La Trinité Martinique. Credit. Jametlene Reskp via Unsplash

A visit to beautiful Martinique, a stunning Caribbean island located in the Lesser Antilles, offers a diverse range of experiences for tourists. From its breathtaking natural beauty to its vibrant culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s what you can expect as a tourist visiting Martinique followed by a suggested 7-day tourist itinerary to make the most of this beautiful island.

For those who wish to delve deeper, we have provided a series of shorter articles throughout the site regarding the history, culture, environment, specific attractions and politics of Martinique.

Natural Attractions

  • Pristine Beaches: Martinique boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, with white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Popular beaches include Les Salines, Anse Dufour, and Grande Anse.
  • Lush Rainforests: The island is home to lush rainforests, such as the Balata Gardens and the tropical forest in the Parc Naturel Régional de Martinique. Explore hiking trails, discover exotic flora and fauna, and enjoy breathtaking views.
  • Volcanic Landscapes: Martinique is home to the majestic Mount Pelée, an active volcano. Hike to the summit for panoramic views of the island’s volcanic landscapes and explore the nearby ruins of Saint-Pierre, a city destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1902.

Cultural Experiences

  • Creole Heritage: Immerse yourself in the vibrant Creole culture of Martinique. Visit the bustling capital city, Fort-de-France, and explore its colorful markets, historic landmarks, and lively music scene.
  • Festivals and Events: Martinique is known for its lively festivals, such as the Carnival in February and the Fête de la Musique in June. Experience the island’s rich cultural traditions through music, dance, and culinary delights.
  • Museums and Historical Sites: Discover Martinique’s history and heritage by visiting museums like the Musée de la Pagerie, former home of Empress Josephine, and the Musée de la Mer et de la Marine, which showcases the island’s maritime history.

Tourist Activities

  • Watersports and Snorkeling: With its warm tropical waters, Martinique offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and other watersports. Explore vibrant coral reefs, swim with tropical fish, and discover shipwrecks.
  • Hiking and Outdoor Adventures: The island’s diverse landscape makes it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Go hiking in the Carbet Mountains, explore hidden waterfalls, or try canyoning in the tropical forests.
  • Rum Distilleries: Martinique is renowned for its rum production. Visit distilleries like Habitation Clément and Rhum JM to learn about the rum-making process, sample different varieties, and immerse yourself in the island’s rum culture.

Tourist Activities

  • Exquisite Cuisine: Martinique’s culinary scene is a fusion of French, African, and Caribbean influences. Indulge in delicious Creole dishes like accras (deep-fried cod fritters), colombo (spiced meat stew), and boudin (blood sausage).
  • Fresh Seafood: Being an island, Martinique offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Enjoy grilled fish, lobster, and shrimp prepared with local spices and flavors.
  • Tropical Fruits and Beverages: Savor the taste of exotic fruits like mangoes, passion fruits, and guavas. Don’t miss trying traditional beverages like ti’ punch, a popular rum-based cocktail, and sorrel, a refreshing hibiscus drink.

Martinique delivers a unique blend of natural wonders, rich culture, exciting activities, and mouthwatering cuisine. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on stunning beaches or adventure in the great outdoors, this Caribbean gem has it all.

Suggested 7-day Tourist Itinerary for a Visitor to Martinique

Day 1:

Start your day by exploring Fort-de-France, the capital city of Martinique. Here are some things you can do:

Fort de France Martinique Credit Wil Zaid Unsplash

Begin at Fort Saint Louis, a historic landmark and former military stronghold. Take a guided tour to learn about its history and strategic importance. You’ll also enjoy panoramic views of the city and the bay from the fort’s vantage point.

Visit the Schoelcher Library, a beautiful building named after Victor Schoelcher, a French abolitionist. The library houses a vast collection of books, manuscripts, and artwork. Take a stroll through its halls and appreciate the architectural beauty.

