Enthralling and beautiful, Martinique is the heartbeat of France in the West Indies! A trip to this amazing island will be a rendezvous with nature, as the place is known for its lush rainforest, tropical flowers, plumed bamboo, valleys, and baby ferns. Martinique is, indeed, a natural beauty.
The northern part of the island is both craggy and lush, with the stately Mont Pelée volcano imposing on the view. The southern part is romantic, cooler, and marked with cracking white-sand beaches. Central Martinique on the west coast is Fort de France, an urban destination bubbling with fantastic cultural and historic sites.
Here Are Some Things to Do in Martinique:
See the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial
In less than an hour, you can have a splendid time checking out this memorial. Standing on a hill in the southwest of the island are about 20 white stone images, gently facing the Caribbean Sea and Diamond Beach. This place immortalizes an 1830 tragedy when a slave ship failed to anchor well in Anse Cafard and pitched dangerously into the island’s Diamond Rock Mountain. This killed many people on board, including the sailors and slaves.
The shuddering statues at the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial are a well-known destination for lots of tourists. And even though the monument has been hit by wears and tears, it is hardly disappointing.
Visitors often testify that the place is chilling and beautiful. Some lauded the management for placing signs written in both French and English at the site for comprehension.
Checkout the Schoelcher Library
For bibliophiles, the Schoelcher Library is a paradise! Located in Fort-de-France, this library should rank high on your Martinique itinerary for its flowery design and history. Designed in 1889 in Paris, it was shipped to the island and tacked together along La Savane’s west side. The library was named in honor of Victor Schoelcher, the slavery abolitionist. Tourists can learn much about the history and use the complimentary free Wi-Fi.
Relax on the Beach at Les Salines
Located in the village of Ste-Anne, it is common practice for families to camp and have a great time here. The waters are clear and calm enough for children to play. And there are lots of food vendors around, so the chances of grabbing a tasty local treat are high.
If you are pressed, the restrooms and accessible showers are just as relieving as your hotel’s loo. Les Salines is incredibly wonderful, with a long swath of palm trees and soft sands. To enjoy the beach uninterrupted, visit on a weekday or late in the afternoon after the crowds are reduced.
Ensure you try the coco ice cream that is sold on the beach. Bear in mind that parking at Les Salines can be hectic, so plan to visit early.
Have a Glass of Wine at Habitation Clément
There are many things that are France-esque about Martinique, Habitation Clément included. It is a rum distillery, heritage site, plantation, and a museum at the same time. This makes it a tourist destination for lots of visitors of different ages.
You can explore the gardens, main house, and outhouses as you educate yourself on rum production in the place.
Visitors are allowed to taste different rums and rum-based liqueurs at a designated room. Just on the grounds, there is a rum shop where visitors are encouraged to browse and take home bottles of their favorite flavors. As an added activity, families can stroll on the grounds to look at the many sculptures that mark the place.
Seek an Adventure at Mont Pelee
Mont Pelee is specially primed for adventure seekers! Such travelers like to scale the sides of Mont Pelee, an active volcano, but there are other safer alternatives to have a great time here. A well-known option is to drive to a parking lot, situated just a mile from the peak, and then continue to the rest of the journey on foot.
Expect to see fascinating views from the top and stunning scenery on the way. You might want to bring along food and water for when exhaustion sets in. Visiting here on a clear day gives the best of views and reduces accidents. Mont Pelee’s base is quite picturesque, and it is a perfect place for hiking and crayoning.
Sunbathe at Diamond Beach
Located in the town of Le Diamant, this rarely visited beach has a splendor that is irresistible. Travelers who already know come here over the pristine sands of Pointe du Bout. If you like quiet while sunbathing, Diamond Beach is the place to be in Martinique. This area of the island is not that developed, so you might want to visit than secure accommodation there.
Alternatively, you can plan a trip to the beach on the same day you make a stop at the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial. When you are there, do not forget to capture the moments on camera. Be advised that the surf here can be a little rough.
Sightsee at La Savane Park (La Savane des Esclaves)
A great way to spend a thoroughly interesting hour on Martinique island is to do some sightseeing at La Savane. This place is a park for everyone and is totally free. Meanwhile, ensure you improve your French phraseology before visiting here so you can communicate decently with the local vendors selling souvenirs, crafts, and snacks.
