July to November, which is hurricane season in the Caribbean. Although the chance of a hurricane is low, it means that it rains more frequently (although usually for a short amount of time) and there is a risk of tropical storms.
February and March are the busiest months, whilst December gets busy as people make use of Christmas holidays.
Getting Around St Lucia
The best way to get around St Lucia is by taxi – either for a single trip or to hire for a day.
Getting to St Lucia
There are direct flights to St Lucia from several airports around the UK.