St Lucia Villas

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Renting a Villa

St Lucia Villas

St Lucia Villas

As an alternative to a hotel or guest house, a private St Lucian villa can make an excellent choice of accommodation for your St Lucia vacation. Dotted all around the island, on the coast or in the country, St Lucia villas represent a range of budgets and styles. Some have their own pools and other feature distinctive decor that you won’t find anywhere else.

It is easy to organize a vacation villa rental. Many of the available villas are listed on the St Lucia Tourist website, here are a few examples:

Crystals Cottages are luxury self contained cottages with four poster beds, private pool and garden. Ideal for honeymooners, they offer a secluded retreat in the countryside. Nestled in the hillside at Colombette, they are five minutes away from Soufriere and represent very well the quality that St Lucia villas vacations can afford.

Cotton Bay offers the independence and seclusion of a private villa holiday with the luxury and facilities you would associate with a resort hotel. Located near to popular Rodney Bay, there are 74 luxury villas, suites and town houses of varying sizes.  Some have a private pool, and all have access to the pool at the centre of the Village. The kitchens are well equipped and there are 2 restaurants in the Village, plus an in-room dining service. On site facilities include a spa, fitness centre, teen club and kids club. Here you can enjoy your St Lucia villas vacation without compromizing on the facilities.

Cleopatra Villas manages a portfolio of St Lucia villas from its offices in Rodney Bay. Available properties range from 1 bedroom studios to six bedroom waterfront St Lucia villas. All are fully equipped with modern facilities. Housekeeping facilities are provided, and Cleopatra Villas can arrange transportation from the airport, upon your arrival.

For a one-off experience you could try Blue Eden, a three bedroom waterfront house. Decorated by an interior designer, the majority of the furnishings and decor have been imported from John Lewis or Selfridges in England. The house features upstairs air conditioning, WiFi connection and a well-equipped kitchen. Situated in the Anchorage gated condominium development in Rodney Bay, the house has its own private docking facility, outside in the marina, and guests enjoy full and exclusive use of a 4WD vehicle during their stay. A good example of a luxurious St Lucian villas holiday.

Belle Kaye, on the Cap Estate in the north of the island offers a choice of apartments and a villa. A few hundred metres from the St Lucia Golf & country Club, you will have no shortage of things to do as a guest here. Reduit Beach, one of the most stunning in St Lucia is just a few minutes drive away.

Villa Beach Cottages consists of 20 villa suites situated on Choc Bay amongst the coconut trees close to the oceans edge. The units are fully self contained with one or two bedrooms and fully equipped kitchens. One of the villas is dedicated to famous St Lucian author and poet Derek Walcott, who spent many holidays here. There is also a honeymoon villa for those seeking an extra special romantic touch. A very special St Lucia villas vacation can be enjoyed from here.

Tropical Villas offer a range of properties from one to six bedrooms with either private or shared swimming pools. All are self contained and fully serviced. Tropical Villas can also arrange airport transfers, car rental and sightseeing tours. Some of their properties include Hummingbird House, a three bedroom, three bathroom house with a private pool. The house is built on a hillside where it overlooks Rodney Bay. Villa Cadasse on the Cap Estate is situated on a hilltop and has dramatic views. Orchid Cottage is ideal for couples. It has one bedroom and a private plunge pool. St Lucia villas do not get much more idyllic than this.

These are just a few of the wonderful St Lucia villas available. Others include Tranquil Villa in Soufriere, Sun West Tropical Villas in Gros Islet and the Stonefield Estate Villa Resort near Soufriere. Full details are available via the St Lucia Tourist Board under St Lucia Villas.

Inexpensive Hotel Options in St Lucia

St Lucia Hotels

St Lucia Hotels

There are plenty of inexpensive hotels to stay at in St Lucia. The accommodation options are grouped into three geographical locations. The Castries area between; Marigot Bay and Choc Bay, in and around Rodney Bay and the Cap Estate in the North, and around Soufriere on the southwest coast, near the Pitons.

