St Lucia is a stunningly beautiful island situated between St Vincent and Martinique at the heart of the Windward chain in the Eastern Caribbean. This immensely fertile isle has a network of forested peaks that soar and valleys that tumble to the coastlines, outlining the island with some classic white sand beaches, but also many pretty, steep-sided, hidden coves.
The Atlantic Ocean has shaped its eastern shore, while the beaches of the west coast owe their beauty to the calm Caribbean Sea. The most attractive white-sand beaches are to be found on the protected leeward side of the island, between Castries, the capital, and the northern tip. To the south of Castries dark volcanic sandy beaches are to be found, often in seclude coves where the mountains appear to tumble into the sea.
St. Lucia’s lush interior of magnificent rain forests conceals a naturalist’s treasure-trove of wild orchids, giant ferns and birds of paradise. This environment provides exciting opportunities for hiking and bird-watching and, the beautiful reefs offer excellent snorkelling and scuba diving. St. Lucia can also lay claim to the only “drive-in” volcano in the world – a volcanic vent called La Soufriere which exudes hydrogen sulphide, steam and other gases.
The island’s most famous landmark is the Pitons, twin pointed volcanic peaks that rise side by side mid way down the Caribbean coast.
The St. Lucians themselves are charming and have a mixed heritage that results from the island’s turbulent past in which the island was handed back and forth between the French and English. The official language is English, however, the local French-based Patois is spoken in the streets.