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Fond Doux Estate - St Lucia Colonial Past

Duration: Half Day

Fond Doux Estate - St Lucia Colonial Past

Step back in time during your holiday in Lucia and gain a glimpse of the island’s rich colonial past. This tour will enable you to explore the beautiful Fond Doux Estate, a 19th century French colonial plantation located near the historic town of Soufriere. Learn about Lucia’s traditional agricultural methods, explore ancient military ruins and immerse yourself in nature whilst enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding area. This is a wonderful authentic experience not to be missed.

Set amidst lush tropical hills and gardens, against the backdrop of St Lucia’s majestic Pitons World Heritage Site, the 250-acre Fond Doux Estate is steeped in natural beauty and French colonial history. It was here that the historical Battle of Rabot, one of the most significant battles fought in St Lucia, took place in 1795 amongst the prosperous sugar and cocoa plantations. This working estate still continues to harvest cocoa today, as well as bananas, citrus fruits, coffee, nutmeg and cinnamon. Your tour guide will teach you about the traditional methods of cocoa fermentation, drying and “cocoa dancing”, as well as coconut processing, and you will get the chance to smell, touch and taste a variety of tropical fruits and plants during the tour.

Fond Doux Estate offers some wonderful hiking opportunities amongst beautiful natural landscapes. Three diverse trails will lead walkers around the estate, through dense forests that host a rich variety of flora and fauna, and past beautiful tropical waterfalls and historical military ruins. The vistas on the way are spectacular.

The Estate Trail will take you through the plantations and into the buildings, where you will see the local workers drying and processing the crops. The Chateaubelair Trail requires some climbing but is worth the effort as it leads you to Chateaubelair Ridge, the highest point of the estate. From here you can enjoy magnificent views of the Soufriere Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. This trail is the old Maroons (runaway slaves) escape route, which they used to hide high up in the hills during the revolutionary wars. Many endemic birds and several less common species such as the Red Neck Pigeon, and the Saint Lucia Oriole, can be spotted along this trail, so keep a close look out on the way. Last but not least, The East Ruins Trail is a gentle incline that will take you past citrus fruits and beautiful tropical flora to the old ruins and site of the Battle of Rabot. The area was used as a canon fortification and musket balls have been discovered here in the past.

Once you have explored the estate you can relax in the plantation house with a glass of local rum punch, fresh fruit juice or coconut water before tucking into a delicious Creole lunch.

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