In Castries you could try a small hotel or guesthouse such as Auberge Seraphine on the edge of the harbour. The hotel is surrounded by tropical plants which attract wild birds. Most rooms have a view of the marina and all are air conditioned. The hotel restaurant serves innovative Caribbean and international cuisine and has a good selection of wines. It is an ideal base for exploring Castries and the surrounding area of St Lucia.

The Bel Jou Hotel (formerly known as Cara Suites) overlooks Castries from a stunning hillside location. The name means “beautiful day ” in Patois.

Hillside Plaza is situated in a residential area, which is just a few minutes walk from Vigie Beach. There are 30 double rooms and an on-site restaurant. Public transport links are excellent, with a bus passing by every ten minutes, making it easy to get around St Lucia from this hotel.

The Friendship Inn can be described as a “mini hotel”, and is located a couple of miles away from George Charles Airport. This ten room property enjoys a convenient location close to public transport links and a nearby shopping mall. There is a pool on site and the beach is just a short walk away.

The Golden Arrow is an intimate St Lucia hotel situated on the Gros Islet Highway. Moderately priced, the hotel has fifteen rooms and wonderful views out to the Caribbean Sea.

Rodney Bay is where you will traditionally find the large, luxurious resorts, but don’t overlook the possibility of a small guesthouse such as Villa Zandoli. This small, affordable property is only five minutes walk from one of the nicest beaches in St Lucia. The guesthouse is decorated in a bright Caribbean style and offers a warm welcome to its guests. Mango Sands offers a retreat from the St Lucian hustle and bustle. The guest rooms offer simple and comfortable accommodation, and there is a quiet garden area ideal for meditation or yoga.

On the North Coast, at Gros Islet, there is a good choice of apartments and guest houses such as Tropical Breeze which is good value for groups visiting St Lucia. Family run, this property is a few minutes walk from the beach, Rodney Bay Marina as well as shops and restaurants. There is a choice of guest rooms or apartments.

If you like to be near the St Lucian nightlife, Alexander’s Guesthouse is a good choice with the Gros Islet Friday night “jump up” within walking distance. This friendly guesthouse is also just 50 yards from the beach.

Traveling towards Vieux Fort on the East coast of St Lucia, a good base would be the Foxgrove Inn. This is a quiet and friendly twelve bedroom hotel which is surrounded by banana and coconut plantations. The inn has a wonderful view of Praslin Bay and you can also see the Frigate Islands Nature Reserve. The hotel is famous for its restaurant which is said to be one of the best in St Lucia.

If a stay in Soufriere takes your fancy, then Chez Camille is an older style house with St Lucian decor and furnishings. This guest house is located close to some of the best known attractions of St Lucia including the rainforest, Diamond Falls and Sulphur Springs.

These are just a small selection of some of the more affordable St Lucia hotels. The St Lucia Tourist Board has full details on all of the hotels available in St Lucia, so there is bound to be something which suits your taste and budget.

Getting Around St Lucia

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Getting Around

Getting Around St Lucia

Getting Around St Lucia

There are various methods of getting around St Lucia. There is a bus service, although it is operated by privately owned minivans and there is no official timetable as such. This is a cheap method of transportation and one which is used by the locals for getting to work, school and getting around St Lucia in general. Buses are generally more frequent on main routes such as the road between  Castries and Gros Islet. You can usually get a bus up until about 10pm (later on Fridays). Buses rarely run on Sundays. You can wait for a bus at a bus stop, or alternatively you can flag a bus down if there is somewhere for the driver to pull over. You pay your bus fare directly to the bus driver, who will also tell you when your stop is coming up if you ask him to. Buses are a cheap and reliable method of getting around St Lucia.

It is possible to travel right around the island by bus, however, the service between Soufriere and Castries can be unreliable in the afternoon. The best way to do it is to travel counter clockwise – taking the bus from Castries to Soufriere during the morning and travelling via Vieux Fort on the east coast in the afternoon.

Buses can get very busy, particularly the southbound services, so if you are in the southwest, you might find it better to travel north towards Castries as you are more likely to get a seat this way.

