Towns & Villages of Martinique

The North

Schoelche The campus of the University of the French West Indies is in this suburb of Fort-de-France.

Case-Pilote The 17th-century church in Jesuit and rococo style is the oldest on the island.

Bellefontaine A tiny village hanging onto the cliff's edge. From the Bellefontaine beach you can watch typical fishing scenes. The fishermen here use a special type of net called a "senne."

Morne-Vert This village not only has a very pleasant climate but also offers a magnificent view of the peaks of Carbet and Mont Pelée.

Le Carbet There are two spots to visit in this village: the Bally distillery on the outskirts of town and the Gauguin Museum.

Fonds Saint-Denis Clinging to the slopes of the Carbet, this enchanting little community stretches out along a winding road. Fonds Saint-Denis is dominated by the Morne-des-Cadets, where an observatory on the summit keeps constant watch on volcanic Mont Pelée.

Saint-Pierre You cannot afford to miss this town, made famous for its near-total destruction by the eruption of Mont Pelée in 1902. The river of boiling hot lava claimed 30,000 victims. There was one survivor by the name of Cyparis, a prisoner who was protected by the thick walls of his cell. The Franck Perret Museum of Vulcanology has a collection of relics from this period that were transformed by the terrific heat.

Le Precheur
The last town on the northern Caribbean coast. It is famous for the hot volcanic springs and the "Tomb of the Caribbean," where according to legend a collective suicide took place when Carib Indians returned from fishing to find their village had been pillaged by the colonials. Visit the Ceron Plantation.

Le Morne-Rouge
This village stretches to the foot of Mont Pelée. For those who want to climb the majestic mountain, it is best to hire a guide. Le Morne-Rouge also is known for its pineapple jam, anthurium plantations and well-known spring waters, which are bottled here.

This little village full of flowers is the home of an extraordinary place called "les Gorges de la Falaise," mini-gorges of the Falaise River. You can walk up the mini-gorges to a very lovely waterfall. A botanical footpath called "Les Ombrages" is a beautiful hike where you can delight in the tropical vegetation.

Huge fields of banana and pineapple trees line the road that leads to this town situated on the Atlantic coast. It is worth making a small detour to visit the Leyritz Plantation, a colonial home built in 1700 and renovated into a hotel-restaurant in 1970. There is a very interesting museum of dolls made out of plants here as well.

Le Macouba This village is built on the top of a cliff. The distillery that produces "JM Crassous de Medeuil" rum is located here.

Grand-Rivière This small fishing village is one of the most picturesque places in Martinique. It has often been completely cut off from the rest of the island after heavy rains. You can see children challenging the huge waves of the Atlantic on surfboards called "floats" which are made from tree trunks. Quite a sight.

Le Lorrain This is a big pre-Columbian site celebrated for its spectacular views..

Le Marigot This little village is full of flowers and built in the shape of an amphitheater that faces the sea.

Sainte-Marie On the agenda here: the Rum Museum founded by the Saint James distillery; the Monastery; the Fond Saint Jacques cultural center; and at Morne-des-Esses, a wickerwork factory where traditional Caribbean techniques are still in use.

La Trinite This is one of the two sub-prefectures of the island. The town stretches out to the Caravelle peninsula, among the most beautiful sites of the island, especially off the far end at the Baie du Tresor and Château Dubuc.

Gros-Morne This is essentially an agricultural town that dominates the region and offers a view onto the pineapple fields, which seem to stretch down all the way to the sea.

Saint-Joseph This small village is situated inland. The soil is fertile and the climate favorable for farming. You can go stroll through the forest on trails and bridges especially prepared for visitors.

Fort de France

This is the business center and administrative capital of the island with many tourist attractions. Most of these attractions are grouped together around the city’s haven of greenery named La Savane (Savanna.)

La Baie de Fort-de-France This is one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

La Savane Five hectares of public gardens with magnificent tropical plants.

