- Saint Lucia
Located on the north-west coast of St Lucia, in the middle of Castries and Rodney Bay, the relaxed small town of Corinth hugs the shoreline and offers a carefree atmosphere.
This sentiment extends to nearby Choc Bay, where you can enjoy the tranquillity of the uninterrupted sands whilst relaxing under palm trees. Heading to Castries, which is a 15-minutes away by car, you can wander around the open-air market and gaze in awe at the vibrantly coloured houses.
Saint Lucia offers the perfect winter escape, with the best times to visit the island falling between mid-December and mid-May, where the weather is warm (though this is true all year-round) and also dry. Temperatures throughout the year rarely drop below the mid-20s, though the summer and autumn months does see increased rainfall.
For once-in-a-lifetime experiences coupled with breath-taking scenery, the aerial tram ride through the rainforest found at Castries Waterworks Forest Reserve is one excursion you simply don’t want to miss out on.
Staying in Castries, the carnival season is also worth being around for. It runs from June to mid-July and includes parades and street parties that give a real taste of local life and celebration.
The closest beach on-hand is Choc Bay, which is a throwback of simplistic, uninterrupted coastline (baring the odd paddleboard and palm tree).
If you don’t mind the short 10-minute drive, Reduit Beach is considered by many to be the finest on the whole island, combining snow-white sand with cool, calm waters and a selection of beachfront bars.
The former pirate bay of Rodney Bay Marina is now a sleek hub of top-end restaurants and cocktail bars. A host of international offerings, including seafood, steaks, Caribbean and, brilliantly, Eurobbean cuisines are available. Sit back, enjoy the meal and watch the yachts saunter in.
Given the tranquil and laidback nature of Corinth, Gros Islet is the best place to head to if you’re looking for something a bit livelier than the easy-going beach bar atmosphere. Rum cocktails, street food and street dancing are to be expected upon completion of the 15-minute taxi journey.
While not garish, it has the distinct feel of being set-up to cater primarily to the stunning shoreline, so we must travel further afield than this pint-sized town for a taste of culture. And there’s simply nothing better than the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival for that. The 10-day event attracts thousands of tourists each year, as well as some of the biggest names in world jazz.
Heading back to Castries Waterworks Forest Reserve, the thrill-seekers among you can ditch the aerial tram ride in exchange for something a bit more high-octane, by taking the zip-line down the mountainside. If that’s still not enough, you can choose to wait until after the sun’s set and participate in a night-time tour of the treetops.
And this wouldn’t be the Caribbean without mention of snorkelling, with St Lucia boasting some of the best spots anywhere in the region.
There are buses which connect the towns of the island and flagging one down isn’t too difficult, even if there is no obvious bus stop. There are also taxis to be found in front of major hotels and, in the towns, at taxi ranks. Rodney Bay also has water taxis for hire, which let’s you see the coastline from a complete different vantage point.