If you hold an International Driving Permit and are over the age of 25 then you can hire a car for getting around St Lucia. You need to get your international driving license endorsed at customs when you arrive. If you don’t have an international license, then it is possible to purchase a license whilst in St Lucia and this can be arranged with your car rental firm. There are a number of car rental firms including big names such as Avis, Hertz and National as well as many local, cheaper car rental firms. All of the car rental companies can be found at Hewanorra International Airport. You can find some very cheap deals on the internet – watch out though as the cheapest cars tend not to have air conditioning, which really is a must! Getting around St Lucia can be a hot and sticky business.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is available as an option. If you take CDW, then in the event of an accident or the theft of the vehicle, you will be liable for lesser damages.

If you are going to be driving extensively on the island then it is recommended to hire a 4WD as some of the roads are not in great condition and can be very steep, winding and narrow. Make sure you have a jack and spare tire available. St Lucians drive on the left and the speed limits are 15mph in towns and 30mph on major roads. It is compulsory to wear a seatbelt.

There are plenty of gas stations which generally open between 0630hrs and 2000hrs, Monday to Saturday. With a few open on Sundays and public holiday but only between 1400hrs and 1800hrs.

If you don’t wish to drive yourself, then there are plenty of taxis available for getting around St Lucia. You can ask your hotel to book one for you or hail one on the street. Fares are regulated by the government but always agree the price before you depart. Fixed fares are on display at the airport or you can check with the tourist office. Registered taxis have red number plates with a TX prefix.

If you are feeling energetic then you might consider hiring a bicycle for getting around St Lucia! If you travel around the island anti-clockwise the up hills are more gradual and the down hills steep and fast.

There are various ways of getting around St Lucia. Talk to your tour company or hotel reception to establish which is going to be the best option for you.

St Lucia Weddings and Honeymoons

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Weddings

St Lucia Wedding

St Lucia Wedding

If you are planning your perfect wedding day, you will find that St Lucia weddings can offer everything you are looking for in terms of location, romantic ambience and weather. The island is naturally beautiful, with its palm fringed beaches, verdant forest and mountainous landscape. The friendly people, food and music all contribute to create a uniquely romantic atmosphere for your special day.

Getting married in St Lucia can be a remarkably stress free experience with plenty of experienced professionals on hand to ensure that your big day goes as smoothly as possible. It can also be excellent value for money as well, with many hotels offering St Lucia weddings package discounts for you and your guests

Many tour companies offer wedding packages, as do most of the major hotels and the process of getting married is made simple. You need to have the following documentation with you when considering St Lucia weddings:

  • Ÿ  Passport
  • Ÿ  Birth Certificate
  • Ÿ  Decree Absolute (if one of the parties is divorced)
  • Ÿ  In the case of a widow/widower a Death Certificate of first spouse is required
  • Ÿ  If a name has been changed, a Deed Poll is required
  • Ÿ  If one of the parties is under the age of 18, evidence of a consent from parents is required in the form of a sworn affidavit, stamped by a Notary Public
  • Ÿ  If any required documents are not in English, an authenticated translation must be made available

The couple are required to apply for a marriage license from the Attorney General or a notary, and once issued, can go ahead and marry the same day as there is no residency requirement. Fees for the license are:

  • Ÿ  $335 if clients are staying on island for 3 days or more
  • Ÿ  $540 for a SPECIAL LICENCE if the clients will be on island for less than 24 hours.

You will also need to pay a fee for the Registrar and for the marriage certificate, although these details can be handled by a local wedding co-ordinator from your hotel or tour company to make things easier for you.

For couples wishing to arrange a religious ceremony, it is possible to marry in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Castries which would make a wonderful place to have your St Lucia wedding. Your parish priest would need to liaise with the priest in St Lucia to ensure that you meet all of the necessary criteria, such as having undergone pre-marital counseling.

Apart from the services of a wedding co-ordinator, St Lucia weddings packages usually include flowers, a cake, toasting wine and steel band music, although check carefully before booking as prices and packages vary hugely. St Lucia weddings can take place in a variety of locations, and a wedding co-ordinator can help you choose the very best place for your ceremony to take place.

