Overview – Martinique
On the French island of Martinique, the lush landscapes and Caribbean coast are harmoniously matched with a remarkable biodiversity of beaches, rainforests, botanical species and sea life. The beauty of the rolling pastoral hills is unspoiled, and the towns are clean and welcoming with a lovely combination of French and Caribbean creole cultures. The majestic 60+ beaches display sand in a variety of colors from sugar white on the southern side to golden and pink. Gray and black sand beaches are found on the northern side where their unique color derives from volcanic activity.
Due to its location south of Dominica and north of St. Lucia, there are plenty of itinerary options for a bareboat or crewed yacht sailing vacation from Martinique. Spend a week exploring the many interesting anchorages around Martinique, or for an itinerary that includes longer sails, head north to Dominica and Guadeloupe, or south to the Grenadines. The marina is home to hundreds of boats, and is well-equipped to provide all the services that travelers may need. Martinique has wonderful French imports like wine and cheese, plus delicious fresh breads, local fruits and veggies to spoil you in the tropics.
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Events & Activities – Martinique
Here’s a preview of a few things you can expect on your Martinique yacht charter with Virgin Island Sailing®:
- Sailing itinerary variety to accommodate any preferences.
- Remarkable island exploring opportunities via hiking trails or a driving tour.
- Rich history evident in well preserved buildings and landmarks, and interesting ruins.
- Paradise for foodies. French imports, local cuisine and some of the only Caribbean rum (rhum) with branding typically reserved for fine wine.
A Few of our Favorite Places to Visit in Martinique:
- Mount Pelée. For charterers who prefer exploring nature on land, there are many hiking trails that range of difficulty levels – Mount Pelée is a dormant volcano and is the most popular trail. Several of these hiking trails intersect with protected areas for picturesque views. Enjoy discovering Martinique biodiversity and cool off in waterfalls and rivers along the way.
- Saint-Pierre. Located in northern Martinique, this scenic coastline is a picturesque and tranquil anchorage. Formerly a thriving cosmopolitan city, Saint-Pierre was devastated by the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. Today it is a prosperous area constructed around ruins of the former capital of Martinique. Explore the ruins around town, including a stone church, an ancient theatre and a prision.
- Anses d’Arlet. Leave your dinghy at the long pier and walk directly into the most charming place on Martinique. Anses d’Arlet has a fishing village where you can buy fresh fish from the local fisherman, colorful croele style houses and an 18th century Roman Catholic church. From the pier you can also jump right into the turquoise waters for a refreshing dip. In the middle of the beach, explore the rocks and corals which are home to many colorful fish species. The wide beach is also an excellent spot for picnics and swimming.
Weather & Seasons – Martinique
Martinique is located in the Windward Islands of the Carribean which can be enjoyed any time of the year. These islands always have temperatures averaging 80°F with trade winds year round, varying in strength depending on the season.
As is typical in the Caribbean, the season most popular is December through April because of the least amount of rain and the most favorable winds. The shoulder season consists of May and June which have comfortable weather, good winds and typically low rainfall.
The region’s hurricane season begins in June, which continues through November with the most active months being mid August to mid October. During the summer and early fall, rain is expectedly regularly in moderate amounts unless a tropical system is present. The Virgin Island Sailing® charter experts can assist you in choosing the perfect time frame for your group to enjoy a Martinique sailing vacation.
|Temp Max (°F )||Temp Min (°F )||Avg. Water Temp (°F )||Avg. Rainfall (in)||Avg. Wind Speed (kts)|
|January||82||72||80||2||E / NE 10-25 |
|February||82||72||80||2||E / NE 10-25 |
|March||84||73||79||2||E / NE 10-25 |
|April||84||73||80||3||E 10-25 |
|May||88||77||81||4||E 10-25 |
|June||88||77||82||3||E 10-25 |
|July||88||77||83||3||E / SE 15-25 |
|August||88||79||84||4||E / SE 10-25 |
|September||88||77||85||5||E / SE 10-15 |
|October||88||75||84||6||E/ SE 5-15 |
|November||86||75||83||5||E 10-15 |
Sample Itinerary - Martinique
20-30 minutes | 1 mile
- Delicious cuisine
An ideal site for a leisurely stroll, its waterfront is home to many shops, bars and restaurants that are popular with the younger crowd, sailors and tourists. It has a dynamic atmosphere, as well as many activities and water sports that you are sure to enjoy such as, kayaking, water-skiing, sea fishing, sea diving and windsurfing.
5 hours | 12 miles
- Underwater cave
- Bird sanctuary
A 175-meter-high rock once used by the British as an armed fort and then captured by the French. It is now a protected bird sanctuary and a terrific dive site for the more adventurous scuba diver with underwater caves that can be explored. Diamond Rock gets its name from its gem-like shape and the fact that at certain times of the day as the sun passes by the Rock appears to glitter.
Petite and Grande Anse d’ Arlet
2 hours | 6 miles
- Pristine clear blue waters
- Swimming and snorkeling
- Delicious specialty Creole cuisine
Popular beachside towns that provide an assortment of experiences and attractions. A beautiful golden sand beach and clear blue waters make it a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. Restaurants dot the shoreline and there are many choices to sample the deliciously local Creole cuisine. Inland hiking opportunities are readily available, as well as touring some important historical sites.
