Mappified Team

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9 days in Martinique in January

If you live in the northern hemisphere, the cold and dark days of winter can be exhausting. A good option to break this cycle and get some energy is to take a break in january or february to go on a sunny island and enjoy summery temperatures to relax on the beach.
The carabean islands are just perfect for that! The best season to go there is between december and june, outside of the rainy seasons, with temperatures between 20°C and 33°C.
It is also less expensive to go during these 2 months, as you can find flights between 400€ and 500€ from Europe, and get good deals on hotels and AirBNBs.
For our trip we have chosen to stay in Le Diamant, which is nicely located near the Anses d'Arlet. The rent was only 30€ / day.
The flight from France was 450€, so in total, travel and accomodation only cost 720€ for 9 days on a paradise island!
Le Diamant gives you a nice location in the south of Martinique, where you can find the best beaches (Sainte-Anne, Les Anses d'Arlet, etc) but also allow you to go on excursions in the north in Fort-de-France, La Trinité, la montagne pelée, Le Carbet and Saint-Pierre.
Staying in the area of Anses d'Arlet, Le Diamant, Sainte-Luce, Rivière Pilote or Sainte-Anne is a great place to enjoy all of Martinique's beauties.

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Day 1

When arriving at the international airport, you can get your rental car by taking a shuttle there. All renting companies will have a service to transport you from the airport to their office, that is usually located 10 minutes from there. Just follow the signs at the airport and go to the appropriate desk to get information.
Once you have got your car, you can head to your accomodation. If you have decided to stay in the south, you can make a stop to the Genipa commercial center just below Ducos, which is one of the biggest malls in Martinique
You can then do some shopping and buyt the groceries you need to survive at least the first days.
Then head back to your accomodation, it'll probably be late already.

Le Diamant

View from the hills of Le Diamant

Day 2

For your first day in Martinique you can head straight to les Salines' beach in Sainte Anne, which is one the most beautiful beaches of Martinique, but also the most frequented by tourists. So it's best to go early if you want a few hours of peace. 

Try to go early to avoid crowds. Even in January you'll find many tourists there.

Sainte-Anne - Les Salines

Les Salines is clearly one of the most beautiful beaches of Martinique. It gets very crowded by the end of the morning and first part of the afternoon but it is worth it. It is a must do at least once during your stay.

The beach of Les salines at 6:30am with no tourists! Not for long though...

Les salines at 11am. This is the right edge of the beach where less people go. Simply because you have to walk more to get there from the parking!

View from the city of Sainte-Anne

Le Diamant

If you are staying in Le Diamant, you can get get back there in the afternoon to check out its beach. This beach is less crowded than other beaches but has space and has some charm with its coconut trees. One of the main reason is that the sea is more agitated here and there are some strong currents if you go too far into the sea. Therefore it's not the best if you want to chill without moving in the sea. 

Locals would typically not go here but would rather make the drive to Sainte Luce's beach as they are afraid by its strong currents.

View on Le Diamant

Le Diamant's beach

Day 3

On the third day you can explore the east of the island. This part is less turistic and is mostly made of cane sugar and other plantations and residential areas such as le François. 

The main attractions here are the Habitation Clement, one of the oldest rhum distillery in Martinique, and la Pointe Faula, with its atypical beach and lagune.

Le Diamant

Before taking the road you can have a quick swim at Le Diamant's beach and enjoy the special ambiance of the early morning.

Pointe Faula

La Pointe Faula's beach is very flat and you can go very far in the sea and still be on your feet. Other than that this beach has little interest and is not the most beautiful one.

La pointe Faula's beach

Le François - Habitation Clément

The Habitation Clement is the most visited museum in Martinique therefore expect a little crowd here, but nothing too important. You can visit the museum, learn how rhum is made, and enjoy a degustation of the different rhums at the end. And occasionally buy some bottles of rhums directly from the makers!

La Trinité

You can then head to La trinité for a little trek from the castle to the lagune down below. You can also visit the castle, which offers a nice view on the coast.