Some of the hotels offering St Lucia weddings packages include the Marigot Beach Club, Sandals, Almond Morgan Bay and Almond Smugglers Cove, Ti Kaye and Anse Chastanet. You can really tailor your St Lucia wedding package to suit you as most hotels offer a basic package to which you can add if you wish.

Of course having your wedding in St Lucia means that you can combine it with your honeymoon! There is no better destination for romance with a wealth of things to do, luxurious and exclusive hotels and romantic places to share cherished memories with your new spouse. You could choose to dive or snorkel together in front of the Pitons, hike through the rainforest, watch turtles on the beach, or just simply soak up the sun and atmosphere. There are plenty of romantic restaurants and secluded spots where you can spend these most cherished of moments together.

No matter what sort of wedding you are dreaming of, St Lucia weddings can provide the answers for you. Talk to your tour company, hotel or wedding planner and they can help you to create the most perfect day.

St Lucia Attractions

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Attractions

St Lucia Attractions

St Lucia Attractions

There is much to see on this beautiful island, and this is just a selection of the very best St Lucia attractions that the island has to offer.

The Pitons are a pair of distinctive 40 million year old peaks formed from volcanic plugs and are very much considered to be the symbol of St Lucia. Lush and green, they provide a habitat for several species of bird, wild orchids and giant ferns. Petit Piton is 2480 feet high, whilst Gros Piton is 2619 feet high and can be climbed, should you feel the urge. The views from the top are spectacular. It is necessary to hire a guide to take you to the top, which is a 4 mile round trip and can take 4 to 6 hours one way. The Pitons have been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and are one of the major St Lucia attractions.

The world’s only drive in volcano can be found here in St Lucia, at Mount Soufriere. You can witness the bubbling craters of sulphur for yourself, but will smell them well before you see them! The volcano is still technically active but last erupted 40,000 years ago. This is one of the most popular St Lucia attractions.

Marigot Bay is a natural harbour that once offered a hideout for pirate ships. The 1967 Dr Doolittle film was shot here and it is said to be the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean. All-in-all, this makes for one of the must-see St Lucia attractions. 400 years ago the Carib warriors made their homes here, but it is now surrounded by a good selection of bars and restaurants.

The Maria Islands Nature Reserve is home to rare wildlife and birds some of which do not exist anywhere else in the world. The 12 protected acres are home to approximately 120 species. The islands can be found just off the coast at Vieux Fort and are a St Lucia attraction well worth visiting.

The Pigeon Island Museum and Interpretative Center is housed in a former British officers mess building which has been fully restored to its former glory. Here you can discover the fascinating history of Pigeon island, which is now a national park and important St Lucia attraction.

Whale and dolphin watching is a great way to spend a day and they are increasingly popular St Lucia attractions for tourists. There are several boat tours available which will take you out to sea to spot humpback and pilot whales, sperm whales, as well as spinning and spotted dolphins. Don’t miss the opportunity!

A visit to Grande Anse for some turtle watching is a wonderful experience that you will never forget. Sea turtles love to nest on St Lucia and this is one of the best places to see them.

The island has its own rain forest full of exotic flowers, plants and trees as well as the rare Jacquot Parrots. All of this can be  enjoyed via Rain Forest Sky Rides in an open sided aerial tram. The journey takes place 90 feet off the ground and lasts around 75 minutes. When considering St Lucia attractions, a visit to the inland rain forest is certainly a must.

The adventurous might like to try jungle biking around the paths cut into the plantation forests at Anse Chastanet. There are courses suitable for beginners as well as the more experienced.

The crystal blue waters surrounding St Lucia are undoubtedly one of the best attractions of the island and are best enjoyed wearing snorkeling gear or scuba kit. The marine life is fascinating to behold.

The capital of St Lucia, Castries, is worth a visit for it’s fascinating market, Derek Walcott Square, named after a St Lucian literary great, and which has a 500 year old tree in its center, and the Roman Catholic cathedral, which is considered to be one of the most important religious buildings in the West Indies.

