Martinique is a hidden gem nestled in the Lesser Antilles of the French Caribbean, renowned for its pristine beaches, azure blue waters, and lush tropical landscapes – not to mention its amazing patisseries and mouthwatering French and Creole cuisine. The island’s coastline is a mix of serene bays, sandy stretches, and dramatic coves. Here are some of the top beaches in Martinique that you must include in your next tropical vacation. Prepare to be swept away by the magic of Anse Couleuvre, Les Salines, Anse Michel, Baignoire de Josephine, Anse Noir, and Macabou.
Anse Couleuvre: A Scenic Wild Beach
Anse Couleuvre is situated in the north of Martinique and is renowned for its raw, wild beauty. This secluded beach is surrounded by dense rainforest, creating a peaceful haven for those seeking tranquility. The dark sand and calm, clear water are magic.
Getting to Anse Couleuvre
Anse Couleuvre is about an hour and a half’s drive from Fort-de-France, Martinique’s capital. Consider renting a car or hiring a taxi for a hassle-free ride. As the beach is slightly off the beaten track, it may not be as crowded as other popular beaches, giving you ample space to relax and unwind.
Park your car and walk down the path through the trees to the beach. Don’t leave any valuables in your car and don’t leave your lunch on the beach – a mongoose might try to snag it!
Anse Couleuvre: What Makes it Special
Anse Couleuvre is a snorkeler’s paradise, with its clear waters offering a glimpse into the rich marine life below. Turtles, colorful fish, and even octopuses can be seen here. The black sandy beach is a distinct feature that sets it apart. Moreover, the lush tropical forest offers numerous hiking trails for the adventurous soul.
Les Salines: A Beach Lover’s Paradise
Les Salines is arguably one of the most popular beaches in Martinique. With its picturesque white sand, warm turquoise water, and stunning palm groves, it’s a postcard-perfect Caribbean beach.
Getting to Les Salines
Les Salines is located in the southernmost part of the island, approximately a 40-minute drive from Fort-de-France. Public buses are available, but you need to speak French and have a ton of patience. A rental car provides more flexibility.
Les Salines: What Makes it Special
The beach is named after the nearby salt ponds, which are a habitat for various bird species. It’s an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing. However, be sure to get there early during the peak season to secure a prime spot under the palm trees. On a clear day, you can see St. Lucia on the horizon. Be sure to stay until dark – if you’re lucky you’ll catch some fireflies or see a shooting star.
Anse Michel: A Windsurfer’s Haven
Anse Michel, located in Cap Chevalier, is a windsurfer’s dream. The consistent trade winds provide perfect conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. The beach itself is a wide stretch of white sand bordered by coconut palms, providing ample shade.
Getting to Anse Michel
Anse Michel is around a 45-minute drive from Fort-de-France. Car rental is the most convenient option, but taxis are available too.
Anse Michel: What Makes it Special
Aside from windsurfing, Anse Michel offers opportunities for snorkeling, as its offshore reef is teeming with marine life. A few beach restaurants serve delicious local cuisine, allowing you to taste the flavors of Martinique. Don’t miss the Accras – a local delicacy.
Baignoire de Josephine: An Amazing Sandbar
Baignoire de Josephine, or Josephine’s Bathtub, is a shallow sandbar in the middle of the sea, offering visitors the unique experience of standing in waist-deep, crystal-clear water far from the shore. The location is named after Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, who was born in Martinique.
Getting to Baignoire de Josephine
You’ll need to take a boat to reach Baignoire de Josephine, with numerous operators offering day tours from Le Francois. These tours usually include a stop at the sandbar and a traditional Ti’ Punch, a rum-based cocktail. If there’s a greater joy in life than floating on your back with a Ti’Punch in hand in the crystal clear waters of Josephine’s Bath, I haven’t found it yet! It’s heavenly – don’t miss it!
Baignoire de Josephine: What Makes it Special
This “bathtub” is known for its warm, clear water and picturesque surroundings. Enjoy floating on the turquoise water and revel in the extraordinary marine life beneath the surface. Remember to bring your snorkel gear!
Anse Noir: A Hidden Cove
Anse Noir is a secluded cove with soft black sand. As the name suggests, Anse Noir means ‘Black Cove’ in English. The contrast of the black sand against the azure blue waters creates makes the water shimmer like you’ve never seen.
Getting to Anse Noir
Anse Noir is situated near Anses d’Arlet and is accessible by car, followed by a descent down a steep stairway.
Anse Noir: What Makes it Special
Anse Noir is one of the few black sand beaches in Martinique. The bay is enclosed by high cliffs that are adorned with tropical vegetation, providing an idyllic setting for snorkeling and exploring the underwater caves. There’s a spot for jumping – for those brave enough. Just keep an eye out for sea urchins when you climb back out.
Macabou: For the Adventurer
Macabou is an extensive beach located on Martinique’s southeastern coast. It is lesser-known and typically quieter, offering the perfect setting for those seeking solitude.
Getting to Macabou
It’s about a 50-minute drive from Fort-de-France to Macabou. A rental car is your best option, as public transport isn’t readily available to this remote beach.
Macabou: What Makes it Special
This beach is ideal for horseback riding, with several equestrian centers nearby offering beach rides. Macabou is also a great spot for hiking, with trails leading to panoramic viewpoints. On a sunny day, the water is unbelievably blue. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and water, and prepare to spend a day with sea grapes to your back and the vivid blue sea.
A Few Tips for The Best Beaches in Martinique
Be mindful of the coral reefs and marine life. Avoid touching them, and use reef-safe sunblock to help protect the ecosystem. Early morning is usually the best time to visit these beaches to avoid the crowds. Don’t forget to sample the local cuisine at the beachfront restaurants.
Where to Stay
There are numerous accommodations in Martinique, ranging from beachfront resorts to cozy B&Bs. Depending on your budget and preference, you can choose to stay close to the beach or the bustling town centers. St. Luce is my favorite town to stay in.
Get ready for an unforgettable beach experience in Martinique. Happy beach wandering!