After exploring Fort-de-France, take a ferry to Anse Mitan, a stunning beach located nearby. Here’s what you can do there:

Relax on the soft, sandy beach and soak up the sun. Anse Mitan offers a picturesque setting with calm, turquoise waters and swaying palm trees.

Enjoy various water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, or renting a kayak or paddleboard to explore the bay.

Indulge in local cuisine at the beachfront restaurants and cafes. Try some delicious Creole dishes like accras (deep-fried cod fritters) or grilled fresh seafood.

Take a leisurely walk along the promenade and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. You’ll find shops, boutiques, and street vendors selling local crafts and souvenirs.

Anse Mitan is also a great place to watch the sunset. Find a comfortable spot on the beach and witness the sky turning into hues of orange and pink as the day comes to an end.

Remember to check the ferry schedule in advance to plan your return trip to Fort-de-France.

Day 2:

Head to Les Trois-Ilets, a charming town known for its colonial architecture and historical significance. Here are some highlights:

Jardin de Balata Copyright the Jardin de Balata

Start your exploration at the Pagerie Museum, the birthplace of Empress Josephine. This museum offers a glimpse into the life of Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Explore the exhibits, including artifacts, furniture, and personal belongings that tell the story of her upbringing and journey to becoming Empress.

Take a stroll through the town’s streets and admire the well-preserved colonial architecture. Les Trois-Ilets is known for its colorful buildings adorned with intricate balconies and verandas. Explore the local shops, cafes, and restaurants that line the streets.

Afterward, make your way to the beautiful gardens of Balata. Located just outside of Fort-de-France, Balata Gardens is a serene botanical garden that showcases a stunning collection of tropical plants and flowers. Take a leisurely walk along the winding paths and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The garden offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and the city below.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Balata Church, a smaller replica of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris. This picturesque church stands amidst the lush greenery of the gardens and is a popular spot for weddings and events.

If you’re interested in learning more about Martinique’s history and culture, consider visiting the nearby Maison de la Canne. This museum focuses on the island’s sugar cane industry and provides insights into its significance in Martinique’s past and present.

After a day of cultural exploration and natural beauty, head back to your accommodation in Les Trois-Ilets or Fort-de-France and enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps dining at one of the local restaurants and savoring the flavors of Martinique’s cuisine

Day 3:

Take a scenic drive along the Route de la Trace, a picturesque road that cuts through the heart of Martinique’s rainforest. Here are some highlights:

Start your day by heading towards the Route de la Trace, which offers stunning views of the lush tropical rainforest and the majestic Pitons du Carbet mountains. As you drive along this winding road, you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation, towering trees, and the sounds of nature.

Spend a day exploring along the lovely Route de la Trace Martinique

Along the way, make a stop at Maison de la Forêt, a visitor center and museum dedicated to the flora and fauna of Martinique’s rainforest. Explore the exhibits and learn about the unique biodiversity that thrives in this ecosystem. Take a walk along the nature trails surrounding the center and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the rainforest.

Continue your drive along the Route de la Trace until you reach Saint Pierre, a historic town that was tragically destroyed by the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. Once known as the “Paris of the Caribbean,” Saint Pierre was the cultural and economic hub of Martinique before the eruption. Today, it stands as a haunting reminder of the catastrophe.

Visit the Musée Volcanologique Franck Perret, a museum dedicated to the volcanic history of the region and the eruption that devastated Saint Pierre. Explore the exhibits that showcase artifacts, photographs, and stories of the eruption. Gain a deeper understanding of the tragic events and the impact they had on the town and its residents.

Take a walk through the ruins of Saint Pierre, where you can see remnants of the town’s former grandeur. Visit the remains of the theater, the prison, and the cathedral, which offer a glimpse into the town’s past. The eerie atmosphere and the contrast between the ruins and the surrounding natural beauty create a unique and thought-provoking experience.

After exploring the ruins, visit the Anse Turin beach, located near Saint Pierre. Take some time to relax on the black sand beach, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or simply enjoy the scenic views of the Caribbean Sea.