There are various organized tours available which can take you to see the St Lucia attractions. These can be arranged via your hotel or tour company. Don’t miss out on the wonderful sights that St Lucia has to offer!

St Lucia Weather

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Overview

St Lucia Weather

St Lucia Weather

St Lucia is a volcanic island which has lush rainforests and cooling breezes, thanks to its location in the Eastern Caribbean where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. More mountainous than other Caribbean islands, St Lucia enjoys a tropical climate and is at its driest between December and March. This is the most popular time to visit. The northeast tradewinds provide a constant cooling effect. The mountainous nature of St Lucia means that rainfall can be heavier over other smaller islands nearby.

Situated in the hurricane belt, the hurricane season runs between June and October. This is by far the most significant feature of St Lucia weather. Although severe storms are rare, directly affecting the area approximately once every 19.71 years, St Lucia has been affected by them in the past. 1780 saw the deadliest Atlantic Hurricane season ever, with a hurricane practically destroying Soufriere – the capital at the time and another storm causing severe damage across St Lucia.

Soufriere has been the victim of hurricane damage several times during its history, being hit again in 1817, 1831, and 1898. 1960 saw Hurricane Abby hit with 80mph winds which killed 6 people, 1963 Hurricane Edith killed 10, Hurricane Debby hit in 1994, destroying 60% of the banana crop. St Lucia was most recently hit by Hurricane Dean in 2007. This hurricane was so powerful that it blew the roof off of the children’s ward at Victoria Hospital and blew wave breaking boulders onto the highway. This is testimony to the fact that St Lucia weather can be very turbulent, although having said that, the island does not suffer anything like as regularly as some other parts of the Caribbean.

Hurricane Allen occurred in 1980, causing wide spread damage estimated at $235 million. Predictions estimate that the next hurricane to hit St Lucia will occur around 2011.

In January, the average high temperature is 81 Fahrenheit (around 27.5 Celsius), with the average low 68 Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). In July the high is 85 Fahrenheit (29.5 Celsius) and the low is 72 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius). These statistics show that the St Lucia weather is very similar throughout the year. Humidity is between 76% to 83%. The St Lucia weather is generally lovely all year round, although sporadic showers can occur during the summer. These can be quite welcome though, and the locals refer to them as “liquid sunshine”.

Meteorological records show that the lowest temperatures ever recorded on the island were 13.3 Celsius (57 Fahrenheit) in Soufriere, 15.6 (60 Fahrenheit) in Castries, and 17.4 (64 Fahrenheit) at Hewanorra Airport. The highest recorded temperatures in the same locations were 36.1 Celsius, 35.6 Celsius, and 33.1 Celsius respectively.

St Lucia generally enjoys between 7 and 9 hours of sunshine a day depending on the time of year. Water temperatures range between 79 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual rainfall is 60 inches.

Weather statistics show that St Lucia is wetter in general throughout the year than Barbados, this being due to its higher mountains.

The St Lucia weather is monitored and forecast by the St Lucia Meteorological Service. They have two weather stations, one in the north of St Lucia and the other in the south.

The main thing you need to know about the St Lucia weather is the fact that you are pretty much guaranteed plenty of sunshine and sub-tropical temperatures all year round. If you prefer the St Lucia weather to be a little more cooling, head inland to the rain forest where you will often be provided with a welcome shower.

St Lucia Culture

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under History and Culture

St Lucia Culture

St Lucia Culture

The people of St Lucia are generally laid back and friendly. The St Lucia Culture is influenced by a mixture of English, Caribbean and African flavor, however, culturally, St Lucia has a great deal of French influence. The majority of the St Lucians speak a Creole type language known as Kweyol, which is similar to French, and in some areas, people – particularly the older generation tend to struggle with English. There are special radio programmes and news programmes which are broadcast entirely in Kweyol.

The architecture features a French provincial style, many of the place names are French and around 70% of the population are Roman Catholic. The Catholic cathedral in Castries is of French design with an African inspired interior. The African heritage of St Lucia can be seen in the many traditional customs and superstitions that still survive, such as Obeah (voodoo) and the local Snakeman who is visited by locals seeking his medicinal powers.

