Luxury Multi Centre Holidays
The northern and southern halves of St Lucia are so different that you may find it hard to choose between the two, so many people find it's worth considering a two-centre holiday on the island itself. But then every Caribbean island has its own special character, so it seems a pity to confine yourself to just one, when you can sample the diverse landscapes and cultures of more than one of these paradise islands -- for instance, a two-centre St Lucia and Antigua holiday would be easy to arrange. Alternatively, why not enjoy really contrasting experiences by adding a city break in New York City, Las Vegas or Los Angeles to your St Lucia Holiday?
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Luxury St Lucia Holidays
The island of St Lucia stands apart from the rest of the Caribbean for its dramatic and varied landscapes, and astonishingly diverse culture and cuisine. Its towering mountains, luxuriant rainforests, palm-fringed beaches, and acres of coconut, banana and spice plantations ensure it packs more beauty and attraction into its small size than virtually any other destination in the world. The fact that it's also one of the best choices for secluded, romantic and upmarket places to stay makes it a magnet for visitors worldwide looking for that really special spot.
One of the factors making this island so out of the ordinary is that, while for most Caribbean islands the beaches are the major draw, on St Lucia the beaches are almost outshone by the island's other natural wonders. This certainly doesn't mean that St Lucia doesn't have gorgeous beaches -- it certainly does: golden in the north, and silvery-dark in the south. But with the abundance of attractions throughout the island, the beaches are only a small part of the magic that awaits the visitor.
In fact, the variety within this small island is so great that the difference between the north and south makes it seem like two islands in one. The north is busier and more developed, and has the golden beaches and a much wider selection of restaurants and bars. The south, and particularly the south-west, is more scenic and tranquil, and has the bulk of the really upmarket places to stay.
The Scenic South-west
The part of the island that draws the most visitor activity is the south-west, around the Soufrière area, where you behold the iconic Pitons, which in many ways have become a symbol of St Lucia. The twin volcanic peaks rise steeply from the ocean floor to heights of over 2,500 feet, their foliage-covered slopes towering majestically over the southern coast. You can climb them, either independently or with a guided tour -- though in the heat and humidity it is not an easy ascent -- or simply drink in the amazing view.
At the heart of this stunning region of mountains, old plantations and hidden beaches is the sleepy fishing port of Soufrière, the island's oldest settlement -- a typically Caribbean town, with its brightly painted old wooden buildings contrasting with the rainforest backdrop. Here you find Mount Soufrière, considered the world's only drive-through volcano, and also known as Sulphur Springs, because the volcano emits sulphurous gases rather than lava. Visitors can view bubbling pools and hissing fumaroles, and bathe in therapeutic springs.
Close to Soufrière is the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, located in a sheltered gorge, the waters of its shimmering falls laced with minerals that cause the colours to change constantly between golden, black and green throughout the day. Of all the island's waterfalls, this is the most spectacular. The gardens are full of tropical blooms and foliage, planted among coconut, cocoa, mahogany and red cedar trees.
Despite the many competing attractions, it would be a pity to miss out on St Lucia's plethora of beautiful beaches, with a diversity to suit all tastes. The most popular beach is Reduit in the north-west, loved for its amber sands and matching sunsets, and its abundance of lush greenery for shelter from the sun. It is considered the best beach for water sports, and is close to Rodney Bay, the island's main resort, with bustling activity and nightlife.
A more peaceful and sheltered alternative is Anse Chastanet, with a superb coral reef and the best for diving and snorkelling, as well as enjoying stunning views of the Pitons. Marigot Bay, just south of the capital Castries along the central western coast, is arguably the most beautiful bay on the island, with steep lush hillsides plunging straight down to the idyllic palm-fringed beach, and anchored yachts bobbing in the azure wanters.
An Unspoilt Island
St Lucia has been one of the less well-known islands of the Caribbean, but now greater numbers of people are being drawn to its stunning attractions. Despite its increasing popularity, most of the island remains totally unspoilt, with little of the bustle found in more established Caribbean destinations. At any time of year, you can expect the warmest, friendliest and most relaxed welcome, a superb selection of places to stay, and probably the widest choice of sights to see and things to do in the entire Caribbean.