I’ve been to my fair share of Caribbean islands. From the Bahamas to Jamaica to Barbados, you name it and I’ve probably been there at least once. But visiting Martinique on my #24HourReset this past December was an experience unlike any other Caribbean island. Now that airlines like Norwegian are offering direct flights to Martinique at rock-bottom prices (I got my roundtrip airfare for $230 from NYC to Martinique!), there will definitely be a surge in tourism to the area, which is exciting.
From the french-meets-Caribbean culture to the beautiful and quaint villages, here is a guide with 10 things to do in Martinique in case you’re planning a trip there:
Photo by Marie Brion
1. Stay in Trois-Ilets. This enchanting area on the island of Martinique is really beautiful and quaint but also is brewing with activities and eye candy for self-guided walking tours. When I booked my trip, I was torn between staying in Fort-de-France Bay or St-Anne, but I stumbled on the Hotel La Pagerie in Trois Ilets and I was sold. It was the right price and conveniently located.
2. Eat at L’Annexe. Right across the street from Hotel La Pagerie is an open-air restaurant called L’Annexe with locals and tourists alike. I went on a Thursday night and there was pretty dope live karaoke. Great music, fun people and your food comes raw. You cook it on a hot stone. Be prepared to work for your food.
3. Take in the sights at Village Creole. I arrived in Trois-Ilets at night so I really couldn’t see the beauty of the area until morning. Imagine my surprise waking up to the most beautiful and brightly colored village homes I’d ever seen.
I felt like I was in a storybook. You simply can’t leave Martinique without taking a walking tour of Village Creole. Put this at the top of things to do in Martinique.
4. Take the ferry from Trois-Ilets to Fort de France. There are a number of chartered boat excursions you can take in Martinique, but if you’re balling on a budget – just take the public ferry!
Hat: J. Crew | Necklace: Apple Butter Boutique | Coverup: Forever 21
It’s about a $3.00 ride one-way and you get the same beautiful water experience for way less money than a guided tour or excursion.
5. Shop at the Port in Fort-de-France. Because of the influx of cruise ships now coming into Martinique, many of the souvenir shops are consolidated under one colorful group of edifices facing the water in Fort-de-France bay.
They have everything from artwork to pretty printed baby girl dresses and handmade jewelry. Go see Faivre in booth #13. He’s really nice. Tell him I sent you.
6. Try the public beaches. Right down the road from the port is a small public beach. It is very public. When I went, there was a Rasta with the dopest blonde dreads I’ve ever seen, just floating on the water in his t-shirt and letting his clothes dry on the rocks. So, again, very public. But safe nonetheless and the water was absolutely beautiful.
7. Take a self-guided walking tour of Fort de France. This was one of the most exciting parts of my trip. I set aside 2 hours with no real itinerary to just walk the streets of Fort-de-France.
I snapped photos, I met the owner of a small bakery, I sipped coffee at a nearby cafe with WiFi. It was so amazing. And I got the best photos.
8. Visit the Jardin de Balata. This suggestion comes courtesy my good friend Jessica who went to Martinique the week right before I did. Her and her travel crew visited the botanical gardens inland of Fort de France and had a blast. If you love the great outdoors, this is a must-see.
9. Tour the Slave Savannah Village. I borrowed this one from my girl Kellie Brown of AndIGetDressed who wrote her own review of Martinique. Kellie and I missed each other by about a day in Martinique but she did an awesome review of the island including a visit to this replica slave village that you can tour and experience in Martinique.
10. Eat dinner at Le Cafe de Paris in Trois Ilets for some of the freshest seafood EVER. Hole in the wall but they have the most banging shrimp. They serve all fish with fresh sautéed and deliciously seasoned veggies as well as roasted potatoes. They also make relatively cheap and amazing cocktails. The rum punch had me TWISTED. It was superb. Prepare to wait a while – the cook takes his sweet time. But you won’t regret.
#LBSTravels – Quick Tips for Martinique:
– If you’re traveling solo, be aware and assertive. The local Martinique dudes WILL try to holla on some “excuse me miss, what’s your name?” tip. Don’t be alarmed. If you DON’T want the attention, just smile and pretend you don’t speak French. And don’t allow them to walk with you down any vacant alleys or streets. Make sure someone else is in your immediate peripheral at all times. And if you DO want the attention, just use common sense and be safe!
– Make friends on the plane and try to carpool around town if you can. Taxi cabs are CRAZY expensive in Martinique. It cost me 60€ (almost $65.00) to get to my hotel in Trois-Ilets from the airport, which was about a 25 minute ride.
Hope you enjoyed this review on things to do in Martinique! Have plans to visit the island sometime soon? Have you gone there yourself already? Leave us a comment below!
Check the #LBSinMartinique hashtag on Instagram to see all my photos from the trip: