Martinique is one of the most unique and popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. There are plenty of natural attractions in Martinique which makes it an important place for visitors from across the world. Martinique’s capital city, Fort de France, is vibrant and inviting, while Trois Ilets serves as home base for numerous tourists. St. Pierre was Martinique’s capital until it was completely wiped off the map by a deadly volcano in the year 1902, and the remains here are well worth a stop. A drive around the island will yield vistas of mountains, banana plantations, and sugarcane fields, the latter providing the raw material for the islands many rum distilleries. Plenty of beautiful beaches are waiting to be explored. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Martinique along with your family are listed below: www.travelrows.com
1. Fort de France
The Fort de France is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Martinique. It is the liveliest city and also its capital city. Some of the incredible attractions to visit here include the Schoelcher Library; this magnificent library was designed by Henri Picq and shipped in pieces from France in the year 1893). Shops and restaurants — including French boutiques and bread shops — are fun to explore. The town’s namesake fort still looms imposingly, but it’s an active military base and closed to tours. The heart of the city is considered as an ancient savanna. You can also enjoy at the bustling Covered Market, full of vendors selling unusual tropical produce, local handicrafts, and folk tonics, including at least one herbal answer to Viagra.
2. Trois Ilets
Trois Ilets is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Martinique. This place is considered to be an ideal destination for those who are looking for bars, casino action, golf, decent dining and watersports all in one location, head to the tiny marina village of Trois Ilets. In this area you will also find some of the best restaurants and other offerings include ice cream shops, clothing boutiques, and pizza joints. The Casino de Trois Ilets, one of Martiniques’ three gaming facilities, is just down the road.
3. St. Pierre
St. Pierre was once described as the “Paris of the Caribbean, it was the previously the capital of Martinique today it is the Pompeii of the Caribbean. A 1902 eruption of nearby ount Pele killed all but one of the 20,000 residents of St. Pierre and destroyed the town. It is said that the only survivor was a prisoner in a prison cell; you can even find it today. You will also find some other interesting remains that include the shell of the town’s once-grand theater, and in many places you can see where modern structures were constructed atop the stone remnants of the old town.
4. Rum Distilleries
Rum is considered as the agricultural lifeblood of the country of Martinique, and here you will find dozen operating rum distilleries operating here. The country of Martinique is known for its agricultural rum made directly from cane, not molasses. You can also arrange for yourself some of the best guided tours. The Neisson distillery is a real working facility, soup to nuts, whereas Clement is as polished as any Napa Valley winery, with a tour that includes a botanical garden and art museum as well as a former distilling plant, aging rooms, and of course a rum tasting at the end.
5. Birthplace of Empress Josephine (Musee de la Pagarie)
A controversial daughter of Martinique, Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie was the child of a Trois Ilets plantation owner who married Napoleon Bonaparte but was blamed by the people of the island when slavery was reintroduced on Martinique during the year 1802. The house where the future empress was shattered by a storm, among the things that were remained is the kitchen. Today this survived kitchen is transformed into a museum that includes some of Josephine’s childhood furniture and other artifacts. The grounds also feature beautiful flower gardens and the ruins of the family sugar mill.
6. Saint Pierre
The former capital of the island until 1902, when the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelee completely destroyed the town and killed its 30,000 residents, Saint Pierre is now a popular destination in Martinique, where visitors head to get acquainted with its historic ruins and the Volcanological Museum, displaying the glorious rise and tragic fall of the city after eruption. Saint Pierre was known as the ‘Paris of the Caribbean’ in the 19th century. Ceron Ppantations is another must-see in St. Pierre, showcasing the site of an old sugar mill dating back to the 17th century, but the real attraction here is the restaurant serving awe-inspiring local cuisine.
7. Martinique Beaches
One of the most popular reasons to visit Martinique is their incredible beaches. They come in a variety of shapes and styles and are well-equipped with all the beach facilities. Various beautify beaches are available at different parts of the islands, simply breathtaking and worth visiting. The most popular among the beaches are Anse des Salines, a great getaway for both local and international travelers; Anse Ceron – one’s of the north’s black sand beaches; and Anse Noir, blessed with a majestic sea bed ideal for snorkeling and diving. Beaches on the east side of the island are less crowded, however the views here are truly spectacular.
