The Beautiful Martinique Island: Stays, Activities, Food & More

The Beautiful Martinique Island: Stays, Activities, Food & More

Welcome back to Wanderfully Lost, a travel community that helps your family’s travel dreams take flight. And to give you some inspiration for your next family getaway, we are taking you all the way to the quaint island in the French region—the beautiful Martinique Island.

This place is magical in as many ways as possible. With a mix of Caribbean and French elements, you will be surprised by the amount of culture and history this small island holds within itself.

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Welcome to the Beautiful Martinique Island!

Once a posh, fancy, and exclusive French getaway limited only to the French people, Martinique has now opened up to travelers from all around the world. This pocket-sized paradise offers a mix of familiar French aesthetics with a tropical twist. The island’s language, French cars, Carrefour supermarkets, and shared love for good food and wine blend together for a unique atmosphere.

The island’s history, influenced by tough periods during slavery, shows the strength of its people and how far they have come from the time. The end of slavery in the 19th century brought a time of growth, seen in various historical sites and museums like Musée de la Pagerie, honoring Empress Josephine, Château Dubuc, and Fort Saint-Louis.

But what makes Martinique special is how it celebrates its interesting history and evolving culture on a day-to-day basis. Located in the Lesser Antilles as a French overseas region, the island combines Caribbean and European influences seen in everything from food to architecture. Despite the French touch, Martinique has kept its own special culture, making it a unique destination.

To add to the list of amazing feats of this island, Martinique’s diverse landscape includes mountains, rainforests, and beautiful beaches, making it a tropical paradise for people from all corners of the world. Its natural beauty, from hidden coves to lush rainforests, makes Martinique a Caribbean treasure, inviting travelers to soak up its unrivaled scenery and history.

Martinique Island on Google Maps:

Where to Stay?

Finding the perfect spot to stay in Martinique is like picking your dream escape—and lucky for you, the options are as diverse as the island’s landscapes!

For a chic city vibe with breathtaking bay views, look no further than the Simon Hotel in Fort-de-France. Perched on the marina, this high-rise gem offers not just comfy interiors but a taste of Martinican city life. Wake up to scenic views, explore colorful houses on the hills, and discover nearby gems like Le Savane or Jardin Balata, Martinique’s version of Central Park.

If you fancy the south side’s fishing villages, Les Trois-Ilets is your go-to, and La Suite Villa is a top pick. Overlooking Les Trois-Ilets Bay, this candy-themed villa spotlights 9 private villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms—perfect for group getaways.

For beachfront bliss, Cap’Est Lagoon Resort & Spa is a top choice. With on-site dining, spas, and pools, it’s a haven for regulars turned family. Picture suites with turquoise pools blending seamlessly into the sea—talk about paradise!

And if you prefer adapting to Martinique’s rhythm, Gîtes provides charming rental properties and furnished accommodations in local homes. Luxury villas away from the bustling beaches, like those in the north, are perfect for family get-togethers.

Our favorites? Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa on the East Coast—a serene haven with a beach, infinity pool, and vibrant suites. Another favorite is Hôtel Bakoua on the west coast. It is an authentic colonial delight with a tropical garden and gastronomic delights by the water.

Simon Hotel in Fort-de-France on Google Maps:

Things to do!

If you could not tell by the range of accommodation options—which are literal towns—there is no shortage of fun, adventurous things to do on this island! These are our favorite things to do in Martinique.

1. Explore the Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France, the capital, is a treasure trove of tropical flowers and colonial charm. Take a leisurely stroll through La Savane Park, where the headless statue of Joséphine de Beauharnais stands tall and offers a hyperrealistic glimpse into Napoleonic history. And finally, dive into the past at the Martinique Museum of Archaeology and Prehistory and witness the grandeur of the seaside fortress, Fort Saint-Louis.

La Savane Park on Google Maps:

2. Take a Botanical Tour of Jardin de Balata

For nature enthusiasts, Jardin de Balata is a green haven in Fort-de-France. This botanical garden boasts bamboo, begonias, and bromeliads amidst lush surroundings. It’s a paradise for plant lovers, offering a serene escape into Martinique’s natural beauty.

Jardin de Balata on Google Maps:

3. Immerse in the French Culture at La Savane Des Esclaves

In Les Trois-Îlets, La Savane des Esclaves awaits with an open-air museum capturing the essence of traditional French life. Wander through huts showcasing the production of cocoa, sugar, and flour. This is a fascinating journey back in time.

