Equal parts beauty and mystique, Saint Lucia captivates anyone who sets foot on her coastline. Always evocative, she welcomes visitors with her soothing waves, warm beaches and hospitable people. The only sovereign nation to be named for a woman, the island personifies adventure and inspiration. Her visitors invariably find themselves reluctant to leave and eager to return.

From the calm bays of warm, Caribbean waters to the majestic Piton mountains, Saint Lucia is an inviting island that greets you warm welcome and invites you to stay awhile. Delight your sense of adventure with the world’s only drive-in volcano, located at Sulphur Springs, near Soufriere.

Downstream, where the volcanic spring water is cooler, are mud baths, which are said to have healing properties. Another favorite pastime on Saint Lucia is hiking through the lush rainforest. There is plenty to explore, with 77 percent of the island covered in tropical forest.

This mountainous, volcanic island is in the Lesser Antilles, with its closest neighbors being St. Vincent, Barbados and Martinique.

A former colony of England, it changed hands between the British Empire and France seven times before ultimately gaining its independence and joining the British Commonwealth.

In the island’s north, Pigeon Island National Park, accessible via causeway, is home to hiking trails and the ruins of 18th Century forts open to visitors. Nearby is Rodney Bay, the scene of much of the island’s nightlife, including Treasure Bay Casino Saint Lucia, the island’s only casino, for thrilling gaming and shopping.

To the island’s south are a number of colonial-era forts, and on the west side are the Piton Mountains and the original French capital city of Soufriere, from which you can set to explore the waterfalls and hiking trails around those mountains.

Accommodations range from elegant boutique resorts such as Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, Sugar Beach Resort, and Jade Mountain to all-inclusive resorts like Royalton Saint Lucia and three Sandals resorts with a fourth under construction.

Then it’s time to celebrate, Saint Lucia does not disappoint. Its annual Jazz Festival takes place in early May at venues throughout the island and attracts music fans and some of the finest talent from around the world. In mid-July, Saint Lucia celebrates Carnival. Normally a pre-Lent festivity, Carnival was moved to later in the year so Saint Lucia’s celebration doesn’t overlap with the other islands.

Saint Lucia also is an ideal destination for romance, with resorts that provide seclusion combined with breathtaking views to set just the right mood for a romantic getaway. No matter what you’re looking for in a vacation, Saint Lucia will cause you to be reluctant to leave and eager to return.

This content is provided by Travel Leaders / Fly Away Travel, located at 1445 W. Harvard Avenue in Roseburg. Call 541-672-5701 for information.

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