Martinique is undeniably a great destination to take relief from the winter mood. This little French island lying in the Caribbean fascinates with the landscapes and colors. If you chose it for your next travel destination you won’t be disappointed. So today I show you all the best things to do in Martinique.
In this article, I briefly tell you about some tips on traveling to Martinique and where to stay on the island. Then we hop to the coolest part with all the greatest tourist attractions in Martinique listed!
If you’re taking your planning a trip to Martinique seriously, you’ll need all the in-depth information. I spend two months in total in Martinique and Guadeloupe and I want to share my knowledge with you. So click below to download my cheat sheet with all the travel costs from this journey and get some other practical tips!
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Ready to go? If you wonder what to do in Martinique – keep reading to discover all the wonders of the island of Martinique!
Table of contents:
- Tips on traveling to Martinique
- – Nonmaterial gifts for soul
- #2 Swimming with turtles in Anses d’Arlet
- #3 Visit the black beach in Martinique
- #4 Climbing to Montagne Pelée
- #5 Find the Didier Fall
- #6 Visit the city of Saint-Pierre
- #7 Exploring La Savane des Pétrifications as one of the top things to do in Martinique
- #8 Hang around in Fort-de-France
- #9 Schoelcher Library
- #10 Get a history lesson in La Savane des Esclaves
- #11 Enjoy the drink in a rum distillery
- #12 See the Diamond Rock
- #13 Anse Cafard Slave Memorial
- #14 Taste some local food in Martinique
- #15 Étang des Salines
- #16 Shopping on the market
- #17 Balata Botanical Garden as one of the best things to do in Martinique
- #18 Village de la Poterie des Trois-Ilets
- #19 Enjoy boat tours
- #20 Château Dubuc and the Caravelle Peninsula
- #21 Visit Sainte-Anne
- #22 Explore Gorges de la Falaise
- #23 Whale and dolphin-watching
- #24 Discover mangrove
- #25 Musee de La Banane
- #26 Water sports
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. That means that if you click on them or make any purchase via them, I receive a small commission. But don’t worry, this will not cost you anything and in a few cases, you can even receive a special discount! And I will still be able to chase my dreams. So thank you!
Tips on traveling to Martinique
Here I give you some more useful resources that you can use while planning your trip to Martinique:
- The easiest way to travel in Martinique is definitely to rent a car. It will ensure your flexibility and the possibility of getting anywhere you can. Check out the cars’ availability in a local Europcar ->
- But if you want to get adventurous as I did, check out my blog post about public transport in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
- The local currency in Martinique is Euro (€). It makes it so convenient for people from the EU to travel there. While being there, I took benefits of my Revolut card which allows me to exchange the currency (from Polish Złoty to Euros) whenever I wanted to with just one click in the app. So comfortable! Click here and read my Revolut review!
- Going to Martinique is totally doable with hand luggage only. I traveled with a light and flexible CabinZero backpack. Here you’ll find my review of this bag.
- When you wonder what to pack for a trip to Martinique, don’t worry! I have a whole post with a complete packing list for the Caribbean holidays. You’re welcome!
Where to stay in Martinique:
Personally, in Martinique, I spent the whole month of November in 2018 in the tiny town of Le Vauclin. It’s a non-touristic city and the accommodation prices were pretty affordable for such a long period of time. But unfortunately, Le Vauclin is one of the cities that on those times had the problem with sargassum – toxic algae arriving on the beach each day.
If I would be looking for accommodation in Martinique today, I would choose the city of Sainte-Anne or le Diamant probably. I think the region of Les Trois-Îlets would be great too. And here are some options of where to stay in Martinique:
- Hotel-Restaurant La Dunette in Sainte-Anne – this simple yet lovely hotel is located in a great place in Sainte-Anne. It also offers a fancy restaurant on a pier with awesome relax areas.
Check the availability on Booking.com ->
- Diamant Les Bains – Résidence Hôtelière in Le Diamant – the modern rooms of this hotel will be the perfect background for your holidays in Martinique. An open-air swimming pool and the location just next to the beach will definitely make your day.
Check the availability on Booking.com ->
- Hotel Bambou in Les Trois-Îlets – a charming place located just next to the beach. It offers a restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool. Plus, breakfast and supper are included in a price.
