What if I told you there was a colorful island with pristine beaches, green-clad mountains, lush rainforests, wetlands, rum distilleries, and some of the best food in the entire Caribbean…that’s completely unspoiled? I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong to assume you’d flock there as I’m planning to do pretty soon! This magical place I’m referring to is the French island of Martinique, located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
Every year I take an annual girls trip with my friends Jannae and Coribbia—you may remember them from my Bali posts or perhaps from my Peru travel video series. Well, last year they took a trip to Martinique—without me—can you picture the side eye I’m giving right now? Not trying to throw any shade though. While I was freezing my ass off during a business trip in New York City, I lived vicariously through the Facebook photos my girls were posting of what they describe as one of the best places they’ve ever visited.
I’ve honestly never heard them rave about a place so much before—and these are seasoned travelers! I was so curious about what made this place so special. So I told them I wanted to share with my readers why they thought Martinique was so incredible. Without hesitation, they nostalgically launched into what they loved most about this little slice of paradise.
(…oh and don’t forget to scroll down to see how you can enter to win a trip to Martinique!)
TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT MARTINIQUE NOW
1. THE LUSH LANDSCAPES
I still remember dropping my jaw at some of the photos I saw of Martinique when I looked it up. Jannae and Cori just wouldn’t shut up about how gorgeous the island was so it wasn’t long before I found myself turning to Google to show me what I had missed out on. I’m just sitting here staring at my computer thinking…I’ve never seen so much green and blue in my life. And wait, is that a volcano? Yes. Yes, it is. Side eye.
Jannae vividly recalls every crystal clear detail of Martinique’s heavenly terrain.
“Martinique has the enticing tropical appeal that many of the Caribbean islands have. It is incredibly green and you drive through acres of banana plantations as you cross through the country to visit the various beaches. I can’t remember a day trip that we took where we didn’t at some point end up driving along the coast against a backdrop of forest perched along the mountainsides.”
In fact, these landscapes are such a focal point in Martinique tourism, that in this post 15 Best Things to Do in Martinique, several of the suggested activities to try out involve nature.
2. THE EURO-CARIBBEAN CHARM
According to Coribbia, Martinique has a mix of French charm with a Caribbean flair that she fell in love with.
“We walked to a French bakery every morning for baguettes and right down the street was also a market where we could purchase fresh mangos, avocados, bananas and other tropical fruits.”
I have to admit, that is one mix that’s bound to be flawless. A French setting with tropical Caribbean views—I mean really, what about that doesn’t sound amazing? It’s that endearing combination that gives Martinique its own unique charm.
3. THE ISLAND IS CLEAN
One other thing that stood out to her was how clean the island was.
“There was barely a scrap of trash in sight. Even in the more inhabited areas. It was wonderful to see that they cared about their environment.”
4. THE AMAZING FOOD
This comes as no surprise to me since Jannae and Coribbia are both lovers of fine cuisine! Remember my “Lima is for Foodies” video? Yeah, exactly. These two know good food when they taste it.
Since Martinique is a fusion of French and Caribbean influence, the cuisine delightfully reflects that. You’ll find food that is a blend of French, African and Creole cultures. YUM.
My fellow vegans out there will fall in love with the colorful tropical fruits and fresh spices. For the non-vegans, you can look forward to seafood dishes like accra, chatrou, lambis, le matautou de crabe, and dorade grilée, as recommended by The Culture Trip.
5. GREAT FOR ADVENTURE-LOVERS
Jannae loves a good adventure, so one of her favorite aspects of traveling to Martinique was the abundance of water activities. She mentioned that unlike other places she’s visited, there isn’t even a need to sail off into the ocean to experience the marine life.
“It’s not like you get on a boat and then go 20 minutes from the coast. People are hanging out on the beach and you just put on your mask and start floating because the water is really buoyant. All of a sudden you see huge schools of fish and even turtles! It’s also a great place for surfing. I was able to get up and go on so many little adventures—one of my favorites being hiking up a waterfall that ended up being a 3 hour journey to get to.”
WIN A TRIP TO MARTINIQUE
I saved this best bit of info for last, so hopefully you’re still with me! There’s a sweepstakes you can enter to win a trip to Martinique. Try your luck! Because…why not? You just might be the one to score two round-trip flights to paradise with Norwegian Air. If not though, no biggie. Norwegian has non-stop service to Fort-de-france out of New York, Boston, Baltimore/Washington DC starting at $79. Whelp. That costs less than my haircut!
I don’t know about you, but my friends have completely sold me on visiting Martinique. They’re even planning a second trip by the end of 2017, which is shocking to me since they rarely ever visit somewhere more than once. This time around, they plan to learn some more French before heading over, which is also one of their best tips they insisted I share with you guys. So go ahead and bust out that Rosetta Stone and start practicing—Martinique is calling your name.
Are you thinking about traveling to Martinique? Let me know in the comment section below.
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Special thanks to Martinique Tourism Authority for sponsoring today’s post.
14 Replies to “Martinique is The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret”
As a keen camper and hiker who loves nature, Martinique looks like paradise to me! Can’t wait to get over there to experience it also and can’t believe you didn’t get out of that other trip to join your friends! Lovely photos and those 5 reasons are just fabulous.
I’ve been to several Caribbean islands, but haven’t visited there yet. It looks absolutely beautiful, and I like that you mention it is so clean. Unfortunately, some of the other Caribbean islands can’t make that same claim. I’m going to add Martinique to my list of travel destinations that I must visit.
Caribbean island with an abundance of fresh food and water sport activities!? Count me in! I would love to travel to this place like your friends, it looks stunning. I am definitely taking part in the sweepstake, thank you! 🙂
You completely sold me on visiting Martinique too! That surfing photo and the infinitely stretch of the ocean makes me want to hop on the plane and jump right into the ocean. And the fruits, I have to admit I have never heard some of them, maybe because there are French names, but it looks delicious.
We are so keen! You showed the best it could be of the Martinique and really inspired us to go! It is totally underrated and most travellers forget about this destination! Keep showing us more it is so beautiful!
I would love to go!!!! I’m sure my husband will enjoy it too. The views look spectacular, I’m sure it’s a great honeymoon destination too!
I would surely apply for win a trip link for a trip to Martinque. I would surely like this place because lush green landscapes. As I am vegetarian so I would really love those colorful tropical fruits.
Martinique looks like an amazing island! I’ve never been there, but I can see why you call it the Caribbean’s best kept secret. I would love to go there and try the delicious