Castries is the capital and the largest city Saint Lucia, a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The city is designed in a grid pattern, and houses the seat of government as well as the head offices of several foreign and local businesses. Castries was originally “Carénage,” meaning 'safe anchorage', when it was founded by the French in 1650, but got its current name in 1756 after Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries, a French marshal.
What to see & do
Vigie Beach - Vigie Beach is a popular and very easily accessible white sand beach in Castries, located 2 kilometres north of the city, immediately adjacent to the city's primary airport. Though a popular attraction, the beach offers peace and quiet, calm waters, a nice shade, and with very little to no crowds.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries – Located in Derek Walcott Square is the seat of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Castries. The cathedral is named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The interior contains a mural created by a St. Lucian artist by the name of Dunstan St. Omer. Measuring 200 feet long by 100 feet wide, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is the largest church in the Caribbean and was established as a Minor Basilica on May 1999.
Derek Walcott Square - Derek Walcott Square is a public square and park formerly called Place d'Armes, Promenade Square, and then Columbus Square. The current name was given in 1993, after Nobel laureate Derek Walcott. It is a local landmark and is located in central Castries, bound by the streets Bourbon, Brazil, Laborie, and Micoud. At the square are notable structures such as the Castries Central Library and the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
How to get around Saint Lucia
The most common means of public transportation in Saint Lucia is by bus service via privately owned minivans. The stops are frequent in main towns but there is no scheduled timetable, although buses generally only run until 10 PM. Buses can also be flagged down provided there are still seats available and there is enough space for the bus to stop. Note that buses have a green license plate while taxis usually have a blue or red one. Car rental agencies provide not only cars for rent at rates similar to those in the U.S.A., but some also offer motorcycles and scooters for experienced riders. Drivers will need a permit and must know how to drive on the left-hand side. As for travelling by waterways, there are water taxis for travelling short distances to and from coastal towns and private beaches.
How to get there
Formerly Vigie Airport, George F. L. Charles Airport is one of the two airports serving Saint Lucia, the larger of which is Hewanorra International Airport. George F. L. Charles Airport is located nearer to Castries, only 2 kilometres north of the city centre. The airport's runway runs parallel to Vigie Beach. The airport is served by airlines Air Antilles, Air Caraïbes, Air France, Caribbean Airlines, Caricom Airways, Corsair, Hummingbird Air, and LIAT. There are flights to this airport from Martinique, Pointe-à-Pitre, Trinidad and Tobago, Paramaribo, Roseau, Saint Croix, Antigua, and a few other cities.