Top 10 Things to Do in Martinique

by Alice

Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, Martinique is a French overseas region renowned for its vibrant culture, lush landscapes, and breathtaking beaches. Whether you’re an adventurer, a history enthusiast, or simply looking to relax, Martinique offers a plethora of activities to suit every taste. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the top ten things you must experience when visiting this tropical paradise.

1. Bask in the Beauty of Les Salines Beach

When in Martinique, visiting Les Salines Beach is a must. Located in the southern part of the island, Les Salines is often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Its soft white sand, clear turquoise waters, and gently swaying palm trees create a postcard-perfect setting. Ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking, Les Salines offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle. Don’t forget to try the local snacks from beach vendors, adding a taste of Martinique to your beach day.


2. Explore the Vibrant Capital of Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, is a vibrant city brimming with culture and history. Start your exploration at La Savane, a sprawling park in the heart of the city, offering stunning views of the Fort Saint-Louis. Delve into the island’s history at the Schoelcher Library, an architectural marvel named after the abolitionist Victor Schoelcher. Wander through the bustling markets to experience the local flavors and crafts, and visit the St. Louis Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Fort-de-France is a testament to Martinique’s rich heritage and dynamic urban life.


3. Discover the Enchanting Balata Garden

For nature enthusiasts, the Balata Garden is a highlight of any trip to Martinique. Located just outside Fort-de-France, this botanical garden is home to over 3,000 species of tropical plants and flowers. As you stroll along the winding paths, you’ll encounter towering palms, vibrant orchids, and exotic heliconias. The garden also features a series of hanging bridges that offer breathtaking views of the lush canopy. The serene ambiance and stunning biodiversity make the Balata Garden a must-visit for anyone seeking to connect with Martinique’s natural beauty.


4. Climb the Majestic Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée, an active volcano located in the northern part of Martinique, is both a natural wonder and a historical landmark. Famous for its catastrophic eruption in 1902 that destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, Mount Pelée offers a challenging yet rewarding hike. The trails to the summit vary in difficulty, but the panoramic views from the top are unparalleled. On a clear day, you can see the neighboring islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe. Exploring Mount Pelée provides a unique perspective on Martinique’s geological significance and dramatic landscapes.

5. Wander Through the Historic Ruins of Saint-Pierre

Often referred to as the “Pompeii of the Caribbean,” the town of Saint-Pierre is steeped in history. Once the cultural and economic hub of Martinique, it was completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. Today, the ruins serve as a poignant reminder of that fateful day. Visitors can explore the remains of the theater, the old church, and the prison where the only survivor of the eruption, Ludger Sylbaris, was held. The adjacent Musée Volcanologique offers further insights into the event and its impact. Saint-Pierre’s ruins are a testament to Martinique’s resilience and historical depth.

6. Savor the Flavors at Habitation Clément

Martinique’s rum is world-renowned, and no visit to the island is complete without a tour of Habitation Clément. This historic rum distillery, located in Le François, offers a fascinating glimpse into the rum-making process. Wander through the beautifully preserved estate, which includes a colonial-era mansion, lush gardens, and the old distillery. The guided tour concludes with a tasting session where you can sample some of the finest rums produced on the island. Habitation Clément not only showcases the craftsmanship behind Martinique’s famed spirit but also its cultural heritage.

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7. Enjoy Watersports at Pointe du Bout

Pointe du Bout, located in the commune of Les Trois-Îlets, is a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts. This lively area offers a range of activities, from jet skiing and parasailing to paddleboarding and kayaking. The marina is also a starting point for boat trips that allow you to explore the surrounding waters and discover hidden coves and beaches. After a day of adventure, relax at one of the waterfront restaurants and enjoy fresh seafood while soaking in the stunning sunset views. Pointe du Bout epitomizes the vibrant and active lifestyle that Martinique has to offer.

8. Experience the Charm of Anses d’Arlet

Anses d’Arlet is a picturesque fishing village that captures the essence of traditional Martinique. The village is famous for its charming wooden church, which sits right on the beach, creating a perfect photo opportunity. The calm, clear waters make it an ideal spot for snorkeling, where you can observe colorful marine life up close. Stroll through the village to admire the colorful Creole houses and sample local dishes at the seaside restaurants. Anses d’Arlet offers a glimpse into the serene and authentic side of Martinique.

9. Hike Through the Caravelle Peninsula

The Caravelle Peninsula, located on the eastern coast of Martinique, is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. The Caravelle Nature Reserve features a variety of trails that wind through mangroves, dry forests, and coastal cliffs. The most popular hike leads to the ruins of Château Dubuc, a historic sugar plantation that offers panoramic views of the peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse wildlife, including iguanas and tropical birds. The Caravelle Peninsula is a testament to Martinique’s diverse ecosystems and stunning natural beauty.

10. Delve Into History at the La Pagerie Museum

For a deeper understanding of Martinique’s colonial history, visit the La Pagerie Museum in Les Trois-Îlets. This former sugar estate is the birthplace of Empress Joséphine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. The museum offers a fascinating insight into her life and the colonial history of Martinique. Wander through the beautifully restored house, the old mill, and the surrounding gardens. The exhibits include personal artifacts, period furniture, and historical documents. The La Pagerie Museum provides a poignant glimpse into the island’s past and its connections to global history.


Martinique is a destination that captivates with its blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the serene beaches of Les Salines to the historic ruins of Saint-Pierre, each experience offers a unique perspective on this enchanting island. Whether you’re hiking up Mount Pelée, exploring the botanical wonders of Balata Garden, or savoring the local rum at Habitation Clément, Martinique promises a memorable adventure for every traveler. Embrace the charm and diversity of this Caribbean gem, and create lasting memories in the heart of Martinique.



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