St Lucia - the one and only
The luring beauty of St Lucia - who can resist it? I myself cannot believe how it has managed to stay at the top of my bucket list for so long without it having been crossed off yet.
It’s not the first time I illustrate St Lucia here either; four years ago I did a St Lucia - Simply Beautiful photoblog to recreate its indescribable beauty and four years on I’m doing it again with a new set of photographs. Perhaps, a not-so-subtle reminder that I should have been there long ago, and maybe just the final push I needed to start planning my St Lucia holiday right now.
If there is one thing that truly tempts me about any destination that’s the beaches. Miles of pristine soft sands that stretch as far as the eye can see fringing crystalline waters in varying hues of turquoise and aquamarine. Or curvy, cosy beach coves that give you that warm sensation of being wrapped up in bliss.
St. Lucia has plenty of beach beauty to seduce even the most jaded, well-seasoned traveller. Simply put, they cannot leave you indifferent. I can easily picture myself just sitting back, putting my feet up (or digging my toes in the floury sands) soaking it all up and thinking that I’ve died and gone to heaven!
By the look of it and the many rave reviews it receives; it seems that the cuisine here is as delicious as the local selection of tropical fruits and vegetables. Freshness is at the core of every dish and the vast majority of cases the food on your plate hasn’t travelled miles to get there - it’s likely been caught that day, reared on a nearby organic farm or grown in an adjacent garden. And, just by looking at the above picture my mouth waters at the thought of tasting local delicacies.
St Lucian food has a West Indian base with a strong French accent and influences from British and East Indian cuisine too. One of the island’s mos popular dishes is “Bouyon”, consisting of stewed fish, chicken or meat served with plantains, dasheen, ground yams and dumplings as well as coconut.
If you thought that lazing on a gorgeous beach strip and lunching on the freshest catch of the day was the highlight of a St Lucia holiday, then think again! Sure, you can do nothing but bathe and be fed if that’s your idea of true relaxation but if after a few days of sunbathing you’re itching to get active, then let me assure you; there are plenty of pursuits to get your adrenaline pumping in St Lucia!
Activities on land and water abound, and some of the most exciting and thrilling include zip-lining, walking on hanging bridges above the forest floor (a.k.a. a tree-top canopy adventure), canoeing, kayaking and, of course; sailing - you’ll have a good array of luxury yachts to choose from if you want to explore the island’s coast and beyond.
In principle, an unassuming coastal town in western St. Lucia, the beautiful Marigot Bay isn’t just picture-perfect, it’s also historic. The site of several battles between British and French navies, its harbour is as scenic as it is steeped in history. Marigot Bay is also surrounded by lush natural beauty, against rolling green mountains and tall palm trees, its coast dotted by yachts and picturesque boats.
Once the original capital of St Lucia, the lovely beach town of Soufriere has strong French links and the remnants of French culture embedded in its day-to-day life. This breezy place is home to numerous beach resorts, the most spectacular of which are set overlooking the famous Pitons.
But beyond the iconic twin peaks there are many attractions awaiting the curious traveller; from the Sulphur Springs at the drive-through Qualibou volcano to the botanical gardens at Soufriere Estate (a colonial plantation that is also home to sulphur baths and the photogenic Diamond Falls).
Few sights are more representative of St Lucia than its twin peaks, most famously known as The Pitons (or “Les Pitons”) and a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. These giant volcanic plugs in the south of Soufriere stand at 771-metres-tall in the case of Gros Piton and 743-metre-tall in the cases of Petit Piton.
Both mountains not only serve as the backdrop for the most memorable photos of St Lucia, but are also a destination in their own right, attracting hikers of all levels, with Gros Piton being the easiest to climb despite being the tallest. Guided climbing tours are offered by The Soufriere Foundation and all proceeds go to the preservation of the area’s natural surroundings; so you know that by venturing up these mountains you’re also giving back to them. How is that for a doubly-sweet feeling of accomplishment?