Martinique

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Martinique - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Depaz Distillery

    Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    An excursion to Depaz Distillery is one of the best things to do on the island. Established in 1651, it sits at the foot of the volcano. After...

    An excursion to Depaz Distillery is one of the best things to do on the island. Established in 1651, it sits at the foot of the volcano. After a devastating eruption in 1902, the fields of blue cane were replanted, and in time, the rum-making began all over again. A self-guided tour includes the workers' gingerbread cottages. The tasting room sells its rums, including golden and aged rum, and liqueurs made from orange, ginger, and basil, among other flavors, that can enhance your cooking. Unfortunately, the plantation's great house, or château, is still closed to the public. Allow time and make a reservation for Depaz's restaurant, Le Moulin a Canne (0596/69–80–44). Open only for lunch—even on Sunday when the distillery is closed, it has the views, the service, and flavorful creole specialties as well as some French classics on the menu, plus—you guessed it—Depaz rum to wash it down. It's "on the house." Shutters are drawn at the tasting room and the staff leaves at exactly 5 pm (or 4 on Saturday), so plan to be there at least an hour before.

    Mont Pelée Plantation, St-Pierre, n/a Martinique, 97250, Martinique
    0596-78–13–14

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Distillery free
  • 2. Habitation Clément

    Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    Get a glimpse into Martinique's colonial past. Visitors are given a multilingual audio headset, which explains tour highlights. Signage further...

    Get a glimpse into Martinique's colonial past. Visitors are given a multilingual audio headset, which explains tour highlights. Signage further describes the rum-making process and other aspects of plantation life. The Palm Grove, with an avenue of palms and park benches, is delightful. It was all built with the wealth generated by its rum distillery, and its 18th-century splendor has been lovingly preserved. The plantation's creole house illustrates the adaption to life in the tropics up through the 20th century. An early French typewriter, a crank-up telephone, and decades-old photos of the Cléments and Hayots (béké families), are juxtaposed with modern Afro-Caribbean art. Enjoy the free tastings at the bar of the retail shop. Consider the Canne Bleu, Grappe Blanche, or one of the aged rums, some bottled as early as 1952. Children get a discount, but so do parents with children! Also, allow 1½–2 hours to see everything. The ticket office closes at 5.

    Domaine de l'Acajou, Le François, n/a Martinique, 97240, Martinique
    0596-54–62–07

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12
  • 3. La Distillerie J.M.

    Factory

    J.M. offers the most innovative and contemporary exhibits in addition to tastings. Long considered to be among the top echelon of Martinique...

    J.M. offers the most innovative and contemporary exhibits in addition to tastings. Long considered to be among the top echelon of Martinique rums, it does not have the same name recognition as some of the other popular labels, like Clément, for example. That is partly because J.M.'s best rhum vieux is considerably more expensive than your average bottle. The 10-year-old vintages (44.8 proof) truly rival France’s fine cognacs, and a tasting is among the complimentary offerings that are available. Displays allow you to inhale the various aromas of the products, from vanilla and orange to almonds and exotic fruits. Some of the visuals are very high-tech visuals. It is said that J.M. rum is made special by the pure mountain water of Macouba, where the outstanding rain forest is among the only sightseeing options. Plan to couple a visit to this destination distillery with one to Carbet and St. Pierre, then the Depaz Distillery, in time to take lunch at their fine restaurant. Then proceed to J.M. It is best to either have a either a designated driver, or hire an English-speaking driver for a half or full day.

    Macouba, n/a Martinique, 97218, Martinique
    0596-78–92–55

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 4. Ajoupa-Bouillon

    Town/Village

    Near pineapple fields and filled with flowers, this 17th-century village is the jumping-off point for several sights. The Saut Babin, a 40-foot...

    Near pineapple fields and filled with flowers, this 17th-century village is the jumping-off point for several sights. The Saut Babin, a 40-foot waterfall, is a half-hour walk from Ajoupa-Bouillon. The Gorges de la Falaise is a river gorge where you can swim.

    Ajoupa-Bouillon, n/a Martinique, 97216, Martinique
  • 5. Anse Corps de Garde

    Beach

    On the southern Caribbean coast, this is one of the island's best long stretches of white sand. The public beach has picnic tables, restrooms...

