A Comprehensive Guide to the
Top Attractive Sights in
Martinique

Introduction

Palm trees, stunning beaches and the spicy flavourful creole – Do these sound appealing to you? Then it’s time to go to Martinique! Home to the smouldering Mont Pelée, Martinique is a cosmopolitan and sophisticated island offering a striking diversity of landscapes, top-notch culinary experiences, an enormous array of activities and a rich cultural life.

Martinique is where you get to see black sand beaches in the north and golden sand beaches in the south. From brightly coloured fishing yoles to typically Caribbean beats, a trip to Martinique will get you totally enthralled in Creole culture as it works its magic.

On this trip, we get to enjoy the views and explore the waters around Diamond Rock, a refuge for sea birds at the heart of the Caravelle Peninsula Nature Reserve. In Grand’Rivière, you’ll be entranced by the deft ballet of the fishermen and their multi-coloured skiffs.

If you want to combine hiking with swimming in turquoise waters, then the TrouCochon trail in Vauclin is the place to be. You can also go back in time at the former Habitation Clément rhum distillery, now a listed historical monument, before heading to the market in Fort-de-France for treats such as okra, chayote, and star fruit. What’s more? You get to proudly climb the active volcano of Mont Pelée which looms over the harbour town of St-Pierre, known as the Pompeii of the Caribbean and comes with lots of charm as well as some great restaurants and clubs.

Where is Martinique Located ?

Martinique It is a territory of the Overseas Territorial Community of France, situated in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the Eastern Caribbean Sea, with an area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 sq mi). It lies directly north of Saint Lucia, Northwest of Barbados and south of Dominica

10 Fun and Interesting Facts about Martinique

1. It’s one of the Lesser Antilles’ windward islands. 

2. Being part of France, its official language is French, although Creole Antillean is widely spoken. 

3. The island came under British rule twice, the first time during the Seven Years War and the second time during the Napoleonic Wars.

 4. The highest point on the island is Mont Pelée, 1.397 meters above sea level. 

5. It is difficult to navigate ships along the Martinique coast to the Caravelle Peninsula, which separates the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic. 

6. Popular attractions on the island include the tropical forest near Fond St-Denis, the beach of Les Salines, the rich flora and fauna diversity, among others. 

7. There are many flights to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport from Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. This is your point of entry to the island. 8. The most popular dish in the country is Colombo (a special curry chicken) with a spicy masala of Tamil origin.

What are the Top Attractive Martinique ?

1. Fort-de-France

Lively and energetic, Martinique’s capital city is the first must-see stop when visiting the island. This is the island’s main port where ferries arrive; rich in natural and cultural attractions, a nice choice of hotels, restaurants, and places to grab a drink. Do not miss out on the bustling Covered Market, where vendors sell unusual tropical produce, as well as local handicrafts.

2. Diamond Rock

Although Le Diamant hosts several marvelous beaches, it is Diamond Rock most people come to see. This island has a long naval history and a great value as the last refuge for several snake species. Due to the nearby underwater cave which hosts a spectacular display of sea fans and corals, it is a popular destination for scuba divers.

3. Trois Ilets

The island is blessed with great nightlife and dining scenes, so those in search of bars, clubs, casinos, and restaurants, head to the tiny marina village of Trois Ilets, where a wealth of interesting places await for exploration. Here visitors will find a number of resorts and hotels, as well as ice cream shops, clothing boutiques, and pizza joints.

4. Balata Botanical Garden

Created by a passionate horticulturalists, the Balata Botanical Garden (Jardin de Balata) near Fort-de-France, features more than 3,000 species of tropical plants and flowers cascade down the hillside, past ponds punctuated with water lilies and lotus blossoms. Raised wooden rope bridges suspended amid the treetops give an aerial view over the lush gardens while hummingbirds buzz in the fragrant air. Plenty of benches are tucked amid the foliage to relax and admire the mountain views framed by the gardens.

