Need to know
Fares from Dublin to Hewanorra International Airport start from €760 with British Airways (1890 626 747; www.ba.com) via London. Most hotels will organise transfers, or for a reliable taxi service, contact Andrew's on 00758 451 4740.
Where to stay
Budget: The beautifully located Marigot Beach Club and Dive Resort is an independent resort with 27 villa-style rooms tucked in the hill, each with kitchens and a private veranda with fantastic views over the bay. Prices, including breakfast, begin at around €100 per room (00758 458 3323; www.marigotbeachclub.com).
Mid-range: Situated between Marigot Bay and Soufrière, Ti Kaye Village is a great base with fantastic scuba and snorkelling right off shore. All rooms have ocean views, a private deck with a hammock, outdoor showers and some have private pools. Prices begin at €140 per room (00758 456 8101; www.tikaye.com).
Luxury: Relax in one of Jalousie's new vintage chic villas, with private plunge pools, butler service and four-poster beds. A new Rainforest Spa is due to open in spring. Prices per room begin at €400, though are due to go up once the renovation is complete (0044 845 217 7846; www. thejalousieplantation.com).
When to go
The wettest months are June to October; driest December to March. The best deals are during the off-peak season.
Five things to do
- Climb the majestic Gros Piton for an aerial view of the island. A guide is essential and can be booked for €22 with Gros Piton Tour Guides Association (00758 489 0136).
- See underwater life close-up at some of the Caribbean's most beautiful dive sites, such as Fairy Land in Anse Chastanet or the wreck at Ti Kaye. There is plenty to see just snorkelling too. André at Dive Fair Helen is a knowledgeable teacher and they offer a two-dive discovery day for €65 (00758 451 7716; www.divefair helen.com).
- The quiet fishing village Anse La Raye turns into a bustling fish market for 'Seafood Friday', with a whole red snapper at just €3.
- A great way to see the countryside is on horseback. International Riding Stables offer chances to ride along the beach at Cas en Bas -- even into the ocean -- and the instructors are experienced and friendly (00758 452 8139).
- For a real taste of St Lucian nightlife, shun the swanky hotel bars of Rodney Bay and go for the wild Jump Up in Gros Islet -- a street party with oodles of rum and bumping and grinding. For full details of all events and further information, go to the Tourist Board website at stlucia.org.