Sail the tropical coral island of Martinique to experience an island riddled with contrasts, rich culture, and mesmerizing beauty. Read for more.
The rum capital of the world
Few islands serve a rich palate of culture, coastline, landscape, people, rum, and food as this French territory, 450km off the South American coast. The tropical coral island of Martinique is in the Caribbean Sea at the southernmost part of the French West Indies.
Comprising of the main island and fifty largely uninhabited islets, the rum capital of the world is filled with monuments that tell its tale. These tales include its years as a slave hub, a sugar plantation, and its present reputation for its rhum. There are countless reasons to fall in love with this piece of Francophone Caribbean. This article will give you an in-depth understanding of why these islands are the perfect vacation spot and incredible must-visit locations.
Like Guadaloupe, Martinique is a French region discovered by Columbus in 1502. This island has long been a prime location for French vacationers seeking a break from the ordeals of the mainland. The northern part of the island possesses rich volcanic mountains and lush jungles. Down south possesses clear sandy beaches, a rich coral life, fancy hotels, and restaurants.
The dualistic personality this island embodies is what makes it so unique. Despite its turbulent past riddled with volcanic eruptions, slave trade, colonial times, and more, the island looks nothing like what it’s been through. These contrasts of pain and beauty, emerald-colored jungles and pink beaches, West Indian culture, and French lifestyle are why you should visit Martinique.
Places To Visit In Martinique
There is no shortage of places to visit in the “island of flowers,” a name that locals affectionately call their island. However, these places are a must-stop for a first-timer to Martinique.
Ansa Cafard Slave Memorial
Silently facing Diamond beach in southwest Martinique are 20 stone effigies. They commemorate the 1830 catastrophe in which a ship, failing to anchor at Anse Cafard successfully, careened into the Diamond Rock Mountain.
This incident resulted in the death of most of the passengers, sailors, and slaves chained to the cargo hold. Besides being a popular photo-op location, the aura of the place exudes solemnity, a "humbling experience" for many.
This plantation, rum distillery, museum, and heritage site has a mass appeal. Thanks to its diverse roles, it is a favorite location for families and group tours. Feel free to traverse the gardens, outbuildings, and main house as you learn about the process of manufacturing rum. You can sample different rums in the tasting room or buy your favorite bottles from the rum shop if you don't mind. Besides rum, Habitation Clement bears a serene look ideal for a quiet walk with interesting sculptures guarding the terrain.
This natural wonder deserves at least half a day of your time in Martinique. Mont Pelee is an active volcano whose sides adventure travelers often love to scale. However, there are many other fun things to do in Mont Pelee for those less inclined to such risky adventures. You can drive and then walk a mile to the summit to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Or you could stay at the base, where you may enjoy hiking, canyoning, and rappelling through the forests and waterfalls of the area.
La Savane Park
Want to test your bargaining skills and brush up on your French at the same time? Voila! La Savane Park. This beautiful park located in Fort-de-France is filled with locals selling crafts, snacks, and souvenirs. Ensure you take a photo with the red-stained and headless statue of Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife and a Martinique native. Locals resent her believing that she encouraged her husband to continue the practice of slavery on the island.
Le Jardin de Balata is the reason why Martinique is referred to as the island of flowers. Located on the outskirts of Fort-de-France, this private botanical garden houses over 300 palm tree species as well as other plants. You will find bamboos, bromeliads, begonias, and an incredible selection of tropical plants on these lands.
Located just a few miles south of Sainte-Anne is one of Martinique's finest beaches. Named Les Salines because of the salt pond nearby, this kilometer stretch of white sand will leave lasting memories. This beach is crowded during weekends and tranquil during the week. So you can choose a day that best suits your needs. Shaded by coconut palms, this location is perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Pointe du Bout
There are plenty of boat tours from Point du Bout that take you virtually anywhere on the island. Kayak to the mangrove forests or visit the le Baignoire de Josephine (Josephine's baths). You can also join in on dolphin cruises and spend time watching and swimming with our friendly mammals if you are up for it.
Explore the Coral Reefs In Martinique
The paradox of Martinique is also in its topography. While the island’s northwest coast is devoid of corals, the Atlantic coast gets partial protection from a barrier reef. The best region for snorkeling in Martinique is arguably the Anses d’Arlet.
Coral Reefs In Martinique
There are two contrasting beaches: Anse Dufour, a white sand beach, and Anse Noire, containing dark sand, in Anses d'Arlet. The waters between these two beaches are among the best spots in the French West Indies to spot green turtles. Other snorkeling locations, such as the Îlet à Ramiers and Cap Salomon, are great locations easily accessible only to persons with their boats.
Advanced snorkelers can follow the trail from Pointe Borgnèse to Anse Figuier to view the incredible coral reefs. The wild and mountainous Northern Martinique is also home to a rich underwater life. You can also explore the Manman Dlo, a monumental concrete mermaid resting underneath the waters of a black sand beach at Mount Pelée.
The Caribbean ecosystem is home to over 300 fish species, including the spotted moray, French angelfish, and the bluehead wrasse. Except during the hurricane season, which can delay swimming or sailing for several days, snorkeling is enjoyable all year round.
Although there are flights into the Caribbean territory, the easiest way to tour the countless sights is by boat. Booking any of Martinique’s luxury yacht charters will allow you to tour the island and experience its captivating scenery.
Boatsters Black’s luxury yacht charter will provide you with an up-close and personal experience of the island. You also get the chance to sleep, wine, and dine under the beautiful Caribbean night sky in the heart of the French West Indies.
Welcome on board Akula, a like new Sanlorenzo SL86 now available for charter for the first time. One of the only yachts in this size bracket that is able to host eight guests in four cabins, this versatile beauty is a hallmark of modern yacht design
Yacht ALLURE is a 103’ Mangusta 105 sport model yacht that was built in 2004 by Italian shipyard Overmarine. She was last refit in 2015. Her luxurious interior is designed by Overmarine, and her exterior styling is by Stefano Righini.