In addition to breathtaking landscapes, a vibrant cultural heritage, a superb cuisine and world class rums, Martinique offers visitors a great variety of year-round outdoor sports and activities . The Island is especially notable for its diving and hiking opportunities, and its signature events which include its distinctive carnival and round-the-Island boat race:
To discover a protected and exceptionally well preserved flora and fauna, including corals, tropical fish, barracudas (don’t wear anything shiny,) rays, turtles, dolphins and more, the Isle of Flowers offers beginners and seasoned experts a wide variety sites for snorkeling or diving. Among the 22 best sites are the Canyons of Babodi at Le Prêcheur, a few kilometers north of Saint-Pierre. They owe their existence to the volcanic past of the Mount Pelée whose lava flows in 1902 created impressive canyons now teaming with leafy reefs with colorful fish and rays. There are also three not-to-miss shipwrecks including the Roraima—also a victim of the Mount Pelée eruption and two three-mast wrecks: the Amélie and the tantalizing Nahoon. For more on diving & other water sports click here.
• Hiking & more
Martinique offers an amazing network of 35 hiking trails—80 miles to explore and taking visitors through beaches, bays, and mountain rainforests. Two-thirds of Martinique is protected parkland, and the entire island offers visitors great opportunities to hike, ride, or paddle through an amazing variety of natural landscapes. You can also horseback ride, mountain bike, or go on a kayaking or canoeing excursion to a mangrove swamp or an off-shore islet. Another popular activity is canyoning and of course surfing.
For a full range of activities, visit us.martinique.org
Every year, the Isle of Flowers offers a great variety of cultural events and festivities that weave and tell the vivid narrative of the island.
• Raid des Alizés
The Raid des Alizés is an annual women’s adventure race for charity, in which teams push their limits in collective solidarity as they face rigorous obstacles and sports activities across the most beautiful natural sites in Martinique. The grueling competition will next take place November 24 to 29, 2020. For more on the Raid des Alizés, click here
Martinique’s carnival is one of the most unique in the Caribbean and will take place February 21 to 24, 2021. The festivities begin on Dimanche Gras or Fat Sunday with daytime parades of costumed marchers strutting to a Carnival beat. The spectacle grows on Monday with Mock Weddings where men are garbed as pregnant brides or floozies, and women done up as reluctant bridegrooms. Red Devils Day means glorious parades with an army of tots in brilliant red-devil costumes; and on Ash Wednesday, day of She-Devils, some 30,000 revelers gather to mourn the end of Carnival and the symbolic death of Vaval, King Carnival.
• Tour des Yoles
Martinique would not be Martinique without its grand and unique island-round boat race known as the Tour des Yoles. A yearly highlight of the Martinican social calendar, the Yawl Boat is literally encircling the Isle of Flowers with a boundless spirit of joy, complete with pulsating rhythms, prodigious libations and nonstop parties. Yawl boats featured in the race are constructed with painstaking detail in the grand tradition of Martinican fishing vessels initially developed by local craftsmen in the 70s.
“Martinique is a true gem of the Caribbean with so many surprises for its visitors. Its incredible landscapes makes it the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor sports amateurs, while its very rich culture and historical heritage are truly fascinating. The warmth and generosity of our people will make any visitor feel home and definitely fall in love with the Island.” said Karine Mousseau, Tourism Commissioner of Martinique.
ABOUT MARTINIQUE (us.martinique.org)
The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. Hot off the press: Martinique has earned Silver honors in Travel Weekly’s 2020 Magellan Awards as an Art & Culture Caribbean Destination. In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by OprahMag.com and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also featured in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”