8. Regional Nature Reserve
The Regional Natural Reserve of Martinique is surely a place worth visiting. This magnificent nature reserve is actually made up of 3 zones, including the north-Caribbean zone, The Peninsula of La Caravelle and the South, which has the necessary mission of protecting and improving the nature and image of the Martinique’s landscapes.
9. Place de la Savane
The capital city of Martinique is offers some of the spectacular tourist attractions that are worth visiting. It is surrounded by around thirteen acres that also featured beautiful blooms, swaying palms, decorated pathways, La Savane is considered as a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll in the core of the city. Once here you can also find a beautiful craft market offers many wonderful souvenirs while historical statues exemplify much of the older history of Martinique.
10. Diamond Rock
Diamond Rock is located towards the southwest part of the country, one of the famous tourist attractions of Martinique. Diamond Rock is situated between St Anne and Les Anse D’Alets, located a quarter of a mile from the mainland. Diamond Rock is also locally referred as Le Diamant is regarded a best destination for diving and one of the extremely famous areas for Martinique tourism. The British occupied the rock in the nineteenth century, certifying it as an actual ship called the HMS Diamond Rock. Underneath the water you can find the incredible rainbow of coral and sponges and also crags and fissures in the rock and vibrant sea life living off the outer rock layers.
11. Clement House
The Clements House is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Martinique. The house offers a huge collection of plantation houses and historic estates around the island. The artifacts that you will find here surely interest those who admire unique architecture and plentiful history. This house is only one of the many Martinique sights offering a photo gallery of prominent musicians, politicians, and artists that were past guests, shaded walks around the property and a rum factory right on the grounds where samples are poured freely.
The fascinating events that are held in this beautiful country are simply amazing and said to attract plenty of tourists throughout the year. From famous Carnival to the Martinique Jazz Festival to boat races and music festivals, there’s literally something happening in every month of the year. You can also check the calendar of events before you visit Martinique.
13. Mount Pelee
It is said that the tourism in Martinique is heavy around the renowned spot of the eruption of 1902 at Mount Pelee. The famous natural disaster has left remnants of the old town of St Pierre literally wiping out the town and residents of St Pierre in minutes, well below it while the new town of St Pierre grows and flourish around the remains. You can even witness some of the spectacular and scenic views from the top of the mountain.
14. Boulevard Allegre
Boulevard Allegre is considered as one of the ideal place to enjoy your nightlife during your tours to Martinique. It is indeed the capital leading nighttime area. It offers fun and excitement, especially when the sun sets and the night owls come out to play. Many dance clubs and dynamic bars are found throughout the area, many which offer terrific views of the Riviere Madame.
15. Caravelle Peninsula
Caravelle Peninsula is located towards the eastern side of the island. This spectacular natural area located in La Trinite. Some of the most electrifying views that are home to the Caravelle Nature Reserve are the Caravel Beach and enchanting Chateau Dabeoc. Pristine gray and white sand beaches can be reached from the network of hiking trails that take visitors along a route past the twelfth century Chateau’s ruins.
16. Route de la Trace
Route De la Trace is located towards the northeast part of the island. This tourist sight is considered as the ever-captivating, a trail that makes its way through dense, tropical rainforest taking hikers over the verdant mountains into the northern interior. Trailblazers encounter stunning canopies of tall tree ferns, dazzling tropical blooms, and large patches of bamboo forest. Towards your way to this magnificent attraction you can also come across certain beautiful attractions such as amazing Balata Botanical Gardens and the Roman-Byzantine church of Balata.
17. Schoelcher Library
The Schoelcher Library is one of the prominent tourist attractions of Martinique. This library was actually completed in the year 1887 in Paris and Henri Picq( who was responsible for designing and finishing it) decided to dispatched and reassembled it in the country’s capital Fort-de-France in the year 1893. This Library offers an incredible range of inspirations from the metallic Eiffel structure and Egyptian-Byzantine to Art Nouveau. The building, intended to house 10 000 works donated to the town by Schoelcher in 1883, now houses some 300 000 volumes, of which one-third are visible.
