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62Isea&iIWINTER 2012St Lucia &Mustique Made up of rainforest landscapes and sheltered bays fringed with white-sand beaches,the Windward Islands are strewn down the eastern Caribbean. Within this island grouplie the larger islands of St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada, all of which are volcanic, lush andmountainous, while the Grenadines, which lie in between, are small islands with melodiousnames the likes of Bequia, Mustique and Canouan. Best discovered by yacht, Canouan'speace and solitude is unsurpassed, while Bequia and Mustique, though laid back, offer aplethora of activities and high-end resorts. ST. VINCENTYOUNG ISLANDBEQUIAKingstownSt George'sCelesteMUSTIQUECANOUANMAYREAUUNION ISLANDCARRIACOUTOBAGO CAYSPALM ISLANDRHODE ISLANDGREEN ISLANDGRENADAPETIT ST. VINCENTPETIT MARTINIQUESt Lucia Fringed by volcanic and white-sand beaches and with an interiorthick with rainforests, the volcanic island of St Lucia is one of themost popular in the Caribbean. Over the years it has attractedsailors of all types, from pirates nestling in the safety of the

a causeway, abounds with walking trails and historic remnantsof its turbulent past. During the 18th century, the island changedhands between the French and the British 14 times, hence theisland's placenames, Creole cuisine and French patois. The 19th-century Fond Doux Estate is also worth a visit towitness plantation life as it was in its heyday. The estate hasacres of orchards, cocoa trees, coconut, coffee, nutmeg,banana and cinnamon plantations. Those looking to takeadvantage of duty-free shopping should venture to theisland's capital of Castries. Not for the fainthearted, thebustling market and two shopping areas are great for retailtherapy but as Castries Port is a stopover for many large cruiseliners, the area can get busy. St Lucia is dotted with idyllic resorts, including Marigot Bay.Set in what has been described as being the most beautifulbay in the Caribbean, it has provided shelter to marinersfor centuries and is a favourite with charterers. Today it housesa marina, spa, fitness centre, restaurants, shops and resort withpool, all linked by a winding boardwalk. The island offers a plethora of dining options, andlocal delicacies of Creole cuisine appear on most menus?aboardashoreWINTER 2012I sea&iI63Above:discover thesheltered bays andsecluded beaches of the Windward Islands Opposite page: St Lucia'sfamous Piton mountainshurricane hole at Marigot Bay, to French and English military incenturies past. Today the island attracts hikers, divers andnature lovers who come to explore its breathtaking mountainsand underwater world created by past volcanic activity. From therugged terrain of the south, where the Piton mountains soar, tothe white sand beaches and pretty coves of the north, the islandhas something for everyone.The rainforest interior conceals a number of hiking trails,including those that lead across the towering Gros Piton.Explorers with a head for heights can go even deeper into therainforest by taking the aerial tram over the trees, or a zip-linethrough them. The waters that lap the shores of St Lucia are teeming withcolourful marine life. Snorkel and dive around Soufriere MarinePark, turtle-spot at Grand Anse on the island's remote eastcoast, and kite surf to your heart's content. For a taste of St Lucia's past, stroll around the old town ofSoufriere. Once the island's capital, it is surrounded by thesulphur springs that lend it its name, and still has originalCreole buildings. Pigeon Island, a 44-acre national park linked to St Lucia by