15-20 minutes | 1 mile
- Picture-postcard beaches
- First-class shopping and dining
- Colorful local markets
Its bustling streets contrast starkly with other parts of frequently casual Martinique. Here you will find a variety of fine shops and dining experiences. The city is bursting with a rich history and 19th century architecture that are waiting to be explored. Visit the renowned vegetable market that was established in 1901, tour the majestic Fort Saint-Louis and stroll through the striking Saint-Louis Cathedral. You will find that this city is a hub of French-Caribbean experiences and traditions. Explore and experience its vibrant history and French-Caribbean culture. Visit the Schoelcher Library – one of the most unique heritage sites on the island, the Place De La Savane – a lovely park where you can also find a variety of street food and is a nice place to relax while sightseeing the city, Palais de Justice – an 18th century fort with amazing architecture and Fort-de-France Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour – a great way to get a taste of the local culture and sample local delicacies as you stroll thro
ugh downtown Fort-de-France.
1.5 hours | 3 miles
- Great shipwrecks to dive
- Guided historical train tour
- Inland crystal-clear river pools and cascades
Sainte-Pierre was once considered the “Paris of the Caribbean” until it was destroyed by a catastrophic eruption of the island’s largest volcano, Mt. Pelée in 1902. A guided train tour is now offered to learn more about the devastation that occurred and the history of Sainte-Pierre before the eruption. If you want to undertake a little more active approach you can also climb the slopes of the volcano and do your own sightseeing. For diving enthusiasts, dozens of underwater wrecks, many of which sank in the 1902 eruption, are visible in the harbor and ready to be explored. The city center and the coastline can also be the focus of numerous outings. Enjoy a stroll around the long gray sandy beach that runs along the village with the Mt. Pelée in the background or just go for a swim in the bay. Be sure not to miss a visit to the traditional Caribbean open market where you can find tropical produce and local handicrafts and for you animal lovers, a visit to the Saint-Pierre Zoo is a must.
4 hours | 10 miles
- Famous gray soft sandy beaches
- Swimming and snorkeling
Enjoy the calm, vibrant blue waters and luscious green volcanic hills rising up from the coast. A beautiful grey sandy shore lined with coconut trees and hammocks is perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. Snorkeling is popular next to the rocks along the shore and surfing is a favorite pastime when the stronger northern waves start crashing the shoreline. For a little more adventure you can swim out to Pearl Island, and dive off the rocks for a thrilling experience.
20-30 minutes | 1 mile
- Famous black sandy beaches
- Snorkeling and surfing
- Nearby hiking and waterfall
A gem of a find. Volcanic rich black sandy beaches, lush-green vegetation and the sound of the waves are what await you. Snorkeling is great with abundant sea life around the rocks by the beach. Hike to an enormous waterfall following a well-marked path. There are even interesting colonial ruins and the remains of an old plantation you can explore along the way. Stay until sunset for the warm water, lovely views and to see a fun horde of cute little crabs digging in the sand.
Marina Pointe du Bout
5 hours | 13 miles
- An abundance of small shops and restaurants
- Excellent snorkeling
- Great nightlife
If you want to enjoy some awesome dining, shopping, swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling this is a must-see. There are three small shallow lagoons which are terrific for swimming and the snorkeling is excellent with a multitude of marine life to swim with and see. Also known for its vibrant nightlife, you can visit a New Orleans style casino to test your skill in roulette, craps and stud poker, and then enjoy some distinguished cuisine and a night of live music and dancing.
3 miles | 1.5 miles
- Swim with sea turtles
- Crystal-clear water and golden-white sand
- Awesome snorkeling
If you’re not up to the nightlife Marina Pointe du Bout has to offer this a fun relaxing option. With small huts and fishing boats, golden-white sand, crystal-clear waters and the striking natural surroundings there is an unmistakable authentic charm present. Concealed by one of the coves of the island, this is considered one of the best beaches in Martinique. You will have a chance to swim with sea turtles and experience some excellent snorkeling with a variety of sea life such as lobsters, octopus, squid, eels, puffer fish, and many other colorful fish, as well as see some amazingly beautiful coral.
3 hours | 5 miles
- Swimming and snorkeling
- Dining and shopping
Plenty for sun-seekers to enjoy. Stunning white sands and the turquoise water makes it a popular spot. Swim and sunbathe at Martinique’s most celebrated beach – Grande Anse des Salines. Snorkel among the abundant near-shore colorful reefs and see a variety of different sea life. If you like hiking, follow the famous coastal Capes Trail, which goes through the beach of Salines. and some remarkable protected sites like the Petrification Savannah, one of the oldest areas in Martinique, or the Salines Pond, a sanctuary for many migrant birds. Visit the local fishing village and enjoy seeing the of colorful houses and lovely seafront speckled with cottages, bars, restaurants and the small church of Notre-Dame, which is one of the oldest on the island.
BACK TO MARINA
1 hour | 2 miles
One last short adventure enjoying some delicious cuisine, unique art, and soaking up more of the local French-Caribbean culture before returning your yacht.
Travel Info – Martinique
Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (airport code FDF) is the international airport of Martinique in the French West Indies. It is located in Le Lamentin, a suburb of the capital Fort-de-France, which is approximately 40 minutes by tax to the Le Marin marina. Flights from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale are less than 4 hours on American Airlines, and flights from New York JFK or Rhode Island are a little more than 4 hours on Norwegian Air.