18. Pitons du Carbet
The Pitons (peaks) du Carbet, of which there are 6, owe their amazing shape to their volcanic origins that is responsible for forming a stunning backdrop to the Route de la Trace. Piton Lacroix, which attains 1,196m, commands an impressive view. This landscape is the scene of hike that is considered to be older than Mount Pelée, suited to experienced hikers, preferably with a guide. Nature lovers will be enchanted by the exceptional diversity of the lush vegetation: epiphytes, orchids, begonias, magnolias, etc.
19. Jesuits’ Trail
The Jesuits’ Trail is very popular among the experienced hikers, is one of the loveliest places to visit in Martinique. It actually owes its name to the religious brotherhood that opened it during the seventeenth century, cuts through tropical forest, providing an opportunity to observe the exuberant flora. Hikers make their way through relatively dense undergrowth, with halfway along, a dip in the river Lorrain to cool off.
20. Gorges de la Falaise
The Gorges de la Falaise hike starts with a long descent down into the valley before reaching the entrance to the gorges. It is one of the most stunning places of interest in Martinique. It is said that the view on arriving of the River Falaise that has cut a 120m-deep path through a lava flow is simply spectacular and surely worth a visit. You can also find here a natural pool and waterfall and the River Falaise that is present is also suitable for canyoning.
21. Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption-et-Saint-Joseph Church
The small church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption-et-Saint-Joseph is one of the popular spots to visit in Martinique. This little beautiful church features a timber frame in the shape of boat hull, which is characteristic of local religious architecture that dates back to the eighteenth Century. Inside it hides a fresco (1863) by Henri Daymier, depicting the Holy Trinity, together with an astonishing mosaic. This church is among the most prominent churches of the country.
22. District of the Centre
Visit the District of the Centre in order to better understand the extent of the damage caused in the year 1902. You can also visit the Frank-Perret Volcanic Museum where you will be able to witness the charts of eruption step by step. The deliberately conserved ruins dotted around the streets also paint a striking picture, occasionally revealing the beauty of the initial building, such as the ruins of the late-18C theatre (Rue Victor-Hugo).
23. Centre for the Scientific Discovery of the Planet
The Centre for the Scientific Discovery of the Planet is considered to an absolute must-visit tourist attraction of Martinique. This is one of the amazing scientific, educational and cultural centres of the country where they stages temporary and permanent exhibitions. This famous exhibition is completely devoted to volcanoes, earthquakes and cyclones. Take the time to watch the “Volcans des Antilles” documentary film, which is extremely well made with beautiful camera work and instructive commentary.
24. Habitation Leyritz
Habitation Leyritz is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Martinique. It is in fact considered to be a fine illustration of an eighteenth century plantation. It displays some of the best example that helps in understanding how society was organized at that time, the Rue case-nègres, the slaves’ quarters, for instance. The estate’s original purpose has, however, been entirely transformed and it is now even possible to eat and sleep here, should the fancy take you. Here you will also find a curious museum of vegetal dolls and surely worth visiting.
25. St James Rum Museum
The St James Rum Museum is one of the famous museums of the country and attracts a lot of visitors. This museum was created by the company of the same name. This museum very well explains an insight into the history and farming of sugarcane and also to rum flavors, because the visit includes a flavoring session. The factory however is open to public throughout the year but only from March to June.
26. Isles and Fonds-Blancs
The François Isles are famous for the Fonds-Blancs, high sandbanks that enclose and describe the isles. The Isles and Fonds-Blans are among the major tourist attractions of Martinique. You will find that these white coral sandbanks are dotted around the bay a few hundred meters from the coast and it is an absolute enjoyment to flounder in 60cm of warm green water in the middle of the sea. You will also notice here that the White Sea urchins and lambis are very carefully monitored in this nature conservation area.
27. Josephine’s Bath
Josephine’s Bath is the most visited of Fonds-Blancs, and very famous for unique attractions. The Bath actually owes its fame to Empress Josephine who is believed to have bathed here. However a host of other legends also laid claim to the name. Coral reefs and islets shelter this extremely picturesque location.
28. Coastal headlands path
The headlands’ trail is both comparatively easy and also commands immense views of the coast. The path will take you past very diverse landscapes among them are the mangroves, pristine and touristy beaches, beach morning glory, seagrapes, etc., presentation memorable views of cliffs, creeks and the ocean, heaven for photographers and nature lovers.
