what to do in Martinique for a week chateau dubuc

What to do in Martinique for a week (detailed itinerary)

The first time I’ve visited Martinique I was mesmerized by the fact that the heavenly island perfectly blends pristine landscapes with an active lifestyle. It’s truly surprising how Martinique can be modern and wild at the same time. That’s why in this one week itinerary, the best minimum time I’d recommend to stay on the island unless of course you are visiting on a cruise stop, you will find both cultural and nature activities.

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In This Article

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what to do in Martinique for a week dubuc castle
Dubuc Castle.

Day 1 – Balata Garden and Nautical Sports/Catamaran

Perched on a mountain nearby the Western coast of the island, Balata Garden is a lovely walk among the many different plants you will find on the island. And not only! The garden is full of different birds and especially hummingbirds. If you don’t have the chance to admire them in the garden, next to the entrance you will find a feeder that attires them in flocks.

Having lived in French Guiana, of course there are some similarities between the plants that you may find in the equatorial area. But I still recommend visiting as there are some endemic species and hummingbirds are very easy to spot unlike in other places. It’s indeed an enchanting place to explore for a few hours.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM
Website: Jardin de Balata

After the visit to Balata reach one of the Western beaches after Fort de France (if you go up North). I highly recommend the Plage du Coin (look for it on google maps), translates literally as Local Beach, as there are many bars where you can eat and also several services like water sports (I loved wake board!).

Where to sleep?

I’d recommend you to spend the first night in Fort de France. The city has several accommodations on booking.com you will have plenty of options. We stayed in an apartment and dined in. But there are also hotels, and you can rent full villas especially if you are traveling with your friends. Using booking map you can also move your research North.

what to do in Martinique for a week balata garden

Day 2 – St. Pierre and Pelée Mountain

First stop of the day, Martinique Zoo and Latouche Dwelling. I’ve dedicated a complete blog post about this 2 hours activity that will let you discover an ancient distillery that has been damaged during the eruption of 1902. The dwelling hosts now also a zoo which is managed by the same company that runs French Guiana’s Zoo.

After the visit of Latouche Dwelling direct yourself to Saint Pierre, a small fisherman village that became sadly famous after the eruption of Montagne Pelée in 1902, the deadliest of the 20th century. The village has been reconstructed since but there is an interesting memorial the Museum Franck Perret that features many documents of the period as well as informations about volcanology.

In the afternoon go climb an active volcano, and of course I’m talking about Pelée Mountain. There are 4 different trails :

  • Grande Savane, is the shortest (2h) and easiest trail on the volcano.
  • Aileron Trail, is the most popular even if it’s quite long 4 hours and the level is intermediate/difficult depending also on the weather conditions.
  • Hike from Beausejour and hike from Macouba both are 4 and a half hours and they have the highest elevation gain.

Personally I recommend the Aileron Trail as it’s the most interesting and also considering that you will come from Saint Pierre village. No matter the trail you will choose, don’t be surprised by the humidity and be careful not to slip. You may also get caught in the rain so take a raincoat just in case.

Where to sleep?

Saint Pierre can be a charming solution to spend the night. There are many restaurants serving the delicious creole cuisine, you must try the accras de morue (fried fish balls)! Our top pick? Kai Raymond Restaurant, his juices are so delicious!

what to do in Martinique for a week martinique zoo

Day 3 – Dubuc Castle, Atlantic Side, and Habitation Clément

Cross Martinique to reach the Atlantic coast and the ruins of Dubuc Castle. Situated on La Caravelle peninsula Dubuc Castle was a flourishing estate that produced sugar and tobacco in addition to being a place for the trade of slaves. The place is very interesting to explore and with the ticket you can ask an audioguide for a self-guided tour.

Fondation Clément celebrates the heritage of one of the richest families in Martinique, the Clément family. Rhum Clément has become one of Martinique’s unofficial symbols, and you can visit the distillery. Nowadays the domain also host a permanent exhibition of modern art, the largest in Martinique.

Opening Hours: 9 AM to 6.30 PM
Website: Fondation Clément

Where to sleep?

The Atlantic coast has several nice options, you’ll also find that the best rated are often villas or apartments, like the beautiful Anagani suites in Le François. The only inconvenient about these accommodations is that breakfast and dinner aren’t provided, but mostly have fully equipped kitchens.

Day 4 – Pétrifications and les Salines

On day four I propose you to discover two amazing landscapes in the South East of Martinique: Pétrifications and les Salines beach.