La Savane Park is located in the beautiful Fort-de-France. Take a walk of the grounds prior to leaving, and do not forget to take pictures of Empress Josephine’s marble statue for your Instagram.
The park is opened daily from 9 am to noon and from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. If you need help moving around, a one-hour tour (in French only) is available and is reasonably priced.
Adore Nature at Balata Gardens (Le Jardin de Balata)
The Balata Gardens is among the most famous places on the island of Martinique. The private botanical garden, located outside Fort-de-France, is home to an impressive number of bamboo, begonias, bromeliads, and hundreds of different species of palm trees.
The entry fee to Balata Gardens is cheap. If you are into plants, this place will be astonishing to you. There are tropical flowers all over for you to observe and appreciate. There is even the option of having flowers delivered to the airport for you.
The garden is not far from Fort-de-France and is accessible through a car, cab, or bus. The garden is open from 9 am to 6 pm. For more information, check the garden’s website.
Enter the St. Louis Cathedral
Right in Fort-de-France, the St. Louis Cathedral was rebuilt six times on the same spot. In the past, it has been built with wood and iron, but today, there is something to marvel at. When you visit, admire this special architectural work and visit the burial ground of different Martinique governors. The stained-glass windows and history of this place are worth checking out from the cruise port in the island’s capital to the cathedral.
Experience Martinique Tasty Delicacies
The island has an impressive culinary culture mixing European (French) technique with island flavors and ingredients. There are lots of 5-star restaurants and food stalls, so you cannot really miss what the island has to offer.
Try to have some langoustine at a beachside restaurant or visit Pignon Nouvelle Vague on L’Anse an l’Ane beach. You can rather opt for a Martinican cuisine for a pre-dinner aperitif and see the sunset at Le Kano restaurant. With a scrumptious menu having delicacies like sea urchin and a beach club atmosphere, you might think this is Paris. In every part of Martinique, tourists can indulge in imaginative takes on lots of fish, jumbo prawns, and freshwater crayfish. The local products are inviting as well, with sweet potatoes, yucca, and breadfruit, enhancing many dishes.
If you are looking to have a city vibe, visit the Yellow restaurant located at Fort-de-France for modern French foods. After a great dinner and a night of steps and moves on the dance floor, nothing beats a Martinican beignet. So try to find one in the capital, La Savane, or at a stall on Avenue des Caraibas close to the park.
What to Drink
While Bordeaux is a popular wine region in France, Martinique is popular for its rum. All Caribbean islands have their special mix for rum punch. You can pick your own adventure blend, which is made of rum, lime, and cane sugar, along with sliced limes and brown sugar. Blend to your preference. Demand for more limes, and if you want your drinks to be sweet, try the Martinican peanut punch or punch coco.
Where to Stay
Considered among the most beautiful bays in the world, Fort-de-France is primed for comfort. There is an increase in the marina and is the ideal place to absorb Martinician city life with high decors, tasty food, and a lush of amenities.
Tourists can savor panoramic views over breakfast, and see Martinique’s popular hills marked with colorful buildings. Tourists will also be close to chic restaurants and cultural spots like Le Savane or Jardin Balata if they want to unravel why the island is dubbed the Isle of Flowers.
In the case that travelers want to position themselves on the south side of Martinique, close to the stunning fishing villages, they can proceed to Les Trois-Ilets and stay at La Suite Villa. Towering over Les Trois-Ilets bay, the 9 private villas are made up of 2 or 3 bedrooms, making it a great place for families and groups.
To be on the beach, there are only a few cooler places than Cap’Est Lagoon Resort and Spa. With a tasty on-site restaurant, pools, and spas, these places beckon on regulars that have become like family. Some of the suites are furnished with cracking turquoise pools that appear to head to the sea.
Things You Should Do In Martinique – Summary
To discover the soul of a place as a tourist, you go on adventures, eat its foods, see its beaches, and do many other things that connect one to its DNA. Experiencing Martinique is like feeling a France in the Caribbean- it is a two-in-one package. Many have traveled from far and near just to have a chunk of what the Isle of Flowers has to offer. You should too.