5. Zoo Martinique and Le Carbet

About ten minutes’ drive north of Le Carbet, Zoo Martinique – Habitation Latouche is a family-friendly attraction nestled among botanical gardens and the ruins of an old sugar plantation. The setting is as delightful as the small zoo. Paths and rope bridges meander through the lush tropical plants, and the large, well-designed animal enclosures are built around the atmospheric ruins. Highlights include the monkeys, jaguars, raccoons, and the chance to interact with colorful rainbow lorikeets. After visiting the zoo, you can explore the nearby town of Le Carbet, which became a parish as early as 1645 and is the supposed landing site of Christopher Columbus on June 15, 1502.

6. Les Saline

 A short distance south of Sainte-Anne, Les Salines is the most popular of the many beaches on Martinique. Named for the nearby salt pond, this one-kilometer stretch of coast at the southern tip of Martinique is a postcard picture of classic Caribbean scenery with calm waters and soft, white sand.  Vendors sell lunch and drinks behind the beach. 7. Saint Pierre was the capital of the island until 1902 when the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelee destroyed the town.  Saint Pierre is now a popular destination in Martinique, where visitors head to get acquainted with its historic ruins and the Volcanological Museum, displaying the glorious rise and tragic fall of the city after the eruption. Ceron Plantations is another must-see in St. Pierre, showcasing the site of an old sugar mill dating back to the 17th century, but the real attraction here is the restaurant serving awe-inspiring local cuisine

What are the Most Famous Beaches in Martinique?

One main reason to travel to Martinique is the magnificent beaches.  You could easily plan an entire trip to Martinique around visiting several of its beautiful beaches. When you’re looking for places to visit in Martinique, here are the top beaches to check out: 

1. Les Salines Beach

Want a beach that looks like it’s from a postcard? White sands, turquoise waters, that’s exactly what you’ll get at Les Salines Beach.

2. Anses d’Arlet

This pretty little beach in the south of Martinique is beside a long pier facing towards a Roman Catholic Church. It’s at the edge of a small village, and there’s a long stretch of sandy beach.  

3. Grande Anse du

This beach is famous in Martinique for its views of Diamond Rock, an incredible dive site, and cool rock formation in the middle of the sea. The beach is about 3 km in length, so it’s popular among joggers and beach wanderers alike



4. Anse Couleuvre

Anse Couleuvre is in the northern part of Martinique. This beach has black sands, rocky cliffs, and bigger waves. It b has a wild appeal, and it’s great for both lounging in the sunshine and surfing

What are the interesting things to do in Martinique ?

There are plenty of activities to do while in Martinique. The major include:

1. Try Snorkeling, Sailing, And Skiing

Martinique is an amazing place to enjoy a wide range of water-based activities, such as snorkelling, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, and many other fun-filled water activities. Enjoy watching yachting regatta by visiting the island in June.

2. Horse Riding

Are you fond of horse riding? Watch Martinique’s exquisite countryside by going for horse riding. Besides, you can enjoy watching the widely popular event of horseracing at Hippodrome de Carrère, Lamentin, a well-known, eventful horse track.

3. Snorkelling and scuba diving

There are two exceptional dive sites at the Natural Maritime Reserve of Le Precheur (Albert Falco Marine Reserve). There’s no shortage of snorkelling and dive sites in Martinique with brilliant coral reefs, rainbow-colored fish, and old shipwrecks to discover. Diving in Martinique is one main draw to visiting the island.

4. Go Hiking on a Volcano or Nature Trails

Two-thirds of Martinique are protected natural landscapes, which offer the perfect opportunity for hiking and exploring. There are several hiking trails through rainforests and beaches. You’ll stumble upon gorges, waterfalls, and incredible scenery from the mountaintops.

5. Discover Volcanic Ruins At St. Pierre

One of the to-do activities in Martinique is to explore the volcanic remains, which are well-known as the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’ present at St. Pierre. Montagne Pelee, a 1,430 meters tall volcanic mountain, is known to erupt in 1902 and devastated the city of St.Pierre. And, today you can explore the remains of the city, such as ruined, existing theatre and remains of the old stone stairways.

6. Explore Shipwrecks

Another fun activity at Martinique is discovering the shipwrecks. At Matinique, you can find special submarines and glass windows taking tourists to watch the shipwrecks. You also get the thrill of watching colorful fishes swimming around you as you get in the water.