Check the availability on Booking.com ->
- If you want to get to know more of my propositions of where to stay on the island, read this post about 9 fantastic resorts in Martinique.
All the best things to do in Martinique:
#1 La Grande Anse des Salines
The first thing that comes to mind while thinking about the Caribbean is white sand and blue water. So I start the list of the best things to do in Martinique with La Grande Anse des Salines. This beach is the most representative of the whole island.
Les Salines is located at the very end of the Southern part of the island and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Martinique. It’s wide and long what makes it worth a postcard photo. On the beach, you can eat some delicacies and snacks from local bars and restaurants. This place is perfect to spend the whole day chilling in the sun.
#2 Swimming with turtles in Anses d’Arlet
If you want more beautiful beaches in Martinique, you should definitely visit the Anses d’Arlet region. Charming blue bays surrounded by green hills are a perfect background for a wonderfully spent day. The water in bays is often calm because of the terrain shape, so you can enjoy snorkeling there.
Moreover, these cute bays are often visited by sea turtles. The animals are wild but get used to people swimming nearby. So remember to pack your swimming mask to enjoy the underwater watching of a huge turtle peacefully grazing seagrass.
You should also be aware because the beaches in Anse d’Arlet are often chosen by female turtles to build a nest. In Anse Dufour, I was a witness of the birth of little turtles. If you experience something like this remember to respect nature and stand back a few meters so turtle babies can peacefully reach the water. So do not disturb them or try to help, they perfectly know what to do.
#3 Visit the black beach in Martinique
Just next to Anse Dufour in Martinique, you’ll find another charming place. It’s a small beach – Anse Noire – entirely covered with black sand. It’s truly extraordinary to discover two beaches of such different colors so close to each other!
#4 Climbing to Montagne Pelée
One of the most adventurous things to do in Martinique is to climb its highest peak. The peak of the volcano Mount Pelée. It’s just a little bit lower than the volcano in Guadeloupe but the hiking is similarly exciting.
The volcano is sleeping now. Its eruptions are rare but violet. The most known one took place in 1902 totally destroying the city of Saint-Pierre. But today Montagne Pelée is a popular tourist attraction.
#5 Find the Didier Fall
Cascade and Waterfall Didier are one of the less-known things to do in Martinique among tourists. Probably because they’re hard to find and reach. In fact, you need very detailed instruction on how to get to Didier Fall (click here to get them).
But the whole trip is worth the effort. The hiking trail is not especially hard and I passed it with a travelers couple with a 5-year-old boy. So it’s totally doable. And the satisfaction of discovering the cascade in the deep jungle feels so great!
#6 Visit the city of Saint-Pierre
Saint-Pierre was the former capital of Martinique. It used to be the cultural and economic center of the island. As I mentioned before, the huge tragedy took place in this city. In 1902 the volcano Mount Pelée erupted and killed almost all the population of the city. Only 3 persons lived through this cataclysm.
Today, in Saint-Pierre we can visit the Volcanology Museum and the Memorial place of the catastrophe. We find there the remains of the everyday life covered by volcanic ash, almost like in Pompeii.
#7 Exploring La Savane des Pétrifications as one of the top things to do in Martinique
The Martinique island hides places that you didn’t think about before. One of them is La Savane des Pétrifications. It’s located at a distance of a few minutes’ walks from Grande Anse des Salines. And it’s landscape will totally shock you.
After crossing the mysterious bridge you get into desert surroundings. Surprising on a tropical island, right? By continuing your hike you pass through the land covered by dry grass and huge cactuses just like in the Wild West. Eventually, you end up on a muddy hill which is so different from everything you have seen before on this Caribbean island. Check out the rest of the trail to La Savane des Pétrifications by clicking here.
#8 Hang around in Fort-de-France
Since the old capital of Martinique was destroyed in the volcano eruption, Fort-de-France took its place. Today this city is the business center of the island. If you spend more time in Martinique, I recommend you visiting 5 most important places in Fort-de-France.
The city is small in general but pretty big in comparison with other cities on the island. It will charm you with a French chic feeling on this tiny island in the Caribbean.
