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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

in some form or another. Grilled pig tails, crab backs, roastedbreadfruit, green fig and saltfish are all popular dishes,especially when washed down with a local rum punch.Charterhouse, located in the bustling Rodney Bay marina, is oneof the oldest restaurants on the island and is where you will finda simple menu with catch-of-the-day specials or spare ribs -served with a spicy sauce. The Coal Pot is another old, familyrun restaurant that serves French dishes adapted with localsauces. For one of the best restaurants on the island, head toPiano Piano at Cotton Bay Village. For elegant dining, the GreatRoom restaurant at The Jalouise Plantation serves fresh andsucculent seafood dishes. Mustique South of St Lucia, the Grenadines chain is a trail of palm-studded sandbars, coral reefs and tiny islets, which include theinherently glamorous and sophisticated island of Mustique.In 1958, this exclusive, private island was transformed intoa luxurious barefoot retreat by Lord Glenconner. Without doubtthe best way to arrive is by yacht (the island's tiny airport closesat sunset as there are no lights on the airstrip). For decades the island has attracted both English aristocracyand Hollywood elite, all of whom come here to discover itstranquil peace and privacy. Owned by a consortium, there is onlyone hotel, a small guesthouse and an eclectic collection ofvillas. A genuine tropical paradise, it is ideal for those want-ing an easy, relaxing, chic retreat. Mustique does not have its own marina, but Britannia Bayis sheltered from the trade winds and has mooring buoys.Anchor off the bay and take the tender ashore to the hub ofthe island. Here you will find most of the shops, restaurantsand bars. Overlooking Endeavour Bay, the Beach Café at TheCotton House (as mentioned above, the only hotel on theisland) is a great spot for lunch. The Veranda, also at the hotel,is perfect for candlelit dinners. For a spot of Caribbean revelry,Basil's Bar is a popular island hang out. Wednesday nights seelocals and celebrities sharing the dance floor at the bar'sweekly Jump Up. Alternatively, step back a century with after-noon tea at The Cotton House, or visit the quaint restaurantand cocktail bar Firefly, which also doubles as the island's onlyguesthouse. Mustique has plenty of walking and hiking trails, or you couldexplore the island by 'mule' (aka a golf cart). There is also anequestrian centre and several horse-riding tracks that will leadyou to the island's best-known beaches of Macaroni on theAtlantic side and Lagoon Beach and the bay at Gelliceaux on thecalmer Caribbean side of the island.nFor further information on chartering in the Caribbean, contact yourCamper & Nicholsons charter broker, see page 6 WINDWARD ISLANDS' ITINERARY DAY1 Martinique - St Lucia (45nm) DAY2 St Lucia DAY3 St Lucia - St Vincent (40nm) DAY4 St Vincent DAY5 St Vincent - Bequia (15nm) DAY6 Bequia - Mustique (8nm) DAY7 Mustique - Tobago Cays (14nm) DAY8 Tobago Cays - Mayreau - Petit St Vincent (8nm) DAY9 Petit St Vincent - Carriacou (12nm) DAY10 Carriacou - Grenada (40nm) THE EXPERT'S ADVICE.Captain James Campbell aboard the 34.3m (112'5) sailing yachtMystery recommends not attempting too much on a charter -pace yourself or you simply won't enjoy it and all the beachesand anchorages will blend into one other. Instead, think Caribbean style and slow down. If you dowant to visit lots of islands, choose small ones that are closetogether, like the Grenadines chain. If you pick larger, moreremote islands, prioritise just a few to truly appreciate them andtheir incredible rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, towns and beaches.64Isea&iIWINTER 2012ICON62.25m (204'), 12 guestsfrom US$475,000 per week JO50m (164'), 10/12 guestsfrom US$175,000 per week