Amazing Day Trips to Take From Martinique by Boat

Discover stunning coastal scenery and delightful French cuisine with a day trip by boat around Martinique
Discover stunning coastal scenery and delightful French cuisine with a day trip by boat around Martinique | © Goyo Conde / Alamy
Lexi Fisher

Martinique offers a unique blend of Caribbean and European cultures – and with coastlines scalloped with white sand beaches and mangrove hideaways, it’s a great place to explore by boat. Grab a beach bag, some walking shoes and your appetite: a short sail away are picturesque yachting destinations, fine French cuisine, enthralling shopping and scenic natural beauty. Most of the best day trips begin at Les Trois-Îlets, so here are some of our favourites.

Marvel at the coastal charm of Martinique reached by chartering.

Mangrove kayak in Trois-Îlets

The eastern side of Les Trois Îlet is laden with thick mangroves, ideal for appreciating the quiet serenity of nature. Rent a kayak or book a guided mangrove tour with Kayak Nature Evasion to experience the still water of the lagoon – where herons perch themselves on red mangrove roots, silently stalking unsuspecting fish from above. Return to the kayak dock and take a walk around the Village de la Potterie, where red-tiled pathways lead to whimsical little shops selling all manner of clay creations.

To experience the wonders of the underwater world, make your way over to the sprawling anchorage and long, white-sand beach of Grande Anse D’Arlet. Whether you’re a certified diver or just testing the waters, Alpha Plongée can get you kitted up and in the water for a morning of scuba diving some of the best reefs in Martinique. Enjoy lunch on the beachside terraces of Ti Sable restaurant – try the grilled fish – and spend the afternoon lounging on the beach with a cold cocktail.

Shell hunt on Anse à l’Âne

Leave the crowds behind and sail over to Anse à l’Âne for a day on this quiet, palm-lined beach. Feel the sand between your toes as you comb the beach looking for driftwood, shells and other treasures from the ocean. Try a Ti Punch – the national cocktail of Martinique consisting of rhum agricole, cane sugar and rum – at Kreol K Fé.

Hike the Morne Larcher

The adventurous and energetic should take the steep, rocky one hour 30-minute hike up to the top of Morne Larcher for wow-inducing views of the coastline and Diamond Rock. The path connects Petite Anse and Anse Cafard – for a one-way hike, have the boat meet you on the other side. Pack a lunch for the top or try one of the beachside restaurants in either town.

Snorkel in Anse Noire and Anse Dufour

The twin coves of Anse Noire and Anse Dufour create a delightful little escape. Snorkel with turtles in the bays or around the dramatic caves and crevices of the central peninsula – where butterflyfish and sergeant majors dart between the rocks. The ferry service from Fort-de-France stops here and it can get busy with tourists on the weekends, so try to visit during the week.

Explore Case-Pilote

The charming seaside town of Case-Pilote is one of the oldest on the island and is home to the oldest church on Martinique. Soak up the history of this 17th-century village, lounge on a daybed by the black sand beach and browse the market where locals set up stalls of fresh fruit, vegetables and handicrafts on certain days. When you get hungry, try the accras at Shell’s Restaurant.

Churchgo in Les Anses d’Arlet

Whereas Case Pilote has the island’s oldest church, Anses d’Arlet has perhaps the prettiest. Sitting at the base of the long dock, the coral-coloured steeple and sharp spire reach skyward. Palm trees grow interspersed between the quaint oceanfront buildings and Snack Le Balaou – found on the northern end of the beach – is a simple beach bar and a good place for a local meal and cold drink.

Visit the Musée de la Pagerie and La Savane Des Esclaves from Trois Îlets

When you’ve had enough of the beach, anchor in Trois Îlets, head ashore and hail a taxi or rent a car to La Savane Des Esclaves – a museum to commemorate and honour those who fell victim to the slave trade on Martinique. From here, it’s a short 10-minute drive to the birthplace of Empress Joséphine – a sprawling estate that is now the Musée de la Pagerie. After an afternoon well spent learning, take the scenic 30-minute downhill walk through the golf course back to town.

See Martinique from the sea then get closer.

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