Canaries is a fishing village on the west coast of the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. It was originally settled in around 1763 by people from Martinique. Until the 1960s, the village was only accessible by boat, but the West Coast Road now links it with the of Anse La Raye to the north and the old French capital of Soufriere to the south. The road offers scenic views in both directions and Canaries makes a pleasant stop on a tour along the west coast. Canaries is known as Kanawe in Creole, from the word for cooking pots. This is a reminder of its colonial past and the sugar plantation that previously dominated the region and provided employment for local people. The plantation closed in the mid-20th century.
The pretty town of Anse La Raye is to the north of Canaries and near the beautiful Marigot Bay. It is worth a visit for its magnificent colonial architecture; while nearby attractions include Anse La Raye Falls and River Rock Falls. A popular weekly event, the Fish Fry, involves fishermen demonstrating their skills. The name of the town refers to the rays that can be seen in the bay. Marigot Bay is a beautiful bay, overlooked by forested hills to the interior and aquamarine waters to the coast. It has a pretty marina where yachts are moored while along the waterfront numerous bars and restaurants entice the visitor. Soufriere is the old French capital and today is a quiet town with a quirky marketplace and typical Saint Lucia charm. A fascinating history revolves around Soufriere Estate, which was gifted to the three Devaux brothers for their services and loyalty to King Louis XIV. The estate was used as a recuperative base for French soldiers when mineral springs were discovered. Slaves on the plantation were freed following the French Revolution and execution of several Royalists. Soufriere was replaced by Castries as the capital city when Saint Lucia came under British control. Throughout all these events and into modern times, hurricanes have meant that the city has been rebuilt several times.
Canaries makes a convenient base for exploring the local region, especially for those seeking a quieter environment for their base. The Soufriere Estate is worth a visit for its nature trails and lush botanical gardens, featuring a variety of tropical plants such as hibiscus and vanilla, as well as beautiful waterfalls and black mud river. Also, nearby are Gros Piton and Petit Piton, two impressive volcanic landforms that now form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The dormant Qualibou volcano with its hot sulphur springs makes a compelling excursion for the unusual experience of being able to drive through it.
There are a number of luxury hotels nearby. The Marigot Bay Saint Lucia is a luxury boutique hotel set in landscaped tropical gardens and features stylish, contemporary guest rooms, a blissful Caribbean and Zen inspired spa and opulent French restaurant. The Anse Chastanet Saint Lucia is located within 600 acres of grounds. This exclusive resort borders a marine reserve and features individually designed guest rooms, an award winning tree house restaurant and various activities from hiking trails and scuba diving to Ayurvedic massage. The Ladera Saint Lucia is a superb mountaintop hideaway set in an old cocoa plantation. Guest rooms feature private plunge pools and magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and the resort offers many excursions including rainforest tours, boat trips and horseback riding.
Our specialist Saint Lucia travel consultants can help you book your luxury escape to this sensational Caribbean island, contact our team today on 0845 3 656565 now, or complete our enquiry form below, or to the right, and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly.
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