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  • The best tourist attractions in Martinique

    photo by Fabrice Terrasson

    Martinique is a Caribbean island that is actually an overseas department of France, and a great place for a holiday that somehow manages to combine the charm of the French Riviera with the excitement of the Caribbean.

    The island has some lovely beaches (some of them with spectacular dark sand), as well as dense rain forests, mountains and some picturesque beach towns. There are lots of interesting places to see on this picturesque island, so here are the best tourist attractions in Martinique.

    Sainte-Anne

    Saint-Anne is perhaps the most touristy of all the destinations on the island, and its beaches are incredibly beautiful. Although there are some luxury resorts in the area, the town itself seems to be blissfully unaware of them. It is small, with a pleasantly rural atmosphere, and its activity is centered around two small squares. Sainte-Anne is well known for its pottery (you can buy some great souvenirs) and its delicious grilled lobster.

    Saint-Pierre

    photo by Armel

    The town of Saint-Pierre used to be Martinique’s capital until the eruption of Mount Pelée razed it to the ground in 1902. Although it was the largest and most important city on the island, today Saint-Pierre rebuilt itself and today is a small town of about 5000 inhabitants. Many historic places remain in the town, and it has a very interesting Volcanological Museum.

    Tartane

    The fishing village of Tartane is located on the Presqu’île de la Caravelle (a peninsula connected to the island through a very narrow strip of land), with several beaches perfect for family outings.

    The fame of Tartane comes from its excellent surfing spots, and although the beaches tend to be crowded, surfers will have the waves mostly to themselves, as the local surfing community is quite small.

    Jardin de Balata, Balata

    photo by Andre Mouraux

    Jardin de Balata  is a private botanical garden located on the Route de Balata, not far from Martinique’s capital, Fort-de-France. The garden is located on the site of former farmlands that offer an amazing view of the nearby Carbet Mountains (Pitons du Carbet).

    There are over 3000 species of tropical plants in the garden, not only from the Caribbean but also other parts of the world.

    Presqu’île de la Caravelle

    The presque-isle of Martinique is a must-see even if you’re planning on staying only a few days on the island. Those who are interested in history will love the ruins of Château Dubuc, a castle that belonged to wealthy sugar farmers and slave smugglers. There is an interesting lighthouse at the end of the presque-isle, from where you can see the entire island.

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