A port of call for several Caribbean cruise ships, Castries is a major tourist area of Saint Lucia, which also serves as the administrative capital. Originally founded by the French in 1650, Castries is in fact mostly built on reclaimed land. The Pointe Seraphine harbor located to the north of downtown, Castries is a major Saint Lucia tourist attraction featuring many duty-free shopping outlets, hotels, bars and restaurants. Water taxi services are also available from Castries taking visitors to other island main towns like Soufriere, Gros Islet and Rodney Bay.
Major landmarks of the Castries skyline include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the City Library, the Government House, Fort Charlotte, Morne Fortune and the popular Derek Walcott Square. Renowned for its beaches which attract scores of tourists to Castries, Vigie Beach, Malabar Beach, Choc Beach and La Toc Beach are the most favorite and within easy reach.