29. Beaches of the St Anne peninsula
One of the extremely popular attractions of Martinique is indeed its beaches and the most beautiful among them is found at the peninsula of St Anne. Beaches are symbolizes all the attributes of a perfect picture postcard of this island. This beach offers deep blue sea, white sandy beach, palm trees and fantastic sunsets. Once here you will be sure of finding a beach that suits your taste, from shaded family beaches (Anse Caritan), deserted, quiet beaches with calm water (Grande anse des Salines), rolling waves (Anse Michel, Anse au Bois, Anse Noire), accessible by car (Anse Trabaud) or on foot (Pointe des Salines along the path to Pointe d’Enfer).
30. Anse Dufour
The Anse Dufour is not as famous as Grand-Anse but is fairly attractive place to visit in Martinique. Anse Dufour is also far quieter than Grande-Anse, the cove of Anse Dufour, fringed by coconut trees, invites swimmers and sunbathers to relax on its golden sand. You will also find here some beautiful and colorful huts, a sheltered shoreline, transparent water and rubber trees paint a perfect beach of this island.
31. Balata Garden
Balata Garden is the botanical garden of Balata is one of the famous tourist attractions of Martinique. This garden is the work of Jean-Philippe Thoze who was responsible for collecting some of the unique tropical plants over a 20-year period. Heliconias, ginger, begonias, orchids and bromelia paint a vivid picture, alternating between bright splashes of colour and dense greenery, all of which to a backdrop of birdsong. Balata Garden is considered to be an ideal destination for family excursions.
32. St-Louis Cathedral
St-Louis Cathedral is considered to be a must visit tourist attraction of Martinique. The cathedral is actually the work of Henri Picq, and its 58m-high spire have stood on Rue Victor-Shoelcher since 1895. The cathedral was constructed on the location of St Louis Church, which fell foul of an earthquake and a fire, this tinny structure was designed to survive such natural catastrophes.
33. Regional Museum of History and Ethnography of Fort-de-France
The Regional Museum of History and Ethnography is one of the interesting museums to visit in Martinique. This museum features the discovery of a handsome colonial era house that is beautifully surrounded by a garden. Visiting this museum will help you understand the daily life and culture at the time in Martinique. The collection of furniture and West Indies dresses, made out of madras and broché satin, called douillettes, is worth visiting.
34. Canyon de l’Alma
The 1 750m-high Alma canyon is considered to be the most amazing canyon of the Pitons; Blanche river has formed a 617m-high waterfall. It is one of the famous tourist spots of the country. You can reach here by two ways; hikers can take the easy (90min) loop through the hygrophile forest of the Alma. Visitors who are very adventurous may like to indulge in a spot of canyoning: 9hr descent including 20 rappels through dense tropical forest and green cirques.
35. Butterfly garden
The Butterfly Garden is one of the beautiful places to visit in Martinique and an ideal destination for family picnicking. This garden is a conservatory, which provides you with the opportunity to observe butterflies in their natural milieu such as beautiful lush and pleasant vegetation. The garden is by a riverside and a 30min walk leads to an 18C fortress, which commands a fantastic view. You will also find here an open-air theatre, where concerts are regularly held in the evenings, because the garden also has a musical vocation.
36. Habitation Anse-Latouche
The Habitation Anse-Latouche (17C) was one of the first plantations established in Martinique that was smashed down during the year 1902 by lava, The remains stretch out on either side of Anse-Latouche River, the slaves’ huts were on the right bank and the masters’ quarters on the left. You will also find around the remains of the old sugar factory also reveals a garden of cacti and succulents, together with a diversity of customary crops grown on the plantation: indigo, rum, sugar cane, coffee, etc.
37. Church of St Anne
Church of St Anne was constructed during the year 1667 is one of the famous tourist attractions of Martinique, an attraction that cannot be missed. The church was reconstructed between 1741 and 1813. Its timber frame, in the shape of an overturned boat hull bears witness to the know-how of the marine carpenters who also built religious edifices.
38. Habitation Beauséjour
Visit to the Habitation Beauséjour will provides you with some f the interesting aspects of the 17th century. It reveals a well-preserved property, featuring all the characteristic details of Martinique homes from the colonial mansion to the rue case-nègres. Formerly devoted to sugarcane, the estate’s remarkable hydraulic wheel and canal that irrigated the land and supplied the house with water can still be seen.
