5 Things to do in Martinique
THE BEST MARTINIQUE ATTRACTIONSWake up and smell the Island of Flowers—the French Caribbean island of Martinique is in the spotlight. Here are 5 things to do in Martinique for an unforgettable beach vacation.
1. Hike your heart outVolcanic in nature, Martinique’s tropical landscapes are the ideal playground for hikers and adventurers. Hiking trails for all levels take you to the island’s most wondrous sites.
Head to the Caravelle Peninsula Nature Reserve and walk by banana plantations, mangroves and historic ruins to reach the summit and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic. More experienced hikers can opt for the Trace des Caps trail, a 33-kilometre coastal path weaving through wild beaches, or the wild trek up Mount Pelée, the island’s highest peak and an active volcano.
2. Go gourmetThe mix of French and Caribbean cultures means only good things for your belly. Pull up a chair for French classics, like freshly made breads, delicious cheeses and charcuterie. The Creole side brings in the flavour with tropical fruits and locally caught seafood or fish. Seek out these authentic dishes: green papaya gratin, crayfish soup and codfish fritters.
Pro-tip: To savour more of Martinique back home, pick up a packet of Colombo spice blend—this Caribbean curry seasoning is used in many of Martinique’s dishes!
3. Embrace city livingFor many sun-seekers, Fort-de-France is just a stop between airport and resort. But we recommend spending a day strolling around the capital city’s streets to explore Martinique culture.
Mingle with the locals at the Marché des Fermiers near Parc Culturel Aimé Césaire and don’t miss a look at the splendid Bibliothèque Schoelcher, which was shipped straight from Paris! On your way out of the city, stop in to the Jardin de Balata, Martinique’s magnificent botanical garden.
4. Be a beach bumOf course, the beaches here steal the show. Diamond Beach deserves its name—with its 9 kilometres of white sands, it’s a crowning jewel along the Caribbean coast. Some of the other best beaches in Martinique include the family-friendly Anse Mitan, famously gorgeous Grande Anse des Salines or picture-perfect Anses d’Arlet (the perfect spot for snorkelling!).
For something more rugged, venture to the black sands of Anse Couleuvre, deserted Anse Mabouya or the surf-friendly shores of Anse l’Etang and Anse Bonneville.
5. Learn your historyLike many Caribbean nations, Martinique’s history is complex, defined by the Indigenous, European and Africans who have inhabited the island. La Savane des Esclaves in Trois-Ilets is a must for history buffs, showcasing reconstructed Indigenous and Creole villages.
For more historical attractions, visit St-Pierre, a town in the north that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. Don’t miss the 18th-century Theatre Ruins or museum dedicated to the tragedy (Mémorial de la catastrophe de 1902). In Fort-de-France, check out the colonial fortress of Fort St-Louis, which is still a working French naval base, and for those with a spooky side, you’ll love Château Dubuc near La Trinité—these remnants of a 17th-century estate are supposedly haunted!