    On the southern Caribbean coast, this is one of the island's best long stretches of white sand. The public beach has picnic tables, restrooms, sea grape trees (which offer some shade), and crowds on weekends, when you'll also usually find plenty of wandering food vendors and the litter that follows them. During the week, the beach is much less busy, usually just with a few tourists and some local kids after school. The water is calm, with just enough wave action to remind you that it's the sea. There are no beach-chair rentals. From Fort-de-France, exit to the right before you get to the town of Ste-Luce. You first see signs for the Karibea Hotels and then one for Corps de Garde, which is on the right. At the stop sign take a left. Amenities: food and drink; toilets. Best for: partiers; swimming; walking.

    Ste-Luce, n/a Martinique, 97228, Martinique
  • 6. Anse Tartane

    Beach

    This patch of sand is on the wild side of the Presqu'île du Caravelle. Ungroomed and in a fairly natural state, it's what the French call a...

    This patch of sand is on the wild side of the Presqu'île du Caravelle. Ungroomed and in a fairly natural state, it's what the French call a sauvage beach. The only people you are likely to see are brave surfers who ride the high waves or some local families. Bliss, the surf school here, has taught many kids. Résidence Oceane looks down on all of this action; it doesn't have a restaurant, but you can get a drink. Amenities: parking; toilets (at surf school); water sports. Best for: partiers; surfing; walking.

    Tartane, La Trinité, n/a Martinique, 97220, Martinique
  • 7. Anse-Mitan

    Beach

    There are often yachts moored offshore in these calm waters. This long stretch of beach can be particularly fun on Sunday. Small, family-owned...

    There are often yachts moored offshore in these calm waters. This long stretch of beach can be particularly fun on Sunday. Small, family-owned seaside restaurants are half-hidden among palm trees and are footsteps from the lapping waves. Nearly all offer grilled lobster and some form of music on weekends, perhaps a zouk band. Inexpensive waterfront hotels line the clean, golden beach, which has excellent snorkeling just offshore. Chaise longues are available for rent from hotels, and there are also usually vendors on weekends. The abandoned public housing visible from the beach has finally been razed. When you get to Pointe du Bout, take a left at the yellow office of Budget Rent-A-Car, then the next left up a hill, and park near the little white church. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; swimming; walking.

    Pointe du Bout, Les Trois-Îlets, n/a Martinique, 97229, Martinique
  • 8. Basse-Pointe

    Town/Village

    On the route to this village on the Atlantic coast at the island's northern end you pass many banana and pineapple plantations. Just south of...

    On the route to this village on the Atlantic coast at the island's northern end you pass many banana and pineapple plantations. Just south of Basse-Pointe is a Hindu temple, which was built by descendants of the East Indians who settled in this area in the 19th century. The view of Mont Pelée from the temple is memorable.

    Basse-Pointe, n/a Martinique, 97222, Martinique
  • 9. Bellefontaine

    Town/Village

    This colorful fishing village has pastel houses on the hillsides and beautifully painted gommiers (fishing boats) bobbing in the water. Look...

    This colorful fishing village has pastel houses on the hillsides and beautifully painted gommiers (fishing boats) bobbing in the water. Look for the restaurant built in the shape of a boat.

    Bellefontaine, n/a Martinique, 97222, Martinique
  • 10. Bibliothèque Schoelcher

    Library/Archive

    This wildly elaborate Romanesque public library was named after Victor Schoelcher, who led the fight to free the slaves in the French West Indies...

    This wildly elaborate Romanesque public library was named after Victor Schoelcher, who led the fight to free the slaves in the French West Indies in the 19th century. The eye-popping, historic structure was built for the 1889 Paris Exposition, after which it was dismantled, shipped to Martinique, and reassembled piece by piece.

    At rue de la Liberté, , which runs along west side of La Savane, Fort-de-France, n/a Martinique, 97220, Martinique
    0596-55–68–30

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon. morning, Sun., and holidays
  • 11. Diamant Beach

    Beach

    The island's longest beach has a splendid view of Diamond Rock, but the Atlantic waters are rough, with lots of wave action—it's not known as...

    The island's longest beach has a splendid view of Diamond Rock, but the Atlantic waters are rough, with lots of wave action—it's not known as a surfers' beach, though. Diamant is often deserted, especially midweek, which is more reason to be careful if you do go swimming. The sand is black here, and it is an experience to snorkel above it. Happily, it's a great place for picnicking and beachcombing; there are shade trees aplenty, and parking is abundant and free. The hospitable, family-run Diamant les Bains hotel is a good lunch spot; if you eat lunch there, the management may let you wash off in the pool overlooking the beach. From Les Trois-Îlets, go in the direction of Rivière Salée, taking the secondary road to the east, toward Le Diamant. A coastal route, it leads to the beach. Amenities: food and drink; parking. Best for: solitude; snorkeling; walking.

