© World Travel Guide / Tina Banerjee
St Lucia beaches
Strung along the leeward (Caribbean) coastline from Marigot to Rodney Bay are a string of resorts aimed at both couples and families. While St Lucia is one of the Caribbean's most popular honeymoon destinations, it draws a wide range of holidaymakers who are looking to do more than simply lie at the beach. St Lucia's iconic Pitons, its picturesque twin volcanic peaks, have just about become the symbol of the island.
The best beach on the northwest coast is golden-sand Reduit (pronounced red-wee) Beach on Rodney Bay. St Lucia is a volcanic island, so the sand tends to be coarse and the water not absolutely clear. Further south, beaches have darker, volcanic sand. The most dramatically beautiful is Anse des Pitons, which is directly between St Lucia's famous Pitons on Jalousie Bay.
Beyond the beach:
St Lucia's verdant rainforest beckons to be explored, or sailing trips will take you along the leeward coast all the way to the famous Pitons. The twin mountains can even be climbed by the daring and physically fit, though a guide is required. Several working plantations now welcome visitors for tours and a lunch of local foods. And the island's active 'drive-in' volcano can also be visited on regularly scheduled tours. One of the most fascinating ways to see St Lucia is from above. St. Lucia Helicopter Tours (Pointe Seraphine, Castries) will be happy to give you a bird's eye view.
Since all the large holiday resorts are set directly on the beach and offer organised programmes for children, the island is an ideal family destination. Kids especially enjoy a trip aboard the Brig Unicorn, a modern replica of a historic sailing ship that was used in the film Pirates of the Caribbean.
The 40-minute flight from the Vigie Airport near Castries to Barbados makes it possible to do a day tour and return in time for dinner. St Lucia is well connected to other Caribbean islands by reasonably priced flights for those who wish to spend a few days on more than one island.
Few experiences are more relaxing than sitting on the terrace of Dasheene Restaurant at the Ladera Resort, 3km (2 miles) south of Soufrière, sipping a Piton beer, and watching the view between the twin mountains 500ft below.