La Cathedrale Saint Louis Built in 1895, this cathedral has a Roman-style bell tower. Many of Martinique’s former governors are buried in the chancel, but without a doubt the cathedral’s huge pipe organs attract the most visitors.

The Fruit and Vegetable Market and the Fish Market
Picturesque and colorful, you can spend time discovering the spirit of Fort-de-France here.

Floral Park
There are a number of traditional workshops, an exotic aquarium, as well as a botanical and geological gallery in this wonderful park.

Schoelcher Library
Designed by the architect Henry Pick, this library was built in Paris for the Exposition of 1889, then dismantled and brought from France, brick by brick and completed in 1893.

The South

Le Lamentin The airport, hippodrome horse racing course and industrial zones based in this town are three of the regional Department's main centers of activity. The fields of sugar cane stretch out across the Lamentin plain all the way to the horizon.

Ducos Situated inland, Ducos is mainly an agricultural town with a booming small-trade and industrial area.

Rivière-Salée The Rivière-Salée is a large plain that has been given over to growing sugar cane, although there is no rum distillery within the territory belonging to this district. On some houses, you can still see structures that date to the 19th century.

You can get here by car of course, but also on a ferry from Fort-de-France. The Pagerie Museum is in this town, set up on the spot where Empress Josephine was born. A number of musical and cultural events are organized in the Park of the Trois-Ilets close to the island's magnificent golf club. You must not miss the Market or the Sugar Cane Museum. The pottery center, where the objects are handmade by local craft artists, is also worth a visit.

Les Anses d'Arlet This is a small fishing village with a beautiful beach frequently sought out by vacationers.

Le Diamant This village is situated in front of the rock that shares its name, a rock that rises out of the sea 2 1/2 miles off the coast. You can admire the rock, home to many birds, from various spots nearby. The Gaoule house standing beside an old mill is also interesting for a visit..

This is a pretty fishing village surrounded by several small beaches of white sand. You can see the rocks carved by the Carib Indians in the Montravail forest, which has been specially prepared to receive visitors.

Riviere-Pilote The grain store of the south, Rivière Pilote has vegetation very similar to the plants in the north. A few kilometers from the village, cockfighting and snake-mongoose fighting take place regularly in the big "Pit." On the same road, the Mauny distillery produces one of the best known white rums of the island.

Le Marin Le Marin is one of the two sub-prefectures on the island with extensive recent economic and commercial development resulting from the government’s decentralization policy. The church, one of the most beautiful historic monuments in Martinique, was built in Jesuit style and dates back to 1766. Amateur yachtsmen know the bay as the best mooring spot on the island. A lively biennial celebration with concerts, dancing, art exhibits and food tastings takes place in Le Marin during the month of August.

This is a pretty little region at the far southern end of the island. There are several quiet coves and capes with beautiful white sand beaches, including famous Les Salines, undoubtedly one of the most majestic beaches in all the West Indies. Beyond the Pointe des Salines, the Stony Savanna is an arid expanse of fields scattered with jasper plants and petrified wood.

Le Vauclin This is a fishing village where visitors can find fresh fish and seafood. The return of the skiffs and fishing boats made from gum tree wood is a sight that should not be missed. A few miles from the town, at Anse Macabou, there is a beach equipped with facilities to accept visitors. Also, if you go hiking on the Montagne du Vauclin, you will be rewarded with a wonderful panoramic view.

Le Saint-Esprit
This is an agricultural village known for its fruit, vegetables and sugar cane.
Don't forget to visit the Popular Traditions and Arts Museum where Martinique's rich national heritage is displayed.

Le François
An agricultural region with fertile soil that is further enhanced by the La Mauzo dam irrigation system. The coast at Le Francois is well-known for its band of breakers along the beach, many little islands and white sandy sea beds with high sand bars that extend far out to sea, which make it a very pleasant place for sailing excursions. Nearby, in the region of Acajou, is Clement distillery, where the old house has been converted into a very beautiful museum.

Le Robert Tucked into a bay full of little islands, Le Robert is the headquarters for recent experiments in fish farming.