39. Anses du nord Trail
Heavenly beaches and superb vistas await hikers along the Anses du nord Trail. Previously the path enabled carts and carriages to travel between Le Prêcheur and Grand’Rivière, but all you can find today is only dotted with ruins. This place is a beautiful place where you can find natural landscape that opens out before you is all the worth noticeable because this coast is relatively deserted: Anse Couleuvre, Anse Lévrier and its traces of sugar plantation and at Anse à Voile.
40. Habitation Céron
Today the Habitation Céron is entirely devoted to a different type of activity, but the fact remains that its late eighteenth century edifices continue to bear witness to the island’s past and sugar industry. Once here you will be able to witness daily life in a habitation, the slaves’ quarters and the different sugar production zones. You can also enjoy in beautiful park that also waits you.
41. Galion Factory
It is indubitable that a Hindu temple in the middle of a Martinique estate can seem inappropriate. You will find such a scene at the Galion sugar factory, an indication to the presence of Indian coolies on the island after the elimination of slavery. The Galion Factory is one the popular spots of Martinique. The estate belonged to Eugène Eustache who bought it in 1849, to construct this sugar factory, still in operation.
42. Château Dubuc
A Caribbean adventurer! It is well said that the reputation of Pierre Dubuc, after whom the castle is named, can hardly be believed anything other than hesitant. Today in ruins, this eighteenth century château where you can also find a small interesting will take you on a journey through time, back to swashbuckling buccaneers and sugar cane plantations.
43. Robert Isles
The Robert Isles is one of the famous attractions of Martinique. The volcanic Robert Isles covers a superb 8km-long bay protected by the Pointe Rouge towards the north and the Pointe La Rose towards the south. You can reached their by yole. You can also arrange guided tours to better explore this area. The unspoiled beaches and underwater treasures attract large numbers of visitors to the îlets Petite-Martinique, Chancel and Madame.
44. Anse Noire
Anse Noire is one of the quieter tourist spots of Martinique, perfect for visitors who want to relax under the sun. It is considered to be mostly unspoiled even than Anse Dufour, the delightful cove of Anse Noire can be recognized by its distinctive black sand. The cove is just beneath a volcanic peak.
45. Anse Figuier beach
The Anse Figuier Beach is considered to be a little fascinating beach of Martinique. The delightful beach of Anse Figuier and its calm water are lined by a lush green garden and are easily accessible. It is one of the best places to enjoy with the family. The gently sloping beach, a great favorite among kids also because it has a play area and a snack bar.
46. Savane des Esclaves
La Savane des Esclaves is one of the perfect places to explore and understand the authentic lifestyles and traditions of the country. You can also get to know better how the huts were constructed and also understand abut the slaves’ daily lives. The visit continues in the garden, where a discovery trail acquaints you with different Creole medicinal plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables.
47. Mouillage neighbourhood
It is well said that if any single district illustrates the Martiniquais determination to fight back after the destruction that occurred during the year 1902, it is that of Le Mouillage. Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral was restored just 20 years after the eruption. You can also find a replica of the Bourse de commerce, transformed into a Heritage House, was constructed on Place Bertin. This square, the shopping center of the district, is also the sight of a market.
48. Les Ombrages
The botanic and floral Ombrages trail is situated on the spot of the previous Sancé rum factory. This place is surrounded by fig trees and hundred-year-old Bombacaceae trees about which it is said that its roots can reach 1.20m in height. At the lower level of the hygrophile forest, the undergrowth is stunning, all because of the innumerable multicolored ornamental plants. Half-way round you will see a Creole garden that is devoted to subsistence farming, here you can also find edible and medicinal plants.
49. Pre-Columbian Museum
One of the interesting museums to visit in Martinique is the Pre-Columbian Museum. The museum is located in the country’s capital Fort-de-France and exhibits ancients Arawak Indian artifacts, Carib Indian items, and exhibits on contemporary life on the island. The collection is housed in an 1898 military supplies office. The building in which this museum is present is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings
50. Fort Saint Louis
The first structure on this spot in the country’s capital was constructed during the year 1638. It was a small wooden fort which was named Fort Royal, is one of the famous spots of Martinique. It was later reinforced with a moat and stone walls. Under British occupation in 1762, 1794, and 1809, the name was changed to Fort Edward. It was named Saint Louis eventually during the year 1814.