A practical guide to St Lucia
National holidays and celebrations
St Lucians observe religious holidays and national celebrations throughout the year. To plan your holiday around a particular event, speak to one of our travel advisers about the best times to visit.
Religious public holidays
- New Year's Day: 1st and 2nd January. St Lucians celebrate a two-day national holiday.
- Good Friday: Between late March and April.
- Easter Monday: Monday after Good Friday.
- Whit Monday/ Pentecost: 50th day after Easter Sunday.
- Corpus Christi: June: Commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his apostles.
- Emancipation Day: 1st August. Enslaved ancestors revolted against the British Empire to achieve freedom.
- Christmas Day and Boxing Day: 25th and 26th December.
- Boxing Day: Like in all other Commonwealth nations, the originally British Boxing Day holiday falling one day after Christmas.
Non-religious public holidays in St Lucia
- Independence Day: 22nd February. Liberation from British rule back in 1979.
- Labour Day: 1st May. Celebrates the accomplishments of labourers.
- Thanksgiving Day: Second Monday of October.
- National Day: Commemorates the nationhood of St Lucia with parades and rallies.
Other special celebrations throughout the year include:
- St Lucia Jazz Festival: May.
- St Lucian Carnival: July.
The national currency in St Lucia is the East Caribbean dollar (EC$). US dollars are also accepted by some cab drivers and larger hotels and resorts.
- For the best rates, take British pounds and exchange on arrival at local banks or exchange bureaus.
- To get the most for you money, pay in Eastern Caribbean dollars rather than US dollars.
- Credit/debit cards are widely accepted in restaurants and large shops.
- ATMs accept international credit/debit cards and are accessible across the island.
- When eating out, expect a service charge of between 8 and 10 per cent to be added to the bill.
St Lucian cuisine has strong French and British influences, with many flavours borrowed from neighbouring Caribbean islands. Presentation is key for local chefs and food tends to be generously-spiced with typical Creole cuisine flavours. At most hotels and beach bars you'll also find food to suit a range of international palates.
Some of the most authentic dishes are based around Salt fish, which is served with banana, breadfruit or green figs. Other national specialties include "callaloo" (spinach soup), conch fritters, breadfruit, accra fish cakes, pepperpot stew, cassava bread and plantains. St Lucia also has plenty of delicious tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, coconuts, guavas, passion fruits and the exotic 'soursop'. No St Lucia holiday is complete without trying some of these local delicacies.
Vegetarians will also be pleased to find that the St Lucian diet is mainly based around starches, fruit and vegetables, whilst meat eaters are certainly not excluded and can enjoy local meaty favourites such as pork hocks, chicken back and pig tail. Popular seafood dishes include fresh lobster and stuffed crab back, as well as 'mahimahi' and 'potfish'. We find that the stalls along Anse La Raye's waterfront serve the freshest seafood.
St Lucia enjoys sunshine and warm weather all year long with daytime temperatures averaging 29°C and dropping to around 18°C at night with cooling breezes. Any time of year is good to visit although most Europeans and North Americans choose to do so in the winter time to escape freezing temperatures at home.
- The hot and humid climate is moderated by northeast trade winds, making weather conditions comfortable and offering a welcome respite from the heat.
- Due to its geographical position close to the Equator St Lucia doesn't have very well defined seasons. The hottest summer months are June through August with temperatures sometimes peaking at 35°C.
- St Lucia sees a rainy season from June to November with the driest weather seen on coastal regions.
- The dry and cooler season runs from December to June with slightly lower temperatures but still plenty of radiant sunshine.
- Like in the rest of the Caribbean, hurricane season runs from June to November in St Lucia but isn't likely to disturb your holiday as hotels are well prepared to cope with storms.
St Lucia Holidays Browse all
Experience a fabulous family comfort at Bay Gardens Inn
- Free daily breakfast and a private terrace and balcony in every room
- Enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at Creole Pot restaurant, with island favourites prepared each morning
- All Guests gain complimentary access to Bay Gardens Beach Resort's Splash Island Water Park and Water sports!
- Delight in a wide variety of massages and therapies at the beutiful La Mer Spa
The Hidden Gem Hideaway that offers the ultimate St Lucia expericne
- Boutique hotel hidden away in marigot bay
- Lush gardens and wonderful views of the marina
Go for a Premium all-inclusive experience where children and grown-ups each have their own world of endless fun, adventure and indulgement.
- Save up to a fantastic 58%!! and the 1st Child STAYS FREE
- Please note hotel is closed for renovations on 1st-30th September 17
- Experience St Lucia's only water park attraction with beach, several swimming pools, waterfalls, lazy river and water slides
- Enjoy complimentary round trip transfers from Hewanorra International Airport
- Enjoy FREE $500 resort credit when staying a minimum of 7 nights to be used on tours, spa treatments, photography services and the in resort boutique
Discover Castries' lively atmosphere, then head to your intimate luxury hideaway Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia
- Luxury Included® - All Included, All Unlimited, All the Time with the choice of upto 27 five Star Global Gourmet™ restaurants and 7 bars
- Discover a perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation at Red Lane Spa®
- Enjoy HALF PRICE luxury accommodation, a FREE Piton Sunset Cruise, plus an extra £55 off booking bonus with 'The Sandals 2 FOR 1 SALE’
- Dine beneath the stars at the Bayside Restaurant or enjoy complimentary golfing at the nearby Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa
Enjoy breathtaking sunsets and blue sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea at two beautiful all-inclusive St Lucia resort
Fantastic amenities, personalised services, and an endless range of activities for the whole family at St James Club, Morgan Bay, and Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa.
- Benefit from All-Inclusive programmes at both hotels, and enjoy a variety of complimentary activities, delicious meals at the restaurants, and a variety of entertainment for the whole family.
- Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa a free access to the largest waterpark in St Lucia, featuring five swimming pools, two waterslides, and a lazy river.
- Being close to Cap Estate Golf Course, capital city of Castries, and the world-class Rodney bay Marina, St James Club Morgan Bay Resort is a perfect base for exploring the island
It doesn't get any better than this perfect escape, designed for couples looking for an intimate and romantic experience
- Exclusive offer: Massive Savings of upto £750 per person!
- Recently refurbished, including the addition of a new "toes in the sand" restaurant
- All beverages included, such as Premium Brand Alcohol and Wine by the bottle at dinner
- Water Sports and Scuba Boat Dives with Personalized Instruction
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The Anse Chastanet Resort in St Lucia will host a master class by one of the world’s leading photographers this year. Joe McNally will host the “Advanced Photography and Lighting Workshop” for National Geographic Expeditions at the eco-friendly resort in October, 2017, bringing his expertise after more than three decades contributing to the National Geographic magazine.
The island of St Lucia is preparing to welcome mega cruise ships later this year by expanding its cruise facilities. The Breasting Dolphin Berth at Pointe Seraphine will be extended to facilitate the vessels in December in a project that is estimated to cost US$15 million. Once completed, there is expected to be a 20 per cent increase in the call of cruise vessels to Port Castries.
Dive St Lucia has become the world’s most energy-efficient scuba diving facility, after it was awarded a Platinum LEED certification by the United States Green Building Council. The accolade was celebrated with a poolside ceremony which was attended by was the country’s education minister Dr. Gale Rigobert, who is also responsible for sustainable development.