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

Soufriere

Soufriere, St Lucia

Any holiday to St Lucia will be sublime – but Soufriere takes it to another level. This sleepy fishing village combines the three most popular areas on the island: the imposing mountains, the lush tropical rainforest and the deserted beaches.

From this town, you have access to nearly all of St Lucia's top attractions – from swimming under waterfalls to trekking up the volcanic spires called Pitons. Soufriere holidays are quietly incredible. There are no busy crowds of tourists – instead, you have the freedom to explore this striking area on your own terms. Soufriere is the heart and soul of St Lucia, and one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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Take a pew for the best views

Holidays to Soufriere give you unlimited access to one of St Lucia's most popular attractions, the two Piton mountains. These volcanic peaks rise from the sea to dominate the skyline. They're called Gros Piton and Petit Piton and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In Soufriere's crescent-shaped harbour you'll find guides willing to take you out across the water – hop in and view the lofty mountains at their best. You can also hike to the top. From Gros Piton Visitor Centre, it's approximately a two-and-a-half-hour, guided climb to the top. The panoramic views from this spot are easily some of the best on the island.

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Relax on a moon-shaped bay

The beaches on St Lucia are wild, secluded and easy to explore, and it's the same in Soufriere. There are a few beaches around the town, so spend some time venturing to them all.

Anse des Pitons – or Sugar Beach – is one of the most popular. As its name implies, the sand is sparkling white, as it was imported from Guyana. It's more reminiscent of beaches from holidays to Thailand, as most of St Lucia's beaches are made up of grey, silvery sand. On Sugar Beach, you're nestled between the peaks of the Piton Mountains, and it's a popular spot for watersports like snorkelling.

Soufriere holidays really must include a visit to Anse Chastanet too. It's one of the world's most beautiful beaches thanks to its half-moon shaped bay, warm waters, huge palm trees and views over the Pitons.

Immerse yourself in St Lucian culture

Make the most of your Soufriere holidays by exploring the island's culture. There are numerous influences on the island – think European, African and Indian. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the Creolean cuisine that's served up in every restaurant.

Soufriere's traditional cafes are loved for their classic Caribbean dishes. Don't be put off by what the cafes look like: once you take your first mouthful, you'll see this has no effect on the quality of the food. Dishes to try include stewed chicken in coconut and treacle, and fresh snapper, as well as the local rum.

The island's culture is apparent in the town's architecture too. Houses in bright colours contrast with classic French architecture, and when you explore further out, you'll see the old colonial plantations.

Dive into heart-racing activities

Soufriere might come across as a sleepy, relaxing town, but there's plenty to do to get your heart racing. You can try adventurous activities like zip-lining and biking through the jungle, as well as 4x4 driving. Snorkelling is popular on Soufriere holidays too, thanks to the clear waters and abundance of tropical fish. While you can head out to sea, most snorkelling spots are accessed from the shore.

Soufriere is also home to another activity – a combination of scuba diving and snorkelling: snuba. This allows you to explore as deep underwater as a diver without the need for qualifications and lessons. You can even dive into an old volcano. Refresh yourself afterwards at Toraille Falls, where you can wash off beneath a plunging waterfall.

Visit the national parks

Soufriere has two parks that are must-dos for all visitors, the Sulphur Springs Park and the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens.

The Sulphur Springs are located within the most geothermally-active part of the area's arc of volcanic islands. Explore the crater of this dormant volcano, and its moon-like landscape. Walk around the platforms and watch the bubbling pools of mud – and watch out for the vents of smelly sulphur gas!

The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens are a five-minute drive from Soufriere, and you can spend all day exploring its six acres. Follow paths, bridges and streams to see all the best plants and wildlife. At the end, you can take a rejuvenating swim in the mineral pools of the Diamond River.

Whether you're after a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure in the jungle, Soufriere, St Lucia holidays have it all. You can base yourself in a town that has the best views on the island, while being in close proximity to all of St Lucia's top attractions. When you're not snoozing on the beach, exploring the wilderness or trying the Creolean cuisine, you'll be made to feel right at home by the welcoming locals.