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Seeing the

Exploring Mount Pelée

Panorama montagne pelee

Ready to scale the heights? 

Climbing our Infamous Volcano: A Unique Experience

With its imposing silhouette, steeped in mystery and beauty, Mount Pelée attracts visitors from all over the world every year. And it’s easy to see why! 

With an altitude of 1,397 meters above sea level, it is Martinique’s highest point and breathtaking scenery is to be had on its ascent. Those that love all things botanical will also be thrilled to see the unique varieties of plants that flourish on the slopes of the volcano all along the walk up.

What is more, our majestic Mount Pelée is on the verge of becoming one of UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage Sites. So, are you ready for the great ascent? 

visuel drone de la montagne pelée Montagne Pelée
Hikes Around Mount Pelée

Prepare to explore the paths that wind around its sides and that will lead you to the summit of the volcano, known as Le Chinois.

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The Grande Savane Trail

Starting in Le Prêcheur, on the Caribbean coast, it will take you four hours via this trail to walk to Le Chinois (total climb of 680 meters), without touring the Caldera. Add another hour is you want to extend the hike with a walk around the Caldera.   Remember that this side of the volcano is always very exposed to the sun, so should be avoided if you are not comfortable with heat. If you do opt for this route, make sure you are properly equipped (take at least two liters of water per person and a sun hat).

Montagne pelee vue de bellefontaine


The Aileron trail, which is considered to be that of the “lowest difficulty” level, is the most popular of the various walks. The hike starts directly from the first refuge, up on Morne Rouge (Aileron car park) at an altitude of 820 meters. Allow around three hours (round trip) to the second refuge, or five and a half hours if you plan to go up to Le Chinois including the walk around the Caldera. Total climb of 700 meters. Distance: 7.5 km

Montagne Pelée et son arc en ciel

The Morne-Macouba Trail

This route starting in the village of Grand Rivière is the longest and most difficult option: 17 km hike to the second refuge / total climb of 1,300 meters. Offering a variety of scenery (banana plantations, forest...) and some stunning views, it is only for the fittest and most experienced hikers (allow eight hours for the round-trip just to the second refuge).

Hike to
The summit

You should also know that it is also possible to discover these trails in complete safety accompanied by an experienced guide from the Hiking Committee.

Guides will be delighted to teach you about the rich plant and animal life of Mount Pelée as well as its history and geology.

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montagne pelee
photo drone de la montagne pelée
photo drone de la montagne pelée

Check the weather

Check the weather forecast and state of the trails before setting off. This information is essential for the ascent of Mount Pelée. If it has rained on the previous days, trails can be muddy and quickly become slippery and dangerous.

Equip yourself

Wear proper walking shoes and a sun hat and carry a waterproof jacket (the weather conditions at the summit change rapidly), snacks for energy and, most importantly, enough water. 

Leave early

Consider setting off early in the morning. Cloud tends to form around the summit of the volcano quite early in the day. It is therefore best to reach the top before 10 am.

Hike with others

Never hike alone. Inform your entourage of your plans and let them know what time you expect to be back.

Other Ways to See Mount Pelée 

However, if Le Chinois seems physically off limits to you, don’t worry – there are a number of visitor experiences that will allow you to discover the beauty of Mount Pelée without having to climb to the top:
centre des sciences et de la terre

The Centre de Découverte des Sciences de la Terre

This earthquake-proof visitor center that looks out onto Mount Pelée. The building lies adjacent to the ruins of the former Pérrinelle estate and close to Saint Pierre’s Fort quarter which is today a protected archaeological site. You can visit its themed garden, see interactive exhibitions and films, and enjoy a unique view of Martinique while learning the history of Mount Pelée.

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Domaine d’Emeraude

Sixty-acre site nestled between Mount Pelée and the Pitons du Carbet. Nature has reclaimed it rights over this former agricultural estate and today it offers a real experience for the senses with a four-kilometer forest walk, a fun and educational exploration pavilion and the Garden of Origins dedicated to traditional Caribbean medicinal plants. The grounds of the estate are brimming with rare or endemic plant varieties and there is also a gift shop which proudly promotes local savoir-faire. This nature exploration and education site is one of the highlights of the Martinique Regional Nature Park.

domaine experimentation

The Domaine Martiniquais d’Expérimentation

Cultural facility and visiteur center, in Le Prêcheur, for walkers and the general public. Focusing on the themes of landscape, tropicality, meterology, the Grande Savane ecosystem and geology, it is an excellent place to learn about our environment and what we can do to protect it.


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La Maison des Volcans

Located in Morne Rouge just opposite Mount Pelée, you can also learn about geology and volcanology in Martinique and the French West Indies.

Fiery by 

The Eruption of May 8th, 1902

While Mount Pelée is a must for all hikers in Martinique, it is also an active and closely monitored volcano that has left its mark on the history of the island. 

In the early last century, Martinique experienced one of the most destructive volcanic eruptions of all time. On May 8, 1902, a violent explosion occurred, followed immediately by a pyroclastic surge (cloud of gas, ash and rock). 

Lying near the volcano, the town of Saint Pierre – which was at that time the capital of Martinique – was completely wiped out and in just a few minutes its 30,000 inhabitants lost their lives. Today, the Frank A. Perret Museum tells the story of this tragic event. 

With its tumultuous past and wild beauty, Mount Pelée offers you a unique adventure in the heart of Martinique. Climbing it is certainly a must for all volcano lovers and hiking fans.

photo drone de la montagne pelée (Verrier) Montagne Pelée

La Martinique with a big