    Le Diamant, n/a Martinique, 97224, Martinique
  • 12. Diamond Rock

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    This volcanic mound, 1 mile (1½ km) offshore from the small, friendly village of Le Diamant, is one of the island's best diving spots. In 1804...

    This volcanic mound, 1 mile (1½ km) offshore from the small, friendly village of Le Diamant, is one of the island's best diving spots. In 1804, during the squabbles over possession of the island between the French and the English, the latter commandeered the rock, armed it with cannons, and proceeded to use it as a strategic battery. The British held the rock for nearly a year and a half, attacking any French ships that came along. The French got wind that the British were getting cabin fever on their isolated island and arranged for barrels of rum to float up on the rock. The French easily overpowered the inebriated sailors, ending one of the most curious engagements in naval history.

    Le Diamant, n/a Martinique, 97223, Martinique
  • 13. Dubuc Castle

    Castle/Palace

    At the eastern tip of the Presqu'île du Caravelle are the ruins of this castle, once the home of the Dubuc de Rivery family, who owned the peninsula...

    At the eastern tip of the Presqu'île du Caravelle are the ruins of this castle, once the home of the Dubuc de Rivery family, who owned the peninsula in the 18th century. Constructed in the middle of a sugar plantation, in the 1700s, the Dubuc castle had an exceptional location and ocean view. It was the castle that slavery built, as its solitary position enabled the Dubuc family to devote its efforts to an intense traffic of slaves with the English Antilles.According to legend, young Aimée Dubuc de Rivery was captured by Barbary pirates, sold to the Ottoman Empire, became a favorite of the sultan, and gave birth to a son.You can park your car right after the turnoff for Résidence Oceane and walk the dirt road to the ruins. The castle still has a skeleton of stone walls, but it is mostly rubble. Hikers go for the dramatic ocean views, raw nature, and birdlife, but for others, it might not be worth the price of admission. It now has a map and interactive pen-guide and sometimes a guide, but mainly it is all in French so English visitors are not as satisfied. Also, you can buy a light picnic and ice cream and there are tables.

    Tartane, n/a Martinique, 97220, Martinique

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €4
  • 14. Forêt de Montravail

    Forest

    A few miles north of Ste-Luce, this tropical rain forest is ideal for a short hike. Look for the interesting group of Carib rock drawings. ...

    A few miles north of Ste-Luce, this tropical rain forest is ideal for a short hike. Look for the interesting group of Carib rock drawings.

    Le Diamant, n/a Martinique, 97223, Martinique
  • 15. Fort St. Louis

    Historic District/Site

    Fort Saint Louis (Lou-ee), an imposing stone fortress that has guarded the island’s principal port city for some 375 years, was closed to the...

    Fort Saint Louis (Lou-ee), an imposing stone fortress that has guarded the island’s principal port city for some 375 years, was closed to the public after 9/11, when it was reinstated as an active naval base by the French Navy. The fort officially reopened to the public on July 20, 2014, though it was shuttered in late 2015 for major renovations. On a hilltop, originally carved out from a rocky promontory jutting out into the Bay of Fort-de-France, at its highest point it towers nearly 200 feet over the city, affording visitors panoramic views of the surrounding seaside urban landscape. A view-experience and photo op, with a spyglass one could see any threatening warships coming for miles in advance . . . location, location. Guided tours are available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian. Walking shoes are recommended. Visitors must first check in at the Fort-de-France Office de Tourisme information kiosk 1, at the northwest corner of La Savane, at the intersection of rue de la Liberté and boulevard Alfassa.

    Bd. Chevalier, Sainte-Marthe, Fort-de-France, n/a Martinique, Martinique
    0596-75–41–44

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8, Fort closed for tours Sun. and Mon.
  • 16. Jardin de Balata

    Garden

    The Jardin de Balata has thousands of varieties of tropical flowers and plants; its owner is a dedicated horticulturist. There are shaded benches...

    The Jardin de Balata has thousands of varieties of tropical flowers and plants; its owner is a dedicated horticulturist. There are shaded benches from which to take in the mountain views and a plantation-style house furnished with period furniture. An aerial path gives visitors an astounding, bird's-eye view of the gardens and surrounding hills, from wooden walkways suspended 50 feet in the air. There is no restaurant, though beverages are for sale. This worthy site shows why Martinique is called the Island of Flowers. It's 15 minutes from Fort-de-France, in the direction of St-Pierre. You can order anthuriums and other tropical flowers to be delivered to the airport from the mesmerizing flower boutique here. The gardens close at 6, but the ticket office will not admit anyone after 4:30. Children get a discount.