#9 Schoelcher Library
The Schoelcher Library is the must-see tourist attraction in Fort-de-France. Originally, it was built for the Paris exposition in 1889. But later on, it was transported to Martinique and named after the famous abolitionist Victor Schoelcher. The entrance to the Schoelcher Library is free so you can enjoy a visit in this rich with ornaments and charming building even during a low-cost trip to the Caribbean.
#10 Get a history lesson in La Savane des Esclaves
La Savane des Esclaves is another great tourist attraction on the list of best things to do in Martinique. The complex is an open-air museum showing the life of slaves in the inglorious times in Caribbean history. Slavery in Martinique was a standard for centuries, and during a visit to La Savane des Esclaves you get the knowlegde about this historical period.
But besides the horrible stories, this place offers also the area of the exhibition about the life of the first nations living in the Caribbean islands, and spots showing the local plants, herbs, vegetables and fruits and how they can be used in a kitchen and medicine. You can also participate in interesting workshops about how to make traditional chocolate bars or any other delicacies.
#11 Enjoy the drink in a rum distillery
When you think about the drinks in the Caribbean, what comes to your mind? The rum of course! Martinique is a great place to take a trip to a rum distillery. Getting to know how this sweet alcohol is produced is a great thing to do in Martinique.
One of the most popular distilleries in Martinique is Habitation Clément. I had great fun visiting it, discovering the rum factory and sugar cane fields. Besides this, you can also visit there the former planter’s house with original furniture, and other house yard buildings. Plus you’ll see some masterpieces of modern art in the small local art gallery. Everything during one trip.
#12 See the Diamond Rock
The Diamond Rock is the most recognizable natural monument on Martinique. The basalt island is an effect of the volcano eruption and is located in the Grande Anse du Diamant around 3 kilometers from the shore into the sea. And sticks out 175 meters above the sea level. Today it’s unsettled but it used to be the military base during the Napoleonic Wars. Today we can watch its majesty from the huge beach in Le Diamant.
#13 Anse Cafard Slave Memorial
Once you’ll be watching the Diamond Rock from the coast, you should also visit Anse Cafard and the Slave Memorial. Monumental statues symbolize the slaves living on the island in the old times and remind the tragedy that took place on the shore nearby.
The ship filled with the transport of new unfortunate souls to become slaves on the island in 1830 wrecked on the rocky shore. Dozens of people locked inside drowned in this tragedy. To their memory, and the memory of many more slaves, this memorial was built.
#14 Taste some local food in Martinique
Visiting the Caribbean is a great opportunity to taste some Creole kitchen. Food in Martinique that you should try is diverse and includes the influences of French and Asian culinary traditions. Colombo chicken, accras de morue, bokits, all of these should be on your tasty list of delicacies to try!
One of the great things to do in Martinique during your holiday is to take cooking classes! Trying a simple Ti’punch and accras cooking class will be perfect for the beginning. Click here to book it on Viator!
#15 Étang des Salines
The South of Martinique is filled with unique places to visit. Between Grande Anse des Salines and La Savane des Pétrifications you’ll find one of them. Étang des Salines is a salt lake spreading in the area. The best way to enjoy it is to take a walk on a wooden path built above the water. In the middle, you can hide behind the wooden fence and observe the local fauna through the specially made windows. Watching white herons gracefully wading in the shallow water is a great experience.
#16 Shopping on the market
In almost every town in the French Antilles, you can find a small local market. Do some shopping in a market like this is a great experience on its own. You’ll find there fresh local fruits likes bananas, pineapples, or avocados in Autumn, but also aromatic spices like cinnamon or vanilla.
On the market, you’ll find also other goodies and souvenirs like pareos and dresses with a typical Creole pattern, handmade hammocks or hats made of palm leaves.
#17 Balata Botanical Garden as one of the best things to do in Martinique
If you’re a fan of discovering nature in comfortable conditions, Balata Botanical Garden is a choice for you. The garden was founded by Jean-Philippe Thoze around the house of his grandparents. Today this place showcases various species of the Caribbean greenery. Spending there a few hours will reward you with beautiful memories filled with scents and colors.