Music has a French influence on the St Lucia Culture too. Whilst reggae and calypso are very much enjoyed, zouk and cadance are also prominent musical styles.

The influence of the English can be seen in the political, legal and educational systems and of course the St Lucian love for cricket.

There is a strong Rastafarian movement on the island which has become much more political in recent years and is tending to influence the St Lucia Culture more and more.

The people of St Lucia are known for their love of literature and as an art form it has contributed greatly to the St Lucia Culture. The island has produced some notable authors such as Derek Walcott. A renowned poet and playwright, he was born in 1930. His published works include poetry collections, and autobiography in verse, and several plays. He won the 192 Nobel Prize for Literature. A good introduction to his work would be his “Collected Poems, 1948-184″. Other authors include Garth St Omer, Earl Long, Jane King-Hippolyte, Kendal Hippolyte, John Robert Lee and Jacintha Lee.

St Lucia also produces great artists such as Dunstan St Omer, who creates religious paintings, and with his four sons, has painted some of the countryside churches on the island. Llewellyn Xavier is an artist and environmental campaigner whose works reflect his beliefs. Ron Savory, Sean Bonnett St Remy, Winston Branch, Chris Cox, and Alcina Nolley are all well known St Lucian artists.

Food is a big part of the St Lucia Culture, with a wealth of restaurants to choose between. Local produce is used to create wonderful fresh dishes in a Creole style, however, other types of cuisine including French, Italian, Indian and Steakhouse are also represented here. Fish and seafood are plentiful as are a range of tropical fruits. The national dish is Callaloo Soup, which is made from a leafy green vegetable similar to spinach. Other St Lucian specialities include fresh seafood such as lobster, lambi (conch), green figs, saltfish, and fried plantain.

Restaurants can be found in hotels, at malls and in various locations. Recommendations include The Edge in Rodney Bay, Jacques Waterfront Dining in Castries, and Rainforest Hideaway at Marigot Bay.

Celebration is a big part of the St Lucia Culture and the locals celebrate a variety of festivals during the year including religious festivals such as La Rose, which represents the Rosicrucian order, and La Marguerite which represents Freemasonry. Every year on 27th October, Jounen Kweyol (Creole Day) is celebrated. Locals dress in national costume and prepare local food and drink. A different kind of festival is the annual St Lucia Jazz Festival which strongly expresses the St Lucia Culture and reflects the local love of music. Carnival takes place over two days in July and features the election of the carnival Queen, plus parades and street parties. Carnival used to take place around Easter time, but was moved to July in order to attract more visitors.

The St Lucia Culture proves that it is a very diverse nation with much to offer in terms of food, music, art and literature.

St Lucia History

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under History and Culture

St Lucia's Flag

St Lucia's Flag

Today, St Lucia is a stable democracy having enjoyed independence since the 1970s. It has however, got a very colorful and fascinating history.

Archaeologists studying St Lucia history have determined that the Arawak Indians originally settled on the island between 1000 and 500 BC. The Arawaks were a peaceful people, but fierce migrating Caribs then conquered the Arawaks in around AD 800, and established permanent settlements on St Lucia. The Carib Indians called the island Iouanalao, which is thought to mean “where the iguana is found”. The name was later changed to Hiwanarau, which then evolved into Hewanorra – the present day name of the international airport. The name St Lucia was not used until the 16th Century.

Although many St Lucians believe that their island was discovered by Columbus on St Lucy’s Day – 13 December, a national holiday – St Lucia was probably first sighted by Spanish explorers during the early 1500s. According to Columbus’ log, he was not even in this area at that time. A Vatican globe dating back to 1520 shows the island marked as Santa Lucia, which is where the suggestion that the Spanish discovered it comes from.

The first European to settle in St Lucia was a pirate called Francois Le Clerc, also known as Jambe de Bois, or Wooden Leg. He would attack passing Spanish ships from Pigeon Island.

A couple of British attempts at colonization were successfully defended by the Caribs in the 1600s – 67 Englishmen made an attempt on their way to Guiana in 1605, when their ship, the Olive Branch was blown off course – Sir Thomas Warner and others tried again in 1638, but were killed by the Caribs around three years later.