Start the day early (very early) to avoid the harsh sun while walking through the Pétrifications. The beautiful landscape has only a flaw: it’s a rocky land with amazing views but with no shadows, therefore the advice to start your trek early and bring water. After about 1 hour you will discover the heavenly and wild beach of Anse Trabaud, perfect for a picnic!

In the afternoon head to one of the most famous beaches of Martinique, les Salines. How to describe it? Well do you have in mind the postcard white sand beaches with coconut trees and turquoise waters? That’s it! Les salines is probably one of the most idyllic places I’ve had the chance to visit.

If your itinerary allows you avoid visiting during the weekend as its assaulted by locals and tourist. Also I absolutely recommend tasting the delicious coconut ice cream they sell!

Where to sleep?

The area called Rivière-Pilote is perfect to continue your exploration in the South of the island. You can also get closer to Le Diamant, the village in front of Diamond Rock.

saint anne les salines beach in martinique

Day 5 – Sail around Diamond Rock

Diamond Rock is a natural reserve to many sea bird species and while cruising around it you can admire many of them. There are several catamarans sailing everyday to Diamond Rock and Martinique’s southern coast. One of the best features of this excursion is the possibility to swim with sea turtles and observe many other sea creatures in their natural habitat.

After your excursion before getting back to your hotel stop by the panoramic point on D37 the road between Les Anses d’Arlet and Le Diamant. On the same road you will also find the Memorial 110, a tribute to the slaves that were imported in the West Indies.

Where to sleep?

As distances aren’t far in Martinique (just remember car traffic!) you could either get back to Rivière-Pilote, or go in the area of Trois Ilêts. I’d recommend you the latter option as Trois Ilêts has some of the coolest and most famous accommodations in Martinique. Check out La Suite Villa or Hotel Bakoua just to mention two.

what to do in Martinique for a week
Photo by Teddy Charti.

Day 6 – Anses D’Arlet (Arlet’s Bays)

Arlet’s Bays are a group of 5 small bays in the South West of the island that are extremely popular for their beauty, wilderness, and for swimming with turtles!

Coming from the South you will find Small Bay, Arlet’s Bay, Large Bay, Dufour’s Bay, and Black Bay. Arlet is a lovely (and very instagrammable!) fishing village on the South West coast of Martinique. Its bay is one of the most photographed in Martinique, because of the picturesque church in front of the beach.

Besides visiting Arlet I highly recommend exploring Dufour’s bay, one of the turtle’s favorite locations and Black Bay, the only black sand beach in the South, funnily it’s only a few meters from Dufour’s bay which has white sand.

Where to sleep?

Arlet’s bays aren’t far from Trois Ilêts so I’d recommend spending a second night there.

what to do in Martinique for a week
Photo by Steve Bennett.

Day 7 – Fort de France and return flight

Fort de France is a bustling city notable for its colonial architecture and delightful food. When visiting don’t miss the Grand Market (Le Grand Marché de Fort-de-France) for an immersion among tropical and heady flavors. My must buy : the famous rhum arrangé, delicious rhum flavored with different fruits. If you want to buy local fruits to bring back don’t forget to check custom’s law for transport (some fruits and vegetables are forbidden) as well as to pick the less ripe ones, or you may find jam at your arrival!

How to plan your Martinique itinerary

How many days should you spend in Martinique?

If you are travelling all the way to Martinique, you should spend at least one week on the flower island to make good use of the ticket planes. The island offers many different activities for everyone. From trekking on the Pélée Mountain to snorkeling or scuba diving with the beautiful sea turtles, without forgetting all types of nautical sports. And also history lovers will discover the interesting heritage of Martinique and its people.

Another great idea is to combine a cruise in the Caribbean starting from fort de France like we did. We loved it because we discovered many different islands, like Guadeloupe, and the day we will go back to the Caribbean we can select which islands we want to explore more thoroughly.

what to do in Martinique for a week

How to get around in Martinique?

The best way is to rent a car from the airport, there is almost no public transportation in Martinique unfortunately outside Fort de France. You can easily rent a car from the airport thanks to Discover Cars. The roads are generally in very good condition on the island but due to the volcanic nature of the island roads are often winding.

Good to know: Car traffic can be quite something! Avoid if you can the “hot” hours 7-8 AM and 4-5 PM.

It’s a wrap of our What to do in Martinique for a week

My last tip: I gave you several inspiration for the best accommodations to stay all around the island, if you enjoy driving pick your 2/3 favorite and consider spending several nights there. An example? Spend 3 nights in Fort de France (I’m counting your arrival a day before D1), 2 nights on the Atlantic side, and 3 nights in Trois Ilêts.

Are you looking for inspiration for your next trip? Check out our Destinations Page for more ideas.

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