Best Things To Do In Martinique For That Memorable Caribbean Vacation

By Ketki Hanamshet on Oct 04, 2019
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Martinique is sandy beaches, tall palm trees, and all things Carribean. But, it is also about volcanic mountains, rainforest trails, and museums showcasing Martinique’s past. A walk through the Balata Botanical Garden will get you closer to nature, and a visit to Habitation Clément will take you in the past. While hiking up Mount Pelee will get the adventurer out of you, the sandy stretch of Les Saline will let you rest your lazy bum. Take a look at the best things to do in Martinique and know how to have a great Caribbean vacation here.

1. Get lost in the tropical bliss of Balata Botanical Garden (Jardin de Balata)

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Balata Botanical Garden is a tropical paradise in Martinique. Step into this haven of green and find yourself surrounded by more than 3,000 varieties of tropical plants. Over 300 types of palm trees stand tall to welcome you and well-paved winding paths take you through the garden. Cross hanging bridges, rest under the cabanas, or simply meander through the Balata Botanical Garden to drink in the serenity. 

2. Enjoy sunbathing at Les Salines

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Is it even a Caribbean vacation if you do not hit the beach and bask in the tropical sun? The white sandy stretch of Les Salines Martinique, shaded by the towering coconut palms, is your best bet to catch some tan. After relaxing on the soft sand while letting the sun wash all over you, the calm waters of the Les Salines beach invite you to splash around.

3. Hike up the volcanic Mount Pelee

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A volcanic mountain sounds terrifying, but Mount Pelee of Martinique is also hauntingly beautiful. Infamous for having caused the massive destruction of Saint Pierre in 1902 with its eruption, today the mountain invites hikers to conquer its height. Walk along the trail that winds up the rugged ridges of Mount Pelee and be ready to get mesmerized by the stunning panoramas.

4. Step back in time at Musee de la Pagerie

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The Caribbean Island of Martinique also offers you a chance of stepping back in time through Musee de la Pagerie. This is a museum complex which was the birthplace of Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, the future Empress Josephine of France. What was once a sugar estate, today serves as a museum, allowing you to peek into Josephine’s childhood.

5. Go canyoning in Gorges de la Falaise

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Gorges de la Falaise is a cascading beauty and, undoubtedly, one of the best tourist attractions in Martinique. A moderate hike through the verdant rainforest and up a river takes you to a natural pool where your eyes meet a roaring waterfall. Take a dip in the pool and find it to be worth all the hassle of hiking along a comparatively difficult trail.

6. Shop for souvenirs at Grand Marche

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You simply cannot return from a Caribbean vacation without a souvenir and what better place to get one than a local market! Grand Marche is a sheltered market in Fort-de-France, targeted towards the cruise-ship crowds. Walking through the market, you will be able to take in the local vibes of Martinique through its spices, local artworks, fresh produce, and the best of rum.

7. Enjoy scuba diving at the Diamond Rock

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The Diamond Rock is a handsome rugged mass of stone, encircled by the blues of the Caribbean Sea. More famous for being strategically used by the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, the Diamond Rock is now a favorite site amongst expert divers. Although the underwater currents make scuba diving a challenge, the Diamond Rock Cavern with its beautiful sea fans and corals always entice marine lovers.

8. Watch a variety of animals at Zoo Martinique

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Zoo Martinique is one of the best places to visit in Martinique along with kids. Housed under the Latouche dwelling, which dates back to 1643, this is an enchanting place to not only see a variety of animals but also observe some colonial-era ruins. Animals such as monkeys, jaguars, pumas, lorikeets, great anteater, raccoons, and many others can be seen here.

9. Experience tranquility at Les Anses d’Arlet

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Many times a Caribbean Island gets quite crowded with many visitors flocking to it for enjoying the tropical climate. Escape this chaos and visit Les Anses d’Arlet - a commune of many charming villages. Essentially a fishing village, this place is blessed with quietude and is dotted by Creole houses, a soft sandy beach, and a lovely church.

10. Understand Creole culture and agricultural history at Habitation Clément

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Habitation Clément is one of the top places in Martinique to walk through the history of the Creole culture and understand the agricultural history of the Island. Occupying a total of 160 hectares, the property is home to the old distillery of rum Clement which now serves as a museum, the aging cellars of Clement rum, and Creole-style residential buildings. One of the prime features of Habitation Clément is the 16-hectare botanic garden with over 300 tropical plants, some lovely water features, and many sculptures.

11. Admire the 7 times built St. Louis Cathedral

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Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a cathedral that has been built for a record seven times at the same spot? Dating back to the mid-17th century, St. Louis Cathedral in Fort-de-France was first opened in 1657. But, the many natural disasters that have tormented the region for years, destroyed 6 churches that were consequently built here. The cathedral that stands today was built in 1895 and showcases the Romanesque Revival style of architecture. A grand organ, decorated walls, and lovely stained windows are some of the interior features of this point of interest in Martinique.

12. Tour the open-air museum of La Savane des Esclaves

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La Savane des Esclaves is a place that exhibits 400 years of history. This is a 3-hectare, recreated, open-air museum, where you get to discover the reconstitution of a Native American village, get an insight into the slavery life, and understand the inhabitants’ lives after the abolition of slavery. Take a guided tour of the museum and see lovely traditional huts, a Creole garden, as well as a medicinal garden.

13. Admire the ornate building of Schoelcher Library

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Schoelcher Library is a place that not only attracts book lovers but also grabs the attention of the architecture connoisseurs. The colorful building has an eclectic style of Egyptian art, western classic, art nouveau, and Byzantine influences. The Avant-garde building is considered to be a historic monument and makes for a stunning sight to behold.

14. Observe past Martinique disparities at Ruins of Chateau Dubuc

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Although there isn’t much at the Ruins of Chateau Dubuc, the historical site will definitely transport you back to the colonial times of Martinique. The ruins are the former home of the wealthy owners of the Caravelle Peninsula and are enclosed in the ruins of their sugar refinery. After observing the ruins, you may hike along the La Caravelle Nature Trail which offers mesmerizing vistas of the Martinique coastline.

15. Taste the best of Martinique Food

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A Caribbean Vacation is made memorable by the delicious local food and Martinique is no exception. Here you will find the food to be influenced by many cooking styles and South Asian flavors. Some of the dishes that you must try while vacationing in Martinique include Pâtés Créoles, Trempage Créole, Poulet Boucané, Cassava ice cream, and Gratin de Christophine.

Pocket these best things to do in Martinique and you are ready to have a memorable Caribbean vacation.

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