Why go? Contrary to brochure belief, you don’t have to be a honeymooning couple holding hands on a beach to like St Lucia. This is one of the Caribbean’s lusher, hillier islands, peaking at 950m Mt Gimie – though it’s the two pointy Pitons that feature in more photos. A hike in the island’s rainforested interior will pass waterfalls, giant ferns and wild orchids, plus a bevy of birds. St Lucia also boasts the world’s only drive-in volcano (Qualibou), cacao estates (where you can go on tasty tours) and a colourful market (head to capital Castries on a Saturday morning). Don’t miss a trip to Pigeon Island, a national park dominated by an 18th-century fort, and a whale watching trip: sperm whales and various dolphins are common, and humpbacks and orcas swim by from time to time.
When to go: The weather is best mid-December-April; these are also the busiest and priciest months. May-early June will be quieter and cheaper, if muggier. Hurricane season is June-November. The best time for humpbacks is January-April.
How to go: There are non-stop flights from the UK to St Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport (8.5hrs).