Holidays to Castries park you in St Lucia's brimming-with-culture capital. And jaunts to the island's top sights are an absolute doddle.

Care-free capital

Castries might be the biggest town in St Lucia, but it’s kept a firm grip on its casual Caribbean roots. Every colour in the palette gets an outing, with shades of mint-green, duck-egg-blue and candyfloss-pink splashed across the Colonial houses. Trace a line around the edge of the cruise ship-filled harbour, and you’ll reach one of the island’s squeaky clean scoops of icing-white sand – La Toc Beach

Perfect postcode

This east coast spot’s like the start line for exploring St Lucia. To the north, you’ve got the lively town of Rodney Bay. A 15-minute trundle along the waterfront gets you there, and you can have a flutter in the island’s only casino, snap panoramic pics from the top of Pigeon Island, and join the famous weekly knees-up. Boat trips, meanwhile, bring the south of the island into play. Hop aboard at the ferry terminal, and you can bob down for a gander at the mighty Piton mountains. They’re top of the sightseeing checklist, and the views from the water trump land-based trips by far.

History and haggling

History buffs have plenty to get their teeth into in Castries. One of the largest churches in the Caribbean – the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception – calls the capital home. And if you turn your attention to the slopes of Morne Fortune mountain, you’ll find the crumbling leftovers of a military fort burrowed among the trees. Shopping’s another big ticket item – you can go from haggling for fresh fruit and textiles at Castries Market to boutique buys at La Place Carenage mall.

At a Glance

  • Flake out on La Toc Beach
  • Check out the views from the tip of Morne Fortune
  • Sail to the iconic twin Piton mountains