7. Watch Plantation At Le Carbet

Are you a plant lover or botanist? If yes, make sure you visit Le Carbet, a worth-seeing village in Martinique. This village is known to have the oldest plantations on Martinique Island. Also, Le Carbet is famous for being a place where Columbus landed in 1502 during his fourth voyage. Explore various admirable exhibits as you tour through Le Carbet. Also, you get an incredible opportunity to watch lily ponds, beautiful, eye-catching green lawns, and waxy orchids in this village.

8. View Marine Life At Diamond Rock

If you are fond of watching unique, amazing underwater marine life, make sure you visit the Diamond Rock when visiting Martinique Island. The Diamond Rock is a rugged spike of stone that is identical to the diamond’s shape which emerges out of the water to the surface of the ocean. You can enjoy diving activities when at Diamond Rock, as this destination has gained fame for attracting lots of expert divers to discover the underwater caves. Dive in the water at Diamond Rock and watch unique marine life, such as a wide variety of fishes, beautiful corals, sea fans, and sponges.

More outdoor activities, More seafood to try

Sometimes in Martinique, not even the sea is enough to cool you down, so you can get to hide out in the river at CœurBouliki in Saint Joseph where you will be greeted with warm smiles and politesse.

You can also visit the Balata Botanical Garden and get to list the thousands of species of tropical plants and flowers. And if you would like to explore the local soil, you may try becoming an expert in banana growing at Habitation Belfort. You can visit historical sites like the La Savane des Esclaves museum of slavery and also get to see the the Anse Cafard slave trade sculpture installation and memorial.

Martinique is also home to all sorts of delicious cuisines. Enjoy the tastes of Trempage and Shrimp bisque and the Féroce and Lambi fricassee. Make sure you have the time of your life. And don’t forget to take home the favourite perfume from Sainte-Luce and the Bakoua straw hat.

Best Tips on Holidaying in Martinique

1. Book a flight

Getting to Martinique can be by air or by sea. Martinique International Airport receives regular flights from North America, Europe, and other Caribbean countries by sea. The most convenient route to Martinique is to travel to Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF), located in Le Lamentin, a suburb of the capital, Fort-de-France. Taxis follow arrival flights and hotels can arrange transport by prior arrangement. Car hire is available at the airport. Free shuttle busses can take you between the airport arrivals terminal and the car rental village. By sea, frequent high-speed catamarans travel to and from Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, and Dominica. Martinique 's Fort-de-France is a popular port of call for a variety of cruise ships.

2. Book the best accommodation

The Best accommodations aren’t hard to find in Martinique. Consider the following best and affordable accommodations:

  • Club Med Les Boucaniers
  • The Cap Est resort
  • Hotel Bakoua
  • Hotel Simon and French Coco
  • Hôtel Plein Soleil
  • Ilet Oscar
  • Le Domaine des Bulles
  • etc.

3. Locate the best restaurant

Locating the best restaurants at Saint Barthelemy is a key to enjoying your adventure. The following are the best restaurants in Martinique:

  • Le Petibonum
  • Domaine Saint Aubin
  • La Cave a Vins
  • Le Brédas
  • Ilet Oscar
  • Plein Soleil

Click here to see more accommodations at Martinique

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In order to steer clear of rain and hurricanes, you might want to visit during the dry season. December to May boasts blue skies around. It’s the busiest time of the year tourism-wise. For divers, October to May is prime time. For a good dose of culture, come to Martinique during the Carnaval de Fort-de-France. Usually, in February or March, the event takes place from Fat Sunday to Ash Wednesday. It marks the celebration of freedom – which they achieved when slavery was abolished on the island. It features orchestras, costumes, plenty of food, a king and queen are elected, and plenty of other fun activities. Getting to witness the Carnival is an experience like none other.

On land, most people will go ahead and rent a car in Martinique. Prices aren’t too bad, and it’s the perfect occasion to take on La Route de la Trace and just wander around the island. There is the option of taxis available on the island from the main cities. For a cheaper alternative, opt for a taxi-co. They are shared taxis where passengers split the bill. Of course, bikes and your own two feet are a perfectly suitable option as well, when the distance is manageable.

You can also rent a boat with sails or a motor,  It’s a perfect way to reach the islands right off the coast and get prime views of gorgeous beaches. For those looking to avoid seasickness, renting a kayak for a fun afternoon is more than acceptable