4. Visit the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial

A short drive from Les Trois-Îlets leads to Le Diamant, which is home to the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial. This powerful site pays homage to enslaved people who lost their lives in a tragic shipwreck in 1830. The stark white stone figures overlooking the sea serve as a poignant reminder of this dark chapter in Martinique’s history.

5. Enjoy Martinique’s Beaches

With over 60 beaches to choose from, Martinique is truly a haven for swimmers and sunseekers. We like Anse Noire in the south because it offers superb snorkeling and Salines Beach which gives its visitors postcard-worthy views of Diamond Rock in the distance.

6. Cruise to Diamond Rock

Situated off the southern coast, Diamond Rock is a diver’s haven, featuring captivating underwater caves. Boat tours offer a chance to explore this rugged treasure, providing an adventure-packed outing for globetrotters.

Diamond Rock on Google Maps:

7. Hike To the Peak of Mount Pelée

For a thrill-seeking adventure, hiking to the crater rim of Mount Pelée is a must. Offering some of the world’s best volcano views, trails like Aileron, Grande-Savane, and Grand-Rivière—lead to the peak. But be sure to wear comfortable shoes before you brace yourself for awe-inspiring landscapes.

Mount Pelée on Google Maps:

8. Go for Rum Tastings

Indulge in Martinique’s love affair with rum by visiting one of its nine distilleries. Depaz Distillery, with its working production visible post-harvest, offers an authentic experience. For art enthusiasts, Fondation Clément showcases modern Caribbean artwork and ancient West African artifacts.

Looking for something for you and your partner? Join us on YouTube for dozens of adult-only travel guides.

What to eat?

With so much to do, Martinique promises even more dining options.

The island offers an unforgettable fusion of French culinary finesse and vibrant island flavors. From upscale dining to laid-back street food stalls, every food adventure is a celebration of tastes that have passed the test of time.

1. Pignon Nouvelle Vague

For the quintessential Caribbean experience, Pignon Nouvelle Vague at L’Anse à l’Ane beach offers a feast for the senses. Chef Eddy Bias’s modern take on authentic Martinican cuisine brings freshly caught fish and langoustines to your table. With a beachside setting, it’s an ideal spot to savor the flavors of the island, including delicacies like sea urchins.

Pignon Nouvelle Vague on Google Maps:

2. The Yellow

For those craving city energy, The Yellow restaurant in Fort-de-France is a go-to for modern French cuisine. It offers a sophisticated setting to indulge in culinary delights before exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife. Don’t miss the opportunity to grab a Martinican beignet from a stall on Avenue des Caraibes, near La Savane Park, after a night of dancing.

The Yellow on Google Maps:

3. ‘Ti Punch and Beyond

In Martinique, where rum takes center stage, sampling the local concoction, ‘ti punch, is a must. This choose-your-own-adventure blend mixes rum (blanc or vieux), cane sugar, and lime. This involves a generous pour of rum, a dish of brown sugar, and sliced limes for a personalized mix. Martinican punch coco or peanut punch also offer delightful alternatives for those with a sweet tooth.

‘Ti Punch on Google Maps:

4. Tante Arlette

Tante Arlette, situated in Grand Rivière, is a testament to the enduring charm of Creole culinary tradition. This family restaurant for three generations has delighted patrons with its explosion of flavors, featuring a must-try roasted lobster with roucou.

Restaurant Tante Arlette on Google Maps:

5. Auntie Maryse’s

For those eager to bring a piece of Martinique home, Auntie Maryse’s Restaurant offers cooking workshops. Immerse yourself in the art of Creole cuisine with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and personalized guidance. It’s an opportunity to learn the secrets of local recipes in a relaxed setting, ensuring you carry a taste of Martinique wherever you go.

Are you a foodie at heart? Make sure to check out our foodie travel guides here.

Tatie Maryse on Google Maps:

Tips for a seamless stay!

For the perfect Martinique trip, make sure to follow these pro tips!

1. Choose the dry season (November to May) for the best weather in Martinique, but remain cautious of potential hurricanes in the fall.

2. Navigate the island efficiently by car, either through rentals or taxis, as Martinique’s diverse terrain isn’t entirely pedestrian-friendly.

3. Explore Martinique’s agricultural side, known for products like sugarcane, rum, and cement, contributing to the island’s unique charm.

4. Remember that Martinique uses Euros as its currency, so plan accordingly, and although U.S. dollars may be accepted, Euros are preferred for various transactions.

Martinique is one of those places that we just cannot have enough of. Whether you want the scenic French touch, the Caribbean breeze, or a historic exploration through a different era, this is the place.

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