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Essential Things to See and Do in Martinique

photo aérienne ilet chancel
The Big Wide Blue


Of course, the legendary beach of Les Salines is a must, with its white sand, crystal-clear water and coconut palms as far as the eye can see. But in fact, every beach in Martinique is unique and set in its own picture-postcard scenery. There’s Anse du Diamant and its famous rock, Anse Dufour and its colorful little boats, and Anse Couleuvre with its striking black sand, to name just a few.

Whatever your expectations in terms of beaches, Martinique has something to satisfy even the most discerning beach-goers among you. And it’s easy to see why with no fewer than a hundred beaches around the island! So whether you are into watersports, diving or simply taking life easy, there is a beach in Martinique just waiting for you.

plage martinique plage bestjober

Natural beauty

Forests, Waterfalls and Rivers

If you’re an adventure seeker in search of wide open spaces, you’ll easily fall for Martinique where nature is so rich and bountiful.

How would you like to dive right into the heart of the rainforest, surrounded by lush vegetation, where the only sound in the background is birdsong?

The Coeur Bouliki forest, the Gorges de la Falaises, the Saut du Gendarme and the waterfall of Anse Couleuvre are must-sees for hikers who dream of a refreshing splash in the cool, clear waters of a river.

If you have a keen sense of observation, you might even be lucky enough to spot the magnificent Matoutou falaise, Martinique’s unaggressive tarantula.


Beach, surf and hikes

Caravelle Peninsula

Located on the north Atlantic coast, the Caravelle Peninsula is also well worth a visit. It has dream beaches for sunbathing, a nature reserve for hiking enthusiasts, Martinique’s oldest lighthouse, a preserved mangrove forest and the ruins of a former sugar refinery for history buffs. The Peninsula is also home to the authentic and absolutely charming fishing village of Tartane, with its fish market, colorful little boats and superb surfing spot that wave riders adore.

visuel drone de la presqu'île de la caravelle drone_caravelle_martinique

Made in Martinique

Martinique’s Rum Distilleries

Visiting a distillery is a unique and must-do experience, especially during sugarcane harvest time which lasts from February to June. You’ll learn about the different rum-making stages, from the crushing of the cane to the aging of rum in oak.

Representing much more than a simple alcoholic drink, rum is one of the island’s greatest sources of pride since it is the only rum in the world to have an AOC label of origin for excellence.

You’ll love the charm and authenticity of Distillerie JM, the beautiful grounds and journey back in time offered to visitors on the Habitation Clément tour and the distillery of La Favorite which is still operated by steam today.

Habitation clement

The Pottery Village, the Tour de Martinique des Yoles Rondes and the Carnival

Founded in a former Jesuit monastery, the Pottery Village is today home to a collection of gift shops and craft workshops. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to the artisan potters who will be delighted to share their passion with you. You’ll also find a workshop making exotic-scented soap and handmade jewelry, so it’s a great place for original gift ideas.

If you are looking for a unique experience, Martinique is the ideal destination. Depending on the time of year, you may also be lucky enough to attend the Tour de Martinique des Yoles Rondes, the most important sporting event of the year, or the festivities of Martinique Carnival. Both these extremely popular events will leave you with fabulous memories.

Traversée de yoles
The Island of a Thousand Colors

Balata garden

If you are wondering why Martinique is also known as the island of flowers (or Madinina in Creole), head to the Jardin de Balata. This botanical garden in Fort-de-France boasts an incredible collection of tropical plants, such as balisiers, torch ginger, birds of paradise and palms of all kinds. The place is a veritable haven of tranquility and also a favorite with hummingbirds that put on a stunning ballet.

jardin de balata

Feel, Touch & Taste

Martinique’s Markets

In Martinique, markets are a must for those who want to experience the buzz of local life. From early morning onwards, you’ll find colorful stalls juxtaposing fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, fruit liqueurs, rums and other artisanal beverages. 

