The best time to go to Martinique is during the months of May and June.
During this time you can take advantage of the warm, sunny weather at around 25°C to 27°C. Prices for hotels and resorts tend to drop so you should be able to pick up a good deal.
Hurricane season starts in the summer months of July right through to November with the worst of the storms being in October.
Peak season is from December to April where resort prices increase although it is a beautiful time to visit.
Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles on the southeastern region of the Caribbean, just north of Saint Lucia.
The language of the island is French or Creole and is home to around 400,000 people with the majority of the population living in the Fort-de-France area.
Capital City: Fort-de-France
Currency used in Martinique: The Euro, however, most establishments do accept US Dollars. Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted.
Airports: Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport
Visa & Entry Requirements: You will need to have a valid passport and return ticket. Some EU nationals may also enter with a national ID card, however, you will need to check with your airline as may need a passport to board the flight. Most countries do not require a Visa.
You can check out any further requirements you may need here.
Average temperature in Martinique: The hottest months are from June to September at an average of 28°C (82°F) and coolest from December to April at around 25°C (77°F).
Martinique is a French volcanic Caribbean island that offers a variety of scenery and landscapes from lush rainforest-blanketed mountains in the north to miles of spectacular white sandy beaches in the south.
Visit Martinique and hike the famous Volcano of Mont Pelée, indulge in one of island’s many rum distilleries or simply sit back, grab a cold drink and relax on a beautiful sandy beach.
What do to in Martinique
Culture & Festivities
Martinique is a nation with a diversified culture that dates back to the early 1700s.
Early European settlers, mainly from France occupied the island bringing African slaves to tend to the plantations. Immigrants from India, Lebanon and Syria also arrived on these shores which has now given the island it’s mixed ethnic origin.
Today, the people of Martinique celebrate many traditions and festivities that bring people from all over the world to join in on.
Similar to Carnaval and Mardi-Gras that is held in other Caribbean islands. Vaval is held in February, taking place on the first day on Christian Lent.
This is a four-day festival with parades, costumes, masquerades, dancing and music. It a festival for everyone to enjoy with activities for both adults and children.
Le Tour de Martinique
Martinque’s very own ‘Tour de France’ that brings cyclists from all over the world to compete in this annual race.
Held in July, most of the islands roads are closed to accommodate the race but spectators can stand on the sides to watch this thrilling, fast paced event.
Tour de Yoles Rondes
Held in August, the Tour de Yoles Rondes is Martinique’s biggest boating race were sailors compete in several stages only using a traditional fishing yacht.
Most spectators choose to follow the race by boat or arrive at each port around the island to see this eventful race.
At the end of the day, the event concludes with a carnival-style party.
Martinique Jazz Festival
A 10-day event that runs over the last weekend of November and first week of December. This is the Caribbean’s longest running Jazz festival that brings together local and international musicians to showcase the best in Jazz music.
This is a definitely a festival for any lover of Jazz.
Best beaches in Martinique
Martinique has some exceptional and beautiful beaches from wide white-sandy beaches to black volcanic sands, secluded hideaways and rugged coves.
The majority of the beaches here are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and with many water vendors across the island, water sports are very easy to come across.
Grande Anse Des Salines
Travel to the south end of Martinique, around a 1-hour drive from the capital of Fort-de-France, and you will discover the beautiful Grande Anse Des Salines.
This beach is what you would expect of a typical Caribbean beach, white sands, warm-turquoise waters and glorious sunshine. It stretches for 1km and is one of Martinique’s most popular beaches.
The water here is calm with minimal waves so is great for swimming in.
You can rent a chair and umbrella next to the massage stand and sit back and relax and watch the world go by.
Restaurants are located nearby that serve tasty food and cold drinks.
Located on the north-west coast of the island. Anse Turin boasts a beautiful long beach of volcanic sand, but not too dark at Montagne Pelée’s feet.
The water here is crystal clear although the weather is a bit more unstable than the rest of the island so the surf tends to be slightly more rough.
You can park next to the road with the beach just a 5-meter walk away. Tables and chairs are available next to a small cafe that offer some amazing food and cocktails.
Anse Dufour can be found on the west coast of Martinique, around a 45-minute drive from Fort-de-France.
The beach here is small and can get crowded at times especially on the weekends but showing up during the week, you will be able to find a quiet spot to lay down and relax.
