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Useful facts for your holiday to St Lucia
Flights and Transfers
There are regular direct flights from Gatwick to Hewanorra International Airport in the south of St Lucia. The direct flight time is approximately 8 hours, 40 minutes. Some carriers stop off on the way and times can vary on stopovers.
While the airport is on the very southern tip of the island, most of the major beach resorts are up in the North West. This means that a road transfer takes approximately 90 minutes from the airport to the majority of the resorts we offer.
Helicopter transfers are an excellent way to get around this. Not only do they significantly shorten the journey time (they take less than 15 minutes), you can also enjoy the truly stunning views of St Lucia from the air. You’ll land at Castries’ George F. L. Charles Airport, and most resorts are less than a 15-minute journey from there, subject to traffic. It’s worth noting that if you do choose a helicopter transfer, your luggage will be transported by road and will therefore arrive a little later than you do. As such, we recommend taking a change of clothes and some swimwear in your hand luggage so you can freshen up once you arrive at the resort and make use of the pool.
The resorts around Soufriere or close to the Pitons take around 45-minutes to an hour to reach by road from the main international airport.
If you have pre-booked your transfer arrangements with us you will be met on arrival by a Tropical Sky representative who will then guide you to your transfer vehicle.
Our villa holidays include a private taxi transfer for your party, direct from the airport to your villa. We highly recommend you hire a car for your stay, allowing you to explore this beautiful island or to simply just pop to the beach or shops. Our car hire includes delivery to the villa (and pick up at the end of the rental) which means you won’t have to drive all the way from the airport or waste time in a car hire office.
Currently, British and Irish passport holders do not require a visa to travel to St Lucia. This should be re-checked on booking for any possible changes. British Citizens travelling to St Lucia require a full British passport which must be valid for 6 months after departure from this country. All children and infants must also have their own passports for entry into St Lucia. A visa is not required. Please check up to date visa requirements with the Foreign Office.
English is the official language and you’ll be very hard pressed to find any residents who can’t converse in English – especially around the main tourist areas. In conversation with each other, many St Lucians speak a French patois.
Bus: A minivan bus service is available, travelling around the island at a frequent but irregular pace. The cost is very low – even the longest trips usually won’t cost more than £4, and short journeys can be as cheap as 50 pence (around EC $1.50). It’s worth knowing is exactly when the buses stop running, as the scheduling does not always follow a logical structure – services around Gros Islet and Castries run as late as 10pm, while services from the south to the north tend to stop running in the mid-afternoon. Overall, travelling by bus is less comfortable than other ways to get around, but it is a fantastic opportunity to interact with locals and see how real life goes in St Lucia.
Self-Drive: Recent works have improved the state of many of the roads in St Lucia. This has made travelling by rental car a much more pleasant experience, and we do highly recommend renting a car if you are booking one of our villa holidays You will need to obtain a visitor’s driving permit at around $21 in order to drive here unless you have an international driving permit. Our car rental starts at £200 for a week for a small run around with air-conditioning, rising to around about £350 for a 4x4. And our car rental includes delivery and pick up from your villa, so it’s a nice simple process. Cars are driven on the left, as in the UK. Make sure you stick to local speed limits, especially in the busier areas like Castries, where the city limit is 30mph. Drivers must be at least 25 years and have had a full licence for no less than two years. A baby or child seat will cost around $3 per day, and should be requested when booking. Don’t forget to take your drivers licence and a credit card.
Taxi: If you don’t fancy driving yourself, taxis are undoubtedly the most convenient and comfortable way to get around the island. Taxis here have fixed fares for standard trips and are not metred. You’ll find a fares list for the most common destinations. Some taxi drivers will accept United States Dollars as well as the official Eastern Caribbean Dollar – but be sure to check with the driver rather than assuming as this can save a lot of hassle later on. Sometimes fares can be negotiated – if you’re going to try, do it before you get in.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is the official local currency, although US$ are accepted throughout many resorts and restaurants, as are credit cards.
220 V, 50 HZ, rectangular three pronged plugs (UK standard)
Vaccinations and Health
As health requirements often change please consult with your GP or specialist travel clinic well in advance of your holiday for specific information related to your travel and medical history. Additional information can be found by visiting NaTHNaC or MASTA Travel health.
Like all Caribbean destinations, the days are very hot and the midday sun is intense. Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially at the hottest times, even if you don’t feel thirsty. The tap water is completely safe.
For further information visit the St. Lucia Tourist Board
GMT -4 hours (-5 hours in summer)