Like a Hawaiian island that’s drifted into the Caribbean, St Lucia’s loved for its volcanic peaks, verdant rainforest, tumbling waterfalls and technicolour reefs. Glass-clear waters lap onto palm-decked, sun-doused shores and heavenly hotels put you right by the best of them. Speak to one of our holiday experts to start planning your St Lucia holiday.
Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) & George F.L. Charles Airport (SLU)
A typical flight time from London to the St Lucia is 8 hours 50 minutes. We have holidays with direct flights from London. You can also fly indirectly from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester. Call us for other flying options.
St Lucia has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 25-30°C throughout the year, complemented by cooling north-east trade winds. November is usually the hottest month, while January and February tend to be the coolest.
The rainy season is from June to November, with the rainiest time of year tending to be around September / October. Though as you find elsewhere in the Caribbean, this doesn’t spell out constant downpour – just short, sharp showers soon followed by glorious sunshine.
The sea temperature sticks around 27°C, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and other water activities. Our best time to visit guide can help you decide when to visit St Lucia.
The Lucian Carnival takes place in Castries every July, with parades, pageants and parties featuring a colourful combination of steel drum music, feathered costumes and dancing. The Parade of the Bands is the biggest event – following a circuit from John Compton Highway to Jeremie Street, Bridge Street and Monoel Street then back down Jeremie Street.
Hosted in four selected communities each year, the Jounen Kweyol festival celebrates the island’s French-African heritage with traditional Madras clothing, Creole food, music and folklore.
Music’s a massive part of St Lucian life – Chak-Chak bands play traditional Creole on taboo drums, violin, guitar and banjo while Calypso artists sing of social and political issues accompanied by percussion, keyboard and horns. Soca, Reggae, Dancehall and Zouk have grown in popularity over the years, and you’ll often find steel pan music played by local bands.
Every weekend, villages come alive for Jump Up street parties to celebrate food, music and dancing – the biggest and loudest takes place in Gros Islet. Annual festivals include the St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (usually in May) which brings in jazz-steelpan musicians like Victor Provost and soul singers like Malika Tirolien.
Over the years there’s been oodles of influence on St Lucian cuisine, which is what makes it so delicious and fascinating. African, Asian, French and Creole flavours appear a lot, as do local produce like coconuts, chocolate, bananas and seafood.
Seafood’s long been a regular feature on restaurant menus, and the national dish is stewed saltfish with boiled green figs (unripe bananas). Another old favourite is conch – known locally as lambi – served in a spicy Creole stew. Recently, chefs have been preparing lionfish as a way to support the local ecosystem – worth a try to do your bit for the planet (plus they’re delicious). The local seafood is celebrated weekly at the Fish Fries and street parties – a terrific way to meet the locals who catch and prepare the food in your amazing meals.
Bouillon meat stew with dumplings is another traditional dish to look out for, and don’t miss out on a taste of Hot Bakes, which are deep-fried bread (a bit like a savoury doughnut) served as an island breakfast with cocoa tea. For lunch or snack, stalls sell Indian Roti - flatbread filled with spicy meat and veg.
Chocolate plays a big role in all things sweet – they’ve even dedicated a Heritage Month (August) to celebrate this longstanding local produce – and you’ll also find lots of puddings based on bananas and coconuts. On top of this, bread pudding and fruitcake are two classics.
To see St Lucia’s food scene at its best, visit during the Food & Rum Festival (usually in August) which is filled with cooking demos and tastings.
Heineken’s first Caribbean brewery was set up on St Lucia and the iconic Piton beer was born - a hoppy, floral pilsner lager that’s been a staple in island life since the nineties.
When it comes to rum, the Dennery and Roseau Distilleries merged to form the St Lucia Distillers company in 1972. Brands include the superior Chairman’s Reserve, popular Bounty golden rum, Crystal white rum and the Nuts N Rum cream blending peanuts and spices. The St Lucian Rum Punch is a national favourite found all over the island, blending rum with OJ, pineapple juice, lime, cinnamon, nutmeg and grenadine.
Fruit juices include Golden Apple (or Pomme Cythere), Sour Sop and Tamarind. For breakfast, Cocoa tea is made from water, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and milk.
Cricket is huge in St Lucia, and you’ll see locals playing matches on fields and beaches all over the island. The Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium (which used to be the Beausejour Stadium) is named after the only St Lucian to play for the West Indies. It hosts international matches and the Windward Islands Cricket Team and St Lucia Zouks play here – see if you can catch a T20 in the summer for a grand day out.
Shoppers are best catered for on the northwest of the island, where the bulk of shops can be found around Castries town and Rodney Bay. Both have a handful of duty-free stores, where you can pick up perfumes, make up and jewellery minus the tax. You’ll also find lots of souvenir shops for the usual t-shirts, towels, keyrings and such. For the market experience, head into Castries town centre on a Saturday when farmers flog some of the freshest, most colourful fruit and veg you’ll ever see. Some of our favourite shops are the ones you have to search a bit deeper for – like the one in the Pink Plantation House in Castries, and the Choiseul Art Gallery to the south of the island. It’s here you’ll find proper St Lucian-made goods to take home and treasure, from paintings and pottery to one-of-a-kind accessories.