Martinique in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph
Martinique is a photographer's dream, with riveting mountains, gorgeous beaches, and a seaside city that rose from the ashes following an eruption from Mount Pelée. The former capital of Saint Pierre, sitting at the foothills of the soaring Mount Pelée on the golden shores of the Caribbean, with its fishing and sailing boats bobbing in the waves, is perhaps the most photographed region of the island.
On this French Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles, visitors can fill up their memory cards with images from the bustling capital city of Fort de France, charming seaside towns, and their spectacular beaches.
Here are some beautiful places in Martinique that are worth visiting for incredible pictures:
1. Fort de France
The current capital and main city, Fort de France is the launching point for many of the island's adventures. But within the city limits, you'll find architectural marvels like the 17th-century Fort Royal (Fort Saint Louis), Cathédrale Saint-Louis, and the Palais de Justice. Visitors can learn about the city's pre-Columbian and colonial past in its museums.
2. Pointe du Bout
Across the bay from Fort de France on the southwestern coast of the island lies Pointe du Bout, the starting point for many boat trips and water sports. It is also the most developed resort area on the island, boasting some of the best hotels in Martinique; a large marina; several restaurants; sports facilities; and a Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed golf course in Les Trois-Ilets. Some of the smaller hotels are located close to the lovely beaches of nearby Anse Mitan.
3. The Schoelcher Library
The Schoelcher library in Fort de France is of historical significance for having been erected in Paris and then rebuilt on Martinique in 1893. The magnificent building houses the book and musical collections of abolitionist Victor Schoelcher.
4. Mount Pelée
Mighty Mount Pelée erupted on May 8, 1902, destroying the city of Saint Pierre and taking many lives with it. Today, the volcano sits silent, cloaked by tropical vegetation. You can hike to the summit for spectacular views of the ocean and the island of Dominica in the distance.
5. Saint Pierre
Saint Pierre, on the west coast of Martinique, sits in the shadow of Mount Pelée. Before the volcanic eruption destroyed it over a century ago, Saint Pierre was considered the Paris of the Caribbean for its wealth acquired from rum and sugarcane. Today, after being rebuilt, it provides a more relaxing alternative to Fort de France.
6. Les Salines
Les Salines is a classic Caribbean beach poster come to life, with a long stretch of creamy beach lined with curving palm trees and gentle waves lapping onto the shore. Named after the nearby salt pond, Les Salines, located a short distance from Sainte-Anne, the beach is considered one of the top attractions in Martinique.
7. Le Morne-Rouge
Situated near Mount Pelée, Le Morne-Rouge is a commune and the highest town in Martinique. It sits 450 meters above sea level and makes an ideal base for those venturing to reach the volcano's summit.
8. Anse d'Arlet
As far as charming villages go, you can't go wrong with paying a visit to Anse d'Arlet on the southern coast of Martinique. Anse means cove, and Anse d'Arlet consists of villages named after their respective coves, like Anse Noire, Grande Anse, and Anse Dufour. These charming villages are connected by a coastal road presenting spectacular seaside views.
9. Savanna of Petrifications
At the tip of the peninsula south of Sainte Anne and next to the beach of Grande Anse des Salines, the striking semi-desert of Savane Des Pétrifications (Savanna of Petrifications) lures you to explore its natural beauty on hikes. Stop by the Pointe d'enfer (Hell Headland) for breathtaking views of dramatic cliffs meeting the sea.
10. Balata Botanical Garden
Featuring more than 3,000 species of tropical plants, 300 different types of palm trees, and wooden rope suspension bridges connecting tree tops, the privately-owned Balata Botanical Garden is a magical man-made wonder worth visiting during your time in Martinique. Capture scenic vistas of rolling hills adorned with flowers and better yet, take some tropical flowers home with you for a fee.
11. Anse Noire (Black Bay)
Anse Noire, located between Trois Îlets and Anses d'Arlet, is the only black-sand beach on the island, and it can be accessed via a flight of stairs. Though it's not as popular as Les Salines, this beach is perfect for picnicking and snorkeling to see turtles.
12. Sacre Coeur de Balata Church
The Balata cathedral is a small size replica of Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris. Sitting on a hillside surrounded by a tropical forest just beyond the Balata Botanical Garden, the Sacre Coeur de Balata Church offers beautiful views of the city.
Surf, sand, and incredible views make Tartane on the peninsula of Caravelle a sought-after destination in Martinique. This small fishing village boasts several family-friendly beaches, like Brèche beach, Anse Bonneville (for surfing), and Anse l'Etang.
14. Dubuc Castle Ruins
Also on the Caravelle Peninsula, another great spot for photographs is the Dubuc Castle. Once the home of the Dubuc de Rivery family in the 18th century, the castle, built by slavery, is set in the middle of a sugar plantation. Now, its remnants overlook the ocean, and you can walk among the still standing stone walls.
15. Diamond Rock
Jutting out of the water just off the southern coast of Martinique is the famous Diamond Rock. The basaltic rock is small, but it has an interesting history. During the Napoleonic Wars, it was used as a fortress, and soldiers and cannons were placed by the English. The French overtook the rock in a severe battle in 1805.