The Best Outdoor Activities in Martinique
Spectacular landscapes, vibrant culture, endemic fauna, Martinique is clearly a little paradise to discover! And what better way to discover the many facets of the island than through outdoor activities? That's why we propose you below our selection of the best outdoor activities in Martinique!
Known as the "Island of Flowers", Martinique is a French overseas department in the Caribbean. The island is rich in Creole culinary traditions and has a particularly interesting cultural heritage.
With an average temperature of 26°C all year round and a rich and varied natural heritage - warm sea, white sandy beaches, mountains and volcanoes - Martinique is a giant playground for outdoor activities. And the Martiniquais have understood this, making the most of this heritage through numerous sporting activities such as canyoning, kitesurfing, scuba diving and sea kayaking.
As is often the case in the West Indies, the island is divided into a windward and a leeward coast. Thus, because of the powerful trade winds that blow regularly, there are two radically different atmospheres on the island. Similarly, Martinique is divided between the steep massif of Mount Pelee in the north and the white sandy beaches in the south.
In this article you will find various activities that allow you to discover Martinique and its lush nature! Which one do you think is the most popular activity on the island? Without spoiling you too much, we tell you that it's number 5 on our list... This being said, we wish you a good discovery of the best outdoor activities in Martinique!
#1 : Jet Ski tour in Sainte-Luce
Solo, with family or friends, take a breath of fresh air aboard a powerful jet ski to discover the island of flowers. Whether it's for an excursion or just to have fun in the water playing with speed or doing tricks, the jet is a great way to visit the island from the water. You don't need a boat licence or previous jet ski experience for this fun and thrilling activity, as you will be accompanied by a professional instructor.
Jet ski trips in Martinique are almost all organised on the leeward coast, i.e. the south-west of the island, which is less exposed to the wind. The three main departure points are Sainte-Luce (Gros Raisins), Les Trois-Ilets and Le Carbet. If a jet ski initiation teaches you how to handle the vehicle and ride along the coast for 20 to 30 minutes, a jet ski tour allows you to discover wild creeks, sandy beaches or impressive cliffs for 45 minutes to 3 hours.
This is the case during a jet ski tour in Sainte-Luce, the most southern of the three spots proposed above. Alone or with two people on a jet ski, you explore the island of flowers from the water. The 3-hour ride takes you first from Gros Raisins beach in Sainte-Luce to Asne des Trois Rivières and Asne du Marigot, from where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of Montagne Pelée, and then to Grande Terre and Pointe des Salines. The latter are located at the southern tip of the island, rich in paradisiacal beaches with coconut trees and white sand.
#2 : Tropical canyoning in the Pitons du Carbet
In addition to the paradisiacal beaches, the island is endowed with a lush tropical nature. One of the best outdoor activities in Martinique to discover these tropical forests is undoubtedly canyoning. Jumps, abseils and slides take you through the forest and canyons in a fun and adventurous way.
In Martinique, the canyons are mainly located on the slopes of the Piton du Carbet, in the west of the island. From beginner to experienced, you will inevitably find a canyon that corresponds to your level.
- Canyoning for the first time: the Absalon, Agathe and Mitan canyons and the Gendarme are the right adventure for you. A canyoning experience is normally no longer than half a day.
- For a more challenging, thrilling and sporty level: we recommend the extreme canyons of the Alma or the Sisters. These canyons require good physical fitness as well as a certain amount of independence and experience. Be prepared for a day trip with big jumps and long abseils.
In all cases you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who knows the canyons perfectly. Take a look at all our canyoning activities in Martinique to find the one that suits you best. No matter which activity you choose, an unforgettable adventure in the tropical nature of Martinique is guaranteed!
#3: Over Martinique in a microlight
The next activity in our selection is perhaps less sporty than the previous one, but certainly not less spectacular. On the contrary, during a gyrocopter flight over Martinique you will discover the exceptional landscapes, between sea and volcano, from the sky!
The gyrocopter is an unusual machine, the ancestor of the helicopter, invented in 1923 and combining ULM (motorised ultralight glider) and helicopter. With its open cockpit, the gyrocopter allows you to fly over plains, coasts and mountains to enjoy breathtaking views.
After taking off from Lamentin, the microlight discovery tour in Martinique will take you over Ducos and its Mangrove, Trois-Ilets, Pointe du Bout, Anse à l'Âne, and other wonders of the island for flights of 15 to 45 minutes. Good to know: the gyrocopter can only accommodate two people - the pilot and you! So if you are with family or friends, it's your turn. But we can assure you that the unique view will be more than worth the wait!
#4 : Kitesurfing at Pointe du Bout
Among the best outdoor activities in Martinique is also kitesurfing! With steady trade winds from mid-November to mid-May, Martinique is an ideal destination to learn and practice kitesurfing.
One of the best spots on the island for kitesurfing is the bay of Fort-de-France, which benefits from a venturi effect between the northern and southern parts of the island, for a stronger wind. If you are tempted by kitesurfing in Martinique, go to the south coast of the bay, at Pointe du Bout. The kitesurfing course at Pointe du Bout offers courses for beginners as well as for the more experienced.
You will benefit from this ideal spot in the turquoise and shallow waters of the bay of Fort-de-France, while being supervised by qualified instructors. Depending on your experience, you can choose the kitesurfing course best suited to your level: from a half-day introductory course to a 4-day advanced course. These personalised lessons allow you to progress at your own pace and achieve your personal goals.
