History

The town was named Soufriere by the French because of the nearby sulphur springs (the French for sulphur is soufre), the smell of which permeates the area. The volcanic soil was ideal for agriculture and several plantations thrived, operated by French owners. Many of the estates still exist, although output is a fraction of that in their heyday, and they now focus on tourism which is the main economy of the area, and of the island as a whole. 

Estates

Soufriere Estate 

is famous for the botanical gardens, sulphur baths and Diamond Falls, a waterfall. 

Fond Doux Estate 

is a 250-year-old working plantation with a renovated 19th century colonial house. This plus private cottages, restaurants, pools and a spa are now an award-winning resort.

Rabot Estate 

is home to Boucan, the luxury hotel and restaurant operated by Hotel Chocolat. The working cocoa plantation supplies beans that are used on site and in the company’s chocolate bars.

The Pitons

The famous twin peaks of Gros Piton (771 m, 2,530 ft) and Petit Piton (743 m, 2,438 ft) have to be one of the most sensational sights in the world! In 2004 the Piton Management Area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guided hiking tours operate regularly, usually with an early morning start and always with the reward of stunning panoramic views from the peak.

The other most famous attraction in the area is the world’s only drive-in volcano, although visitors are asked to park vehicles and then walk.

Interesting facts

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Saint Lucia on 16th February 1966, her yacht pulled into Soufriere harbour rather than Castries.

Josephine, who married Napoleon Bonaparte of France, was likely born in Martinique although she did spend some of her childhood in Saint Lucia, specifically in Soufriere.

The 1985 British comedy film Water, which starred Michael Caine and was scripted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, was shot mostly in and around Soufriere.