    Km. 10, rte. de Balata, Balata, n/a Martinique, 97234, Martinique
    0596-64–48–73

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €12.80
  • 17. La Savane

    City Park

    The heart of Fort-de-France, La Savane is a 12½-acre park filled with trees, fountains, and benches. A massive revitalization made it the focal...

    The heart of Fort-de-France, La Savane is a 12½-acre park filled with trees, fountains, and benches. A massive revitalization made it the focal point of the city again, with entertainment, shopping, and a pedestrian mall. Attractive wooden stands have been constructed along the edge of the park that house a tourism information office, public restrooms, arts-and-crafts vendors, a crepe stand, an ice-cream stand, and numerous other eateries. Although homeless people frequent the park, they generally do not bother anyone. The Hotel L'Imperatrice, directly across from the park, has become a real gathering place—particularly for its café, which opens to the sidewalk. The hotel also has one of the best kiosks in the Savane for lunch and snacks. The newer Fort Savane, a residence (apartments) for the business and leisure market, is also right across from its namesake park. The Simon Hotel is a short stroll away. Diagonally across from La Savane, you can catch the ferries for the 20-minute run across the bay to Pointe du Bout and the beaches at Anse-Mitan and Anse-à-l'Ane. It's relatively cheap as well as stress-free—much safer, more pleasant, and faster than by car. The most imposing historic site in Fort-de-France is Ft. St-Louis, which runs along the east side of La Savane. Now a military installation, it's again open to the public. However, you have to arrange a guided tour in advance at the tourism kiosk.

    Fort-de-France, n/a Martinique, 97200, Martinique
  • 18. La Savane des Esclaves

    Museum Village

    Down a dirt road, in the countryside outside the tourist zone, stands La Savane des Esclaves, a re-created "free" slave village (circa 1800...

    Down a dirt road, in the countryside outside the tourist zone, stands La Savane des Esclaves, a re-created "free" slave village (circa 1800). This labor of love was created by Gilbert Larose, who has a fascination with his ancestors who were "Nèg'Marrons," slaves who fled the plantations to live free, off the land.The Antan Lontan Village, the name Larose gave his settlement, reveals much about this major element in Martinique's history and culture, with food tastings and artisan demonstrations. His gardens of fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs are cultivated in the traditional manner. Shows utilizing the various groups of Martinican folkloric dancers are held several times a year, both by day and by night. On Saturdays from 9 to noon, there are often more elaborate tastings, demonstrations, and traditional dance lessons. Allow an hour and 15 minutes for the guided tour in French. There is some signage in English. Some kids find it fascinating, others not.

    Quartier La Ferme, Les Trois-Îlets, n/a Martinique, 97229, Martinique
    0596-68–33–91

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €7, Closed Sun. afternoon
  • 19. Lamentin

    Town/Village

    There's nothing pretty about Lamentin; the international airport is its most notable landmark. The rest of the town is a sprawling industrial...

    There's nothing pretty about Lamentin; the international airport is its most notable landmark. The rest of the town is a sprawling industrial and commercial zone. But many people come here for shopping in the big, fancy shopping mall, with a Carrefour supermarket as its anchor. La Galleria, a second mall of roughly 100 shops and boutiques, offers everything from pâté de foie gras and Camembert to CDs and designer sunglasses.

    Le Lamentin, n/a Martinique, 972131, Martinique
  • 20. Le Centre de Découverte des Sciences de la Terre

    Museum/Gallery

    If you want to know more about volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, check out Le Centre de Découverte des Sciences de la Terre. Housed in...

    If you want to know more about volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, check out Le Centre de Découverte des Sciences de la Terre. Housed in a sleek building that looks like a dramatic white box, this earth-science museum has high-tech exhibits and interesting films. Watch the documentary on the volcanoes in the Antilles, highlighting the eruption of the nearby Mont Pelée. Le Centre has fascinating summer programs on Wednesday on dance, food, and ecotourism. The Depaz Distillery is nearby, and it's easy to visit both on the same day.

    Habitation Perinelle, Quartier la Galere, St-Pierre, n/a Martinique, 97250, Martinique
    0596-52–82–42

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €5

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