Time difference: GMT -5 hours
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Flight time: 9 hours
What is it about Saint Lucia that makes it such a fabulous holiday destination? Well, there are the beaches. Soft sand, gently shelving into warm Caribbean waters. There are luxury resorts, staffed by smiling hosts, plus chocolate, one of the islands tastiest exports; and rum, the national liquor. But dip under the polished tourist veneer and you’ll find an intoxicating atmosphere, long history and incredible natural beauty that draws people to the volcanic shores of Saint Lucia time and again.
The beaches are undoubtedly the main draw and we’ll wholeheartedly agree they are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island teem with myriad colourful varieties of fish, darting around a coral reef that is unique to Saint Lucia. In the north the beaches are golden swathes of sand straight from the advert of a well-known coconut chocolate bar, but in the south they are silvery and volcanic, with wilder scenery and often a view of the islands landmark Pitons, a duo of volcanic plugs rising out of beautiful Jalousie Bay. Thickly forested with the town of Soufrière at the base, they are one of the highlights of the island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Alongside its stunning natural scenery there’s plenty of vibrant Caribbean culture to soak up and history in which to immerse yourself. The island’s long and tumultuous backstory of slavery and French Occupation means there is plenty to learn and explore if you tire of lying on the beaches. Head into the secluded rainforest of Anse Mamin and view the former slave plantation for an eerie insight into life on Saint Lucia many years ago.