#5 : Scuba diving in the south of Martinique
If there is one outdoor activity you should not miss during your stay in Martinique, it is scuba diving! It is the most popular activity on the island, and for good reason: the Caribbean Sea offers ideal conditions for exploring the underwater world. Water temperature of 26°C all year round, excellent visibility, and a rich and preserved aquatic fauna await you for your first dive in Martinique with great sensations on the agenda.
Most of Martinique's dive sites are located in the south of the island. Among the most famous spots are :
- Les Anses-d'Arlet: ideal for a first dive or for an exploration dive from the Diamond Rock to the Pearl Rock via the Nahoon wreck. PADI courses are also available.
- La Pointe du Bout: a first dive at Pointe du Bout in Trois-Îlets is probably the most popular activity on the island.
- Le Marin: exploration dives from 2 hours to one day to discover the coral reef between the Diamond Rock and Sainte-Anne, as well as ANMP Level 1 or SSI Open Water Diver courses.
- L'Anse à l'Âne: perfect for a first dive for children (from 6 years old) and adults and for your PADI course.
Whatever the spot, diving in Martinique is an unforgettable experience that introduces you to the varied underwater world of the Caribbean Sea. And if scuba diving is not for you, how about a snorkeling trip to enjoy the richness underwater?
#6 : Snorkeling trip to Anses-d'Arlet
The underwater life of Martinique can be discovered not only by scuba diving, but also with a mask and snorkel during a snorkeling excursion. You can observe fish, turtles and coral from the surface, with your face underwater, and do a few snorkels if you wish. What we propose as number 6 of the best outdoor activities in Martinique is no ordinary snorkeling, but a seabob excursion in Anses-d'Arlet.
A seabob is an underwater scooter that makes you swim like a dolphin! Electric, silent and non-polluting, this machine is very easy to handle and allows you to move quickly and safely on the surface or underwater. From the beach of Grande Anse d'Arlet (or from a boat or a diving site) you can discover the Caribbean Sea with your water scooter while getting new sensations. This relatively new activity is accessible to everyone from 8 years old, provided you can swim.
Another unique snorkelling experience is thesnorkelling excursion from Anse à lÂne, where you can see dolphins (morning) and turtles (afternoon) up close! You will end the excursion with a visit to the bat cave and a small aperitif on board before returning to land. Snorkelling can be much more varied than you thought, can't it?
#7 : Surfing on the Caravelle Peninsula
Martinique is a relatively unknown and confidential surfing destination, which gives it a great advantage because the spots are not overcrowded. The east coast of the island offers conditions that will satisfy riders of all levels.
Beginners and experienced surfers will find ideal waves in the north on the spots of Grand'Rivière, Le Prêcheur, le Marigot or Basse Pointe (one of the best known) as well as in the south at Sainte-Anne, Le Diamant, or on the Presqu'île de la Caravelle.
The latter, located in the east of the island, is an ideal spot for your first surfing lesson in Martinique. The waves are regular and break on a sandy beach. The SURF UP school offers group or private lessons to begin or progress in surfing, while having fun. The ideal season for surfing in Martinique is the trade wind season, from November to May. The trade winds create a regular swell from the north-east during this period.
#8: Sea kayaking from Le Robert
One of the best outdoor activities in Martinique to discover the beautiful coasts, wild creeks and beaches away from the crowds is a canoeing trip. For example, you can rent a sea kayak from Le Robert, in the north-east of the island.
For half a day or a whole day, you can paddle at your own pace. In order not to miss anything, the kayak rental manager will provide you with a navigation plan. The three circuits proposed are :
- Mangrove tour: discover the Mangrove in Martinique, the tropical coastal forest that links the sea and the land (see photo above). While walking along the Mangrove you will enjoy the calm, soothing and uncrowded nature. You also have the possibility to swim in the white depths on quiet beaches.
- The White Sea Tour: in Cayol Bay at Pointe Savane you will sail in the heart of a magnificent lagoon. A rich ecosystem with white bottoms.
- Chancel Island tour: visit the Chancel islet with its ruins of the sugar house, a lime kiln and especially the iguana delicatissima, the endemic species of the Lesser Antilles and found only on this islet. And look carefully at the bottom when you paddle, because there are many starfish on the way!
During your kayak trip you can of course visit many of the places mentioned above. The more you paddle, the more you can see. But don't forget to rest on one of the white sandy beaches to recharge your batteries!
#9 : Quad biking in Trois-Îlets
The last of our best outdoor activities in Martinique is perfect for all those who love motorsports and thrills! A quad bike ride is an opportunity to discover a new facet of the island of flowers. During this excursion you will come face to face with the exotic wonders that can be found in every corner of the island.
The quad ride from Les Trois-Îlets lasts about an hour. Mixing access to rougher and wilder terrain with flatter and faster terrain, the activity will delight you from start to finish! The professional instructor who accompanies you adapts to your desires and your level. Thanks to this, this activity is accessible to all provided you are at least 18 years old and have a driving licence.
Let's go and discover...
In the canyons, on the land, from the water, from the air, gracing the heights or discovering the underwater world, the above activities allow you to explore the diversity and beauty of Martinique at its best. This small paradise on earth with a well preserved tropical nature is an ideal place to combine relaxation and activity.
What we have presented to you in this article is only a selection. There is much more to do on the island of flowers, such as sailing, hiking, motocross or wakeboarding. Discover all our activities in Martinique to choose what suits you best.
And if Martinique makes you dream, chances are that other Caribbean islands will also appeal to you... Here is our article on the best outdoor activities in Guadeloupe, another small paradise in the French West Indies.