From the shimmering beaches around Sainte-Anne in the south to the rugged crags of Diamond Rock to the soaring volcanic dome of Mount Pelee – oh so destructive Mount Pelee – in the north, Martinique is a picture of Caribbean perfection.
Blessed with swathes of deep-green rainforest and ivory-white sands like Les Salines, gushing waterfalls and walkable gorges, there’s always something on the menu for the adventurous traveler.
Meanwhile, luxury seekers can find refined French haute along the streets of Fort-de-France, history buffs can witness a brother of Pompeii in Saint-Pierre, and culture lovers can see old sugar plantations and humble homesteads that bred empresses.
Add to all that the wild surfing swells along the eastern coast and the SCUBA sites (and there are loads of them!), the fantastic museums and the verdant botanical gardens (some of the best in the Caribbean for sure), and it’s easy to see why this speck in the Lesser Antilles is worth the visit!
1. Get some peace at the Jardin de Balata
A mosaic of verdant lawns and flower meadows, multi-coloured begonia beds and orange heliconias, of lanky bamboo groves and gem-like bromeliads, swaying palm forests and flourishing ferns, the Jardin de Balata remains one of the most enticing and interesting attractions on all of Martinique.
Housed just on the edge of Fort-de-France, it’s the perfect escape from the cruise ships and bustling harbors of the city.
Visitors can wander the swinging rope bridges and winding paths, spot cuckoos and warblers in the canopies and gawp at the great clusters of bananas that hide between the boughs.