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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Castries

Castries, St Lucia

St Lucia is a small, beautifully formed island that lies in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Its landscapes are ripe for exploration and include long coastlines punctuated with volcanic beaches and a heart full of thick rainforests. Holidays to St Lucia aren't just about relaxing and taking it easy as you soak up the tropical atmosphere, they're also about excitement and adventure.

The island's capital, Castries, is a dynamic port city and has plenty of the charm that St Lucia is famous for. There's lots to enjoy in the city itself and it's also a great base for exploring the wider area.

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A place with a colourful past

One of the best things about Castries holidays is getting to discover a city with such a colourful past. Its colonial history can be seen throughout the buildings in the surrounding streets. Unfortunately many examples of colonial architecture were damaged by several fires over the last few centuries, but there are still plenty of historic sites to visit.

One of the most attractive of these is the 19th-century Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which also happens to be one of the largest churches in the Caribbean. Also worth a visit are Castries Public Library and Government House. Derek Walcott Square is a lovely, quiet place to relax and take in all the historic buildings around it. It's also ideal for enjoying a spot of people-watching.

Quick Tips

  • Christianity
  • East Caribbean Dollar
  • English
  • GMT -4

Explore the marvellous market

Probably the city's most popular and most visited attraction is Castries Market. It's a huge, vibrant market that attracts as many locals as it does tourists. The stalls are simply heaving with all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as plenty of meats and fresh, locally-caught fish. You'll find the scent of exotic spices in the air wherever you go. This is a great place to sample some Creole street food and soak up the bustling atmosphere at the same time.

Other stalls sell a variety of arts and crafts, including handmade souvenirs. You can also pick up items such as wood carvings, pottery, jewellery and clothing. Whatever stalls you visit, be ready to bargain for your intended purchases, as haggling is fully expected!

Perfect for a shopping spree

A holiday to Castries is a dream come true for shopaholics, as it's full of places to indulge in some serious retail therapy. Away from the market is a fantastic choice of shops selling all sorts of goods. For some of the best duty-free bargains, try Pont Seraphine and La Place Carenage shopping centres. Here you'll find discounted items such as jewellery and silks. There are also places to pick up some higher end items, like diamond rings and necklaces.

Visit the art studio of world-famous wood sculptor, Joseph Eudovic. Here you can not only see some stunning examples of his work, but also pick up some pieces for your mantelpiece at home!

Visit the best beach in St Lucia

Castries holidays provide the perfect opportunity to get out and about on the beautiful island of St Lucia. Rodney Bay is less than a 30-minute drive away and has a marina that's full of shops, bars and restaurants. There's also a lovely stretch of white sand that's idyllic thanks to its peaceful and laid-back nature.

Reduit Beach is one of the best in the whole of St Lucia and it's not hard to see why. It boasts fine, white sand and almost impossibly-clear water. As well as enjoying the beach by simply lying back on the sand and relaxing, you can get involved in a variety of watersports. Go sailing, ride on a banana boat or visit the open-air water park with lots of fun inflatables.

Nearest airport to Castries

George F. L. Charles Airport – .002 kilometres

You can get from George F. L. Charles Airport to Castries in less than 10 minutes.

Castries St Lucia holidays offer the chance to explore a Caribbean island that's packed with personality and character. The city of Castries offers a vibrant mix of colonial history and convenient modern features, meaning it has something to offer all its visitors. Soak up history by sightseeing and rubbing shoulders with the locals at the market, shop 'til you drop or enjoy fun days out – it's totally up to you!