On the road to the castle you'll find a nice beach just next to the road. This beach is nice, not too crowded.

View from the road to La Trinité

An hidden beach on the road to the castle. Nice and not too crowded.

La Pointe Faula's typical fishermen beach

Day 4

After these first days of beach it is time to do some sport and climb the montagne pelée! Located in the north of the island, this volcano is the symbol of the north of Martinique, where it dominates Saint Pierre and Le Carbet.

After you do La montagne pelée make a halt to Saint Pierre to see the rest of the last volcanic eruption in 1902 and its famous "man in the prison", then go to the beach of le carbet with its volcanic black sand.

Saint-Pierre - La montagne pelée

You can start the ascension of the volcano at Morne rouge. The climb is fairly easy and can be done by almost anyone, at least to the third refuge. Going to "Le Chinois" is a little more difficult, but nothing extraordinary.

The sign at the parking in Morne Rouge

View from the top of la montagne pelée

Saint-Pierre

Saint-Pierre was destroyed in 1902 by the last eruption of the volcano. It is worth taking some time to walk in the remains to see how devasted the city was. Also don't miss the "man in the prison".

Le Carbet

On the way back to the south stop to Le Carbet for a quick swim. The particularity of this beach is its black volcanic sand, that you'll find of many beaches in the north, due to the proximity of La montagne pelée.

View on Le Carbet's beach and Saint-Pierre

Jardin de Balata

If you love some green vegetation and tropical flowers make a stop to Balata's gardens. They were destroyed around 2007 during tropical storms, and it has since lost much of its original beauty but let's hope it'll regrow to what is was once! It'll take some time before that, but until then don't expect too much from it. It is a nice stop, but nothing extraordinary.

View from Balata's gardens

Tropical flowers in Balata's garden.

Day 5

On the fifth day you can head to the south west part of the island, from Les Anses d'Arlet to Anse Dufour.

Les Anses-d'Arlet

This is a very nice beach with clear blue water, and the church that's sitting just next to the beach makes it the ideal postcard picture!

This beach is perfect for families, it's a little crowded as the beach is not very large, but it's worth going there from time to time.

The clear blue waters from les Anses d'Arlet

Anse Dufour

You can then go to Anse Dufour, which is a small beach hidden in a crique. The beach is quite small and made of black sand and rocks. Good to go once, but not more.

Anse Dufour

Day 6

On the fifth day you can visit Sainte Luce and the Trois Rivière distillery. Make also a stop to Sainte Luce's beach, which is not more frequented by locals.

Sainte-Luce

Trois Rivière distillery

This distillery doesn't produce rhum anymore but is mostly made for tourists, with a souvenirs shop at the end

Sainte Luce's beach

Day 7

On the 7th day you can visit another distillery and go to La Mauny on the east of the island.

Distillery La Mauny

January is not the best time though to visit a distillery as the activity there is inexistant, but they will explain how rhum is made and what machines they use.

The distillery's shop

The 3 distillers. La Mauny is part of the same group as Trois Rivières and another one. The 3 rhums are made here in the same distillery, with one column for each brand. This doesn't mean it's the same rhum as the type of column they use completely change its taste. You can see on this picture the 3 different types of columns.

Some stages of the distillitation columns being cleaned up. The oxydation on copper turns it green.

Day 8

On your last day in Martinique just take some time to chilld or visit Fort-de-France and its many markets on the morning.  Then just enjoy your favorite beach before taking your plane. 

Anse Meunier

One of our favorite beaches in Martinique. The road to get there is not the best, but it makes it even more rewarding once you get there!

Anse Meunier's beach

Sainte-Anne

If you are in the area head one last time to Sainte-Anne, have a walk on the beach and then go to the town to buy some souvenirs and gifts for your friends.

A small crique in Sainte-Anne

View from the city of Sainte-Anne

If you have rented a car, wash it and head back to the rental car shop. 
The rental company will provide you with a shuttle to go back the airport. 
Buy some souvenirs and put your winter clothes back on if you have decided to go during winter!

9 days in Martinique in January

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