The French were more successful a century later. The King of France claimed sovereignty in 1642, and then ceded the island to the French West India Company. The French established Soufriere, the first European settlement on St Lucia, in 1746. They had already established twelve settlements by 1780 and had begun to develop sugar plantations with the help of slave labor – which was abolished by the British in 1834. The Caribs tried repeatedly to expel the French, murdering several of the governors. The British did not wish to relinquish their claim to the island, so this colonial period was also a time of war from about 1660, with a successful British invasion taking place in 1778. Naval bases were established at Gros Islet and Pigeon Island, with attacks being launched from here on the French islands to the north. 150 years of conflict continued until the Treaty of Paris in 1814 ceded the island to the British. During this period, St Lucia changed its flag 14 times! The years of war have left their mark on the island with fortresses and other wartime relics still providing a poignant reminder of such a turbulent St Lucia history.

Britain chose St Lucia as one of its main coaling stations, passing steam ships could buy Welsh coal from the island.

The city of Castries was founded by the French in the 18th century but has lost many of its historic buildings, having been ravaged by fire no less than four times in its history. By the end of the 19th century, Castries was the 14th most important port in the world based on tonnage handled, however, decline set in once oil began to dominate in the 20th century.

French customs persisted on St Lucia, with the official language changing to English from French in 1842. Even today, however, locals speak a French based Patois, and many villages have French names. St Lucia history has been far from quiet, but locals enjoy a far more peaceful state today as the country gained full independence on February 22 1979.

St Lucia Beaches

June 19, 2009 by flightstostlucia  
Filed under Attractions, Featured

St. Lucia's Beaches

St. Lucia's Beaches

Anse is the French word for beach, which is why many of the beaches have the word “anse” in their name. All of St Lucia’s beaches are public, forming part of the Queen’s Chain, even if they are located in front of a hotel. Some hotels do make access to their beach difficult, but there has to be a public path by law. Alternatively you can access the beach you want to visit by boat. The beaches of St Lucia have white, golden or black volcanic sand. Many beaches are used by turtles as a nesting site. The best St Lucia beaches are to be found to the north of Castries, which is the principal resort area. At certain times of the year the sea can be choppy in the North, particularly around Christmas time. Some bays do have currents, so always be aware when swimming and pay heed to any warning flags.

Reduit is a lovely St Lucia beach with clear blue waters, dominated by three hotels. It can get crowded here as it is popular with the locals. It connects with Pigeon Point, although you can only walk as far as the marina. The beach is nearly a mile long.

Anse de Sables beach is great for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

The Atlantic east coast beaches tend to be difficult to get to and are not generally suitable for swimming. They are however, the best place for wildlife spotting.

Donkey Beach is wild and windy and worth the hours trek from Gros Islet.

Dauphin Beach has some Indian stone carvings, but is only accessible by jeep.

Anse Loubet is only accessible on foot. There is a spectacular blowhole and waterfall here.

Jalousie did have black volcanic sand, but the Hilton imported white sand to cover it up!

Anse des Pitons, is a crescent shaped St Lucia beach at the foot of the Pitons and well worth a visit for the spectacular backdrop of scenery alone.

Running parallel to the airport runway is Vigie beach. This is a lovely stretch of sand with plenty of shade. Popular with locals, there are a few hotels here too.

Labrelotte Bay is a lovely sandy beach which you can find between Windjammer Landing and the East Winds Inn.

Marigot Bay is a haven for yachts, but further in you will find a very secluded St Lucia beach. Only accessible by boat.

Choc Bay is a long stretch of golden sand with calm waters and coconut palms. Popular with families, it is close to some large hotels and the Gablewood Shopping Centre. There is a bar and there are watersports available here.

Take care if you visit St Lucia beaches south of Castries as they are not generally used by tourists and can therefore suffer from a lack of sanitation.

Pigeon island is one of the main tourist attractions and also has several beaches to enjoy, with a beach bar and watersports available.