As the day comes to an end, drive back to your accommodation, reflecting on the history and natural wonders you’ve encountered along the way. Consider dining at a local restaurant and savoring the flavors of Martinique’s cuisine as you plan for the next day of your adventure

Day 4:

Spend the day at Les Anses d’Arlet, a picturesque fishing village with stunning beaches. Here are some highlights:

Start your day by heading to Les Anses d’Arlet, a charming village located on the southwestern coast of Martinique. This village is known for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and vibrant Creole culture.

Relax on Anse Dufor Beach for a few hours

Choose one of the beaches in Les Anses d’Arlet to relax and soak up the sun. Anse Dufour and Anse Noire are particularly popular choices. These beaches boast white sandy shores and clear turquoise waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

If you enjoy snorkeling or diving, make sure to bring your gear as Les Anses d’Arlet is renowned for its incredible underwater biodiversity. Put on your snorkel mask and fins, and explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish and other marine life. You might even spot sea turtles gliding through the water.

Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade in the village and admire the picturesque scenery. Here, you’ll find local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day, and you can witness the authentic fishing village atmosphere.

For lunch, indulge in some delicious Creole cuisine at one of the local restaurants or beachside cafes. Try traditional dishes like accras (fried codfish fritters), colombo (a flavorful curry dish), or fresh seafood caught that very morning.

After a relaxing day at Les Anses d’Arlet, head to Le Diamant, a rock formation that rises from the sea. Here are some details about Le Diamant:

Le Diamant is a famous landmark in Martinique, a large rock formation that juts out of the Caribbean Sea. Its name, which means “The Diamond” in French, comes from the way it glistens in the sunlight.

Enjoy panoramic views of Le Diamant from the shore or take a boat tour to get closer to the rock. Admire its impressive size and unique shape, which has been shaped by thousands of years of volcanic activity.

Le Diamant holds historical significance as well. It was a strategic point during battles between the French and the British in the past. Learn about its history and the stories associated with it.

Take a leisurely walk along the beach at Le Diamant, feeling the warm sand beneath your feet and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. Capture memorable photos of this iconic landmark and the beautiful surroundings.

As the day comes to an end, head back to your accommodation, carrying the memories of the picturesque beaches, vibrant village atmosphere, and the impressive sight of Le Diamant. Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of Martinique’s cuisine, and rest up for the next day of your adventure.

Day 5:

Explore the Caravelle Peninsula, a nature reserve with diverse ecosystems. Here are some highlights:

Begin your day by heading to the Caravelle Peninsula, located on the northeastern coast of Martinique. This nature reserve is a haven for nature lovers, offering a range of activities and stunning landscapes to explore.

Lace up your hiking shoes and embark on one of the many trails that wind through the Caravelle Peninsula. The trails vary in difficulty, so you can choose one that suits your fitness level and time constraints. As you hike, you’ll be immersed in the lush tropical vegetation and have the opportunity to spot various wildlife native to the area.

Keep your eyes peeled for iguanas, which are a common sight in the Caravelle Peninsula. These fascinating reptiles can often be spotted sunning themselves on rocks or climbing through the trees. The reserve is also home to a variety of bird species, including seabirds like frigatebirds and pelicans. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the chance to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Tartane and Caravelle Peninsula Martinique

Along the trails, you’ll come across breathtaking viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of the coastline and the surrounding landscape. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and turquoise waters.

After exploring the natural wonders of the Caravelle Peninsula, visit the ruins of Château Dubuc. This former sugar plantation provides a glimpse into Martinique’s colonial past. Learn about the history of sugar production on the island and the impact it had on the local economy and society.

Wander through the remains of Château Dubuc, which include the main house, the windmill, and the sugar cane fields. Explore the interpretive displays that provide insights into the plantation’s operation and the lives of the enslaved workers who toiled in the sugar industry.