Water calmness and clarity is fantastic and is the perfect place for snorkelling. There is an aquarium of sea life waiting to be discovered through your mask. You can discover many beautiful, colourful fish and healthy coral. You can also see pelicans fearlessly fishing right next to the swimmers.
There are plenty of restaurants and other facilities onsite. Parking is not adequate for the popularity of this beach, so be prepared to walk a fair distance.
La Pointe Marin
This stunning beach can be found on the south coast of the island, around a 15-minute drive from Grande Anse Des Salines.
La Pointe Marin is a kilometer of gleaming white sand lined with swaying palm trees. It is the perfect place for relaxing and sun worshipping.
The water here is crystal clear and very calm, it would be no more than head height in depth so ideal for small children looking to swim.
There are stunning views all around that is picture perfect. You can find a few beach bars and restaurants on the beach with friendly staff and tasty food.
Les Salines Beach
Travel to the south of Martinique, around an 8-minute drive from Grande Anse Des Salines. This is a stunning, long, wide beach. The water here is lovely with a gentle surf.
The beach can get crowded from time to time, but if you arrive early, you can stake out a little area to relax and sunbathe. There are some shady spots just off the beach if the sun becomes too warm for you.
Lots of restaurants line the beach near the car park and to the west along the road. Toilet facilities and showers are available.
There are numerous vendors around the beach selling t-shirts, cover-ups and snacks.
Take a trip to the volcanic black-sand beach of Anse Noir. It can be found on the south-western coast of Martinique with just a short 7-minute walk from Anse Dufour.
Anse Noir can get busy at certain times of the day so travel here early in the morning and you will be able to get parked up and find a nice relaxing spot on the beach.
There are lots of stairs but when you get down you’ll find a lovely shady, black sand beach with a gentle surf so it is perfect for children to swim in. The water here is crystal clear so snorkelling is highly advised where you may be able to catch a glimpse of sea turtles feeding.
Take a walk down the hill and you can grab some delicious food at one of the beachside restaurants at Anse Dufour.
Where to dine
Martinique has an exciting variety of restaurants to take advantage of. Cooking in France is an art form and the French Caribbean continues this tradition throughout the island.
Visitors can discover a wide range of French cuisine although the island is not limited to this. Culinary delights from all around the world can be tasted.
It’s generally advised to call ahead for dinner reservations as restaurants can become booked out at certain times of the year, especially during peak season.
A 15% fee is often included in restaurant bills and additional tips are optional.
- Le Willkat Tables d’Hotes – 14 Allee des Campeches, Trois Rivieres, Sainte-Luce (French, European, International)
- Kay Ali – 145 Avenue Condorcet, Fort-de-France (French)
- Le Mandoline – Village de la Poterie, Trois-Ilets (French, Caribbean)
- La Table De Mamy Nounou – Route du Chateau Dubuc, Quartier Anse L’etang, Tartane (French, Caribbean)
- Le Mabouya – Dans L’Hotel Corail Residence, Quartier Anse Mabouya, Sainte-Luce (French, Caribbean)
- Zanzibar Restaurant – 11 Boulevard Allegre, Bord de Mer, Le Marin (French, European)
- Le Zandoli – Rue du Fort d’Alet, Trois-Ilets (French, Fusion)
- Restaurant 1643 – Anse Latouche, Le Carbet (French, Caribbean, European)
Christopher Columbus discovered Martinique on his 4th voyage in 1502. During this time it was inhabited by Caribs, who called the island Madinina, whichmeans ‘Island of Flowers.’
It wasn’t until 30 years later that the first of French settlers landed here on the northwest side of the island. They established a settlement that at that time became the capital city, St. Pierre.
King Louis XIII signed a decree authorizing the use of African slaves in the French West Indies.
French settlers colonized the land quickly due to the increase in imports of slaves and by 1640 they had expanded south to Fort-de-France.
British colonies invaded Martinique and took control of the island from 1794 to 1815 with the produce of the sugar plantations now being sold in British markets rather than French markets.
In 1815, the British returned Martinique to France after the Napoleonic Wars had ended.
In 1848, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by the French government, which brought an end to slavery in the French West Indies.
On May 8, 1902, Mont Pelée erupted and turned out to be the most devastating natural disaster in Caribbean history. The city of St.Pierre was destroyed, killing over 30,000 people. The capital was then relocated to Fort-de-France with St. Pierre being rebuilt over time.