DOMINICA  |  Dominica, Dominica Travel Guide
Monday, August 3, 2020
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Touring the Southern Tip

Roseau to Scotts Head and Loubiere to Petite Savanne

You’ll have to take two routes to explore the island south of Roseau because no single road follows the southernmost coast. Leave the capital on the coast road in the direction of Charlotteville and Castle Comfort, where you find several small hotels along the rocky shore. When you reach the village of Louibiere, you can cut across the mountains to Grand Bay and Petite Savanne or stay along the waterfront all the way to Scotts Head.

Soufrière Bay

The coastal road south of the fishing village of Louibier takes you through lovely countryside to Soufrière Bay. Stop here to see the murals of village life painted on the walls of the Catholic church which has stood near the beach since King George III was ruler of England. Nearby, fishermen build lobster traps and work on their colorful boats, and kids from the village play in the surf made warm by hot springs. The town is now known for its lively street parties called Korne Korn La, and it was once the site of sugar and lime juice factories. You can visit the remains of the old buildings, if they interest you, but there’s not much to see.

Sulphur Springs

From the edge of the village, near the school, you can drive less than a mile inland to the Sulphur Springs and hot water pools. French soldiers once relaxed in baths built around the springs, and today islanders use the steamy waters for bathing and washing clothes. It’s possible to hike into the mountains from here to Tête Morne, where you’ll have a sensational view of Grand Bay on the Atlantic coast.

Scotts Head

Back on the coast highway, heading south from Soufrière, you soon come to Scotts Head. This is one of the prettiest bits of land on the island. A narrow strip of land connects the lively fishing village of Scotts Head with the southernmost promontory tip of the island where Fort Cachacrou once stood. Most of the fort has long ago crumbled and fallen into the ocean, but you can climb to the top of the peninsula for an awesome view in every direction – Martinique is 20 miles to the south; the coast of Dominica sits to the north; and the meeting of the Atlantic and the Caribbean is to the east.

A narrow sandy beach fronts the marine reserve that protects the underwater environment between Point Cachacrou (the headland that is now often called Scotts Head as well, since the fort no longer exists) and Anse Bateaux, north of Soufrière. Snorkeling and scuba diving are outstanding here, and gorgeous coral reefs grow close to shore on underwater volcanoes.

The coastal road ends at Scotts Head, so if you want to drive to the southern villages and on the east side of the mountain, you must return to Loubiere (about a 15-minute trip). Where the road divides, a turn to the east (right when heading toward Roseau) will take you inland up a steep road lined with fern and bamboo.

At Bellevue Chopin, high on the mountain, there are wonderful views of Roseau. You can hike to Morne Anglais from here, but it’s a long, steep climb. You may opt to continue down to the village of Bereuka on Grand Bay.

Land in this area, at the remote southeast end of the island, has always been used for agriculture. At one time, large plantations sprawled across the region, and you can visit old lime factories and sugar mills. One of the most interesting is the mill at Geneva Estate, which is the setting for parts of novels written by Dominica-born writer Jean Rhys, author of the popular Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s located on the road between Berekua and Petite Savane, along with others at Stowe and Bagatelle, near Fond Saint Jean.

Grand Bay

The headlands at both ends of Grand Bay, Pointe Tanama on the west and Carib Point on the east, were once fortified to protect the island from attack. You can explore along these cliffs to find ruins of the old forts and take in sweeping views of the bay. Another fantastic viewpoint is Tête Morne, reached by a steep road at the west end of L’Allay, the main village street. When the road ends, you can walk up the hill to the lookout. The jagged path down the other side leads to the sulphur springs above the village of Soufrière.

In the village of Grand Bay, the most interesting site is the church that was founded by the Jesuits in the early 1700s. The bell tower has been relocated to a hilltop so its sound can carry over a wider area. In the cemetery is the oldest crucifix on the island, which was carved from a solid block of stone about 1720.

Continuing east, you drive along the cliffs with terrific views of the surf breaking below the villages of Stowe and Dubuc. Farther on, you come to Petite Savanne, where descendants of the first French settlers produce bay oil and rum. A new road has been completed on to the village of Delices on the east coast, but it is quite steep and the mountains plunge sharply into the ocean, so you may want to skip the adventure. Hikers can take a trail that leads up to Morne Paix Bouche, which offers good views of the east coast at Pointe Mulatre.

Last updated December 6, 2007
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