You’ll also find pretty dolls in traditional dress, handicrafts, madras fabric creations and lots of other gift ideas.

Although the indoor market of Fort-de-France is unquestionably Martinique’s biggest, every town has its own market where you’ll find a friendly and characteristically local atmosphere.

marche martinique

Taste creole cuisine

Martinique’s cuisine is above all a blend of the many influences that the history of the island has brought. You’ll discover a delicious fusion of African, Caribbean, Indian and European cuisine on your plate. With dishes like chicken colombo, cod accras, blood sausage and stuffed crab, your taste buds are in for a delight.

And for those who believe the simplest things are always the best, how about some freshly-caught fish or lobster, grilled before your eyes while you sip a drink by the water’s edge?


A walk in the past 

Habitation Céron

Nestled in the heart of the rainforest, just a few hundred meters from the Caribbean Sea, this former sugar refinery has preserved all its original character. You can explore the estate on foot or on horseback to see its incredibly rich array of plants, including tropical flowers, cacao trees – the estate produces its own chocolate bars – and many other remarkable ancient trees. One of the most spectacular is the samana, a giant and majestic tree that is over 300 hundred years old.

photo représentant la flore Martiniquaise flore_martinique_1

La Savane des Esclaves

The open-air museum La Savane des Esclaves is a must-visit for those who want to learn more about the history of Martinique. Owner Gilbert La Rose has recreated the living conditions of slaves at this 12-acre site. On this fascinating educational visit, you’ll discover some twenty or so huts built using traditional materials and techniques, a Creole garden and a host of medicinal plants that the elders knew how to put to good use.

photo case savane des esclaves martinique case savane des esclaves martinique

Saint-Pierre and the Old City Ruins

The town of Saint-Pierre, at the foot of Mount Pelée, is well worth a visit for its incredible history. Once the island’s capital, the town disappeared entirely on May 8, 1902, engulfed by lava flows from the Mount Pelée volcano. The remains of the volcanic eruption (including the Cyparis dungeon, named after a prisoner who was one of the only survivors) tell the story of this tragedy that left its mark on Martinique’s history. It is both a moving and instructive place to visit.

montagne pelee

Rugged Beauty

Diamond Rock and Cap 110

It’s not possible to talk about Martinique without mentioning its famous Diamond Rock. Left behind by the island’s volcanic activity, this small islet with a rich history is now inhabited by seabirds and off-limits to man. You can admire it from the beach and enjoy the magical spectacle it offers, especially at sunset.

Facing the rock, on a cliff, is the Cap 110 Memorial, in Anse Caffard. Don’t hesitate to stop and visit this history-laden place, where 15 impressive white stone statues stand facing the sea in homage to slaves that lost their lives in a shipwreck.

Cap 110

The Tombolo

If there is one curiosity of nature you must see in Martinique, it has to be the Tombolo. This strip of land of about 200 meters long only appears for a few weeks of the year, generally between January and April. You can walk across the sea via it to the small island and protected nature reserve of Îlet Sainte-Marie.

The scenery is breathtaking and the experience one-of-a-kind. Please note that swimming is not allowed due to strong currents.


Mount Pelée

With an altitude of 1,397 meters, this active volcano is Martinique’s highest point, and climbing it is one of the island’s classic hikes.

Although it requires a good level of fitness, the breathtaking views that reward you at the summit are well worth the effort. Before you set off, don’t forget to check the weather conditions.

Montagne pelée

Martinique’s Islets and their Incredible Ecosystems

Accessible by boat or kayak, the 48 islets that surround Martinique offer the chance to discover the island from a different angle. On the largest, Îlet Chancel, you’ll come across the Lesser Antillean iguana, a species in danger of extinction. Nature has reclaimed its rights on the island, however the remains of an old sugar habitation and lime kilns are still clearly visible. Not far away, you also have Îlet Madame with its large pontoon and postcard-perfect scenery.

photo aérienne ilet chancel ilet chancel