A 20 minute walk south of Soufriere will lead you to Malgretout. This quiet undeveloped St Lucia beach is fantastic for snorkeling and also offers the opportunity to shower in the warm volcanic waters of the Pitons Waterfall.

Some of the beaches on the southwest coast of St Lucia are only accessible by boat.

Anse Cochon on the South coast of St Lucia has black volcanic sands and calm waters with shallow reefs good for snorkeling. It is best accessed by boat, although those staying at Ti Kaye Village can get to it by road.

The marine reserve off of Anse Chastanet makes this a great beach for diving and snorkeling. The dark sand makes this a very attractive St Lucia beach.

The beach just north of Soufriere offers wonderful views of the Pitons. Mostly frequented by locals.

Cas En Bas – is one of the best St Lucia beaches for windsurfing. Protected by a reef, it is popular with locals at the weekends.

Luxurious St Lucia Hotels

Tropical Resort in St Lucia

Tropical Resort in St Lucia

For a truly luxurious vacation there are a number of resort style St Lucia hotels where your every need can be catered for. A few examples include:

Windjammer Landing, situated north of Castries, this beautiful villa beach resort enjoys an isolated hillside setting. The accommodation consists of Spanish style villas ranging from one to four bedrooms, dotted throughout the grounds with all of the facilities you would expect of a luxury hotel available to you. Families are well catered for here, with a Fun Club for the children, babysitting services and a Teen club. There are 2 children’s pools, a children’s playground and a children’s menu. Weddings and Honeymoons can be arranged here, there is an on-site wedding coordinator who can help realise your dream wedding day! Honeymooners can enjoy a private villa with its own plunge pool. During your stay you can enjoy a variety of watersports including aqua-fin club-sailing, windsurfing, hobie cat sailing, banana rides, kayaking and snorkeling from the crescent shaped white sand beach. There are tennis courts, a well equipped gym, as well as daily organised sports and fitness activities. The hotel has a good reputation for its food, with a choice of five restaurants as well as the opportunity to enjoy in-villa dining.

For a romantic honeymoon destination, Ti Kaye Village just south of Anse La Raye on the west coast of St Lucia is a popular choice. Ti Kaye means “little house” in Creole, and the resort is so named because the white wooden cottages, which guests stay in, look like a village of little white houses on the hillside. The cottages have their own large verandas and some have their own plunge pools. The owner designed the layout and has tried to blend a rustic feel with all of the comforts of modern living. The resort has a spa, pool and gym and offers watersports on the beach. There is a restaurant (Kai Manje) as well as a beach grill (Ti Manje) and meal plans are available.

The Anse Chastanet resort at Soufriere offers the best scuba diving on the island. One of the best renowned St Lucia hotels, the hilltop, hillside and beachside suites at this hotel offer something really special with local woods and fabrics being used for the room decor and furnishings. Anse Chastanet has three restaurants offering a choice of Caribbean Fine Dining and vegetarian cuisine, utilising the best local produce. The Kai Belte Spa offers a wide range of treatments and therapies using products made especially for Anse Chastanet. There is an onsite fitness instructor and yoga teacher and you can enjoy various watersports, or of course relax and do absolutely nothing!

Jade Mountain is situated above Anse Chastanet and guests can enjoy all of its facilities. The special thing about Jade Mountain, as a hotel, however, is that the accommodation consists of 24 “infinity pool sanctuaries” – spacious suite accommodations which open out onto an infinity pool with stunning views of the sea and mountains. The resort boasts an award winning chef who served so called “Jade Cuisine” using only the best local produce. Guests can enjoy an array of treatments at the boutique spa, including special treatments designed for couples. This is one of the newest St Lucia hotels.

These are just a few of the wonderful luxury hotels that St Lucia has to offer. Other choices include tiny, award winning Ladera, Body Holiday at Le Sport on the North coast, The Royal St Lucian – all suites and very sophisticated, East Winds – one of the oldest and most established resorts on St Lucia, and The Inn on The Bay which overlooks Marigot Bay.

No matter which of these luxury St Lucia hotels you decide upon, you can look forward to a world of relaxation and pampering St Lucian style!

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