#18 Village de la Poterie des Trois-Ilets
Village de la Poterie is a unique place on the map of Martinique. The complex was established in the XVII century by the Jesuits order but later on, it was turned into a place producing many types of building materials: bricks and clay or ceramic tiles.
Today, Village de la Poterie associates local artists and shop owners in a place filled with a creative spirit. It’s a great place to enhance your knowledge about the Martinique culture but also to buy some unique souvenirs.
#19 Enjoy boat tours
What else could be better to do on a tropical island than taking a boat tour? Cruising in the blue waters, chilling in the sun, and observing the green island from a distance is one of the best things to do in Martinique.
Here are some sailing opportunities that you can easily prebook with one-click:
- Sailing discovery day tour on a sport catamaran – 43+ positive reviews
- Diving or snorkeling day from a catamaran – 8+ positive reviews
- Half-day motorboat trip from Le François – 31+ positive reviews
- For adventurous: multi-day sailing cruise from Martinique to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and back
#20 Château Dubuc and the Caravelle Peninsula
Presqu’île de la Caravelle is a peninsula located on the Eastern side of Martinique. The terrain is 10 kilometers long and is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The peninsula is covered by deep tropical greenery but also by sugar cane plantations. We can find there Château Dubuc, the ruins of XVIII mansion being the family house of planters in the former times. The ruins are worth visiting because at the entrance we get the audio guide which explains to us every little detail of the area. Moreover, the ruins have a wonderful view and we can feel the extraordinary spirit in this place.
#21 Visit Sainte-Anne
If you’re looking for a peaceful place to simply relax and enjoy your stay in the Caribbean, Sainte-Anne will be a perfect town for you. Similarly, as in Guadeloupe, Sainte-Anne is one of the best places to stay in Martinique. The cute small town with a tiny church in the center and some bars with bokits nearby has a perfect scale. But the best place here is the city beach. Perfect, with yellow sand, blue clear water, and some trees giving the shadow. Ideal for relaxing days on a beach.
#22 Explore Gorges de la Falaise
If you’re an adventurous person, trekking to Les Gorges de la Falaise will be a perfect activity for you. We talk here about a jungle trekking into a wonderful canyon and waterfall. The entrance costs around 10€ and you hit the trail with a guide but it’s worth the effort. You will not regret discovering this charming place.
#23 Whale and dolphin-watching
And if you’re a lover of observing the wild nature, you’ll be happy to take a boat tour to observe dolphins and whales living near the island. The excursions are usually made in small groups and you will remember this experience for life.
#24 Discover mangrove
In the Caribbean islands, you can also find plenty of places with wild mangrove terrains. One that I discovered myself was La Mangrove de Trou Cochon on the Vauclin peninsula. A little piece of paradise, hidden from the people’s eyes.
But on the island, you can also enjoy boat trips to even better places. So boat excursion to discover mangrove terrains is a great and unique experience!
#25 Musée de La Banane
A lot of joy will bring you to visiting Musée de la Banane. That’s right, the Banana Museum is a great place to visit, have fun, and get to know this well-known fruit even better. On place, you can also do some shopping in a souvenir shop but also taste delicious banana meals in a local restaurant.
#26 Water sports
After visiting all the beautiful places on the island, it’s time to have some fun! The fun things to do in Martinique are waiting for you on the beach! Water sports are always exciting and during your vacation in Martinique, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your skills.
Here are some awesome activities that you can pre-book before going to Martinique:
- Chillout paddling – starts from 14€
- Traditional Yole Boat Sailing Lesson – starts from 50€
- Inflatable Donut or Sofa Ride – starts from 17€
- Fast-track Sailing Skipper Course – 7-day course starts from 2,800€
Ready to visit the island of Martinique?
I’m pretty sure you’ll have wonderful vacations in Martinique! No matter if it’ll be Martinique all-inclusive or a backpacking trip. You’ll have a great time chilling on the beach, taking adventurous trips and drinking delicious rum in this distant part of France.
So remember to download my travel costs cheatsheet and have a dream holiday!
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- Malta in winter: how to visit this tiny country in the winter season?
- 7-day backpacking road trip to Northern Italy: Bologna, Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, Bergamo
- The Caribbean South America gem: visiting Cartagena in Colombia on a budget
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.