Colourful, cruise-friendly capital
Castries – the capital of St Lucia – is the most popular spot on the island. It’s a magnet for cruise ships, so it’s well-equipped with luxury hotels, restaurants and shops.
The city also has spades of Caribbean charm, with mint, lemon, lime and pink buildings brightening up the streets. You can also browse for souvenirs among the 300-plus stalls at Castries Market, check out the grand library at Derek Walcott Square, or explore the tunnels of the old British La Toc Battery.
The nearest strip of sand is Vigie Beach. A few bars will top you up with rum cocktails and snacks, but it’s best to bring your own towel to crash out on – it’s a protected spot, so sunloungers are like gold dust.
Flight time from the UK to St Lucia is around 8 hours 30 minutes.
Transfer time from St Lucia airport to Castries is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
St Lucia is hot all year round, although the summer months coincide with hurricane season, and the heaviest rainfall is between June and November. Good news if you fancy some winter sun – the driest months are between December and March, when the average temperature is a balmy 28°C.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to St Lucia.
A 10% gratuity charge will typically be added to your hotel and restaurant bills in St Lucia, so check carefully. Any additional tipping is at your discretion, although 10% is a good guide. A dollar or two would be appreciated by maids, porters and drivers.
The official language of St Lucia is English.