Take a moment to appreciate the picturesque setting of Château Dubuc, situated on a promontory with commanding views of the surrounding coastline. The juxtaposition of the ruins against the backdrop of the natural beauty of the Caravelle Peninsula creates a unique and captivating atmosphere.

As the day comes to an end, head back to your accommodation, reflecting on the natural wonders and historical significance of the Caravelle Peninsula. Enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps dining at a local restaurant and savoring the flavors of Martinique’s cuisine.

Day 6:

Discover the southern part of the island. Here are some highlights:

Start your day by heading to Les Salines, one of the most beautiful beaches in Martinique. Located on the southern tip of the island, Les Salines boasts pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Spend some time relaxing on the beach, taking in the breathtaking scenery, and enjoying the warm Caribbean sun.

Take a leisurely swim in the calm waters of Les Salines or try your hand at various water activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, or kayaking. The beach is known for its shallow and calm waters, making it perfect for both experienced swimmers and families with children.

Vibrant local market in Sainte Anne

After enjoying the beach, explore the town of Sainte-Anne, located nearby. This vibrant coastal town offers a charming blend of Creole culture, stunning natural beauty, and delicious local cuisine.

Visit the local market in Sainte-Anne, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and experience the flavors and aromas of Martinique. Browse through stalls filled with fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, spices, and local handicrafts. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste local delicacies such as accras, boudin, or coconut-based treats.

Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade in Sainte-Anne, offering picturesque views of the azure waters and the nearby islets. Admire the colorful fishing boats and yachts bobbing in the marina, and soak up the lively atmosphere of this coastal town.

If you’re interested in history, visit the Ecomusée de la Martinique, a small museum located in Sainte-Anne that showcases the island’s cultural heritage and traditional way of life. Learn about the history of sugar cane cultivation, rum production, and the Creole traditions that have shaped Martinique’s identity.

Indulge in the local cuisine of Sainte-Anne by dining at one of the many restaurants or beachside eateries. Try dishes like grilled fish, seafood stews, or traditional Creole recipes made with local ingredients. Pair your meal with a refreshing Ti’ Punch or a glass of locally produced rum.

As the day comes to an end, head back to your accommodation, reflecting on the beauty of Les Salines, the vibrant market experience in Sainte-Anne, and the flavors of Martinique’s cuisine. Enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps taking a leisurely stroll on the beach or enjoying a sunset cocktail.

Day 7:

Spend a relaxing day on the beach and enjoy a boat tour to Josephine’s Bathtub. Here are some highlights:

Start your day by heading to one of Martinique’s beautiful beaches. With its abundance of stunning coastlines, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prefer a secluded cove or a more popular beach, there are beaches to suit every preference.

Set up your beach spot, lay out your towel, and soak up the sun. Take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and feel the soft sand between your toes. Relax, unwind, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. You can also indulge in beach activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, or simply strolling along the shoreline.

In the afternoon, embark on a boat tour to Josephine’s Bathtub. This natural pool is located along the coastline and is surrounded by cliffs, creating a secluded and picturesque setting. The pool gets its name from Empress Josephine, who was born in Martinique and is said to have bathed in these waters.

Josephines Bathtub Martinique and the White Bottoms

Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Josephine’s Bathtub and admire the stunning scenery around you. The calm and transparent nature of the pool makes it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Dive in and explore the underwater world, marveling at the colorful marine life that inhabits the area.

Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings. The cliffs that encircle the pool provide a sense of tranquility and privacy, allowing you to immerse yourself in this unique natural wonder. Capture some memorable photos of this incredible spot to cherish the memories.

After enjoying the boat tour and swimming in Josephine’s Bathtub, return to the beach for some more relaxation. Soak up the sun, read a book, or simply enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

As the day comes to an end, head back to your accommodation, reflecting on the serenity of the beach and the beauty of Josephine’s Bathtub. Enjoy a relaxing evening, perhaps having a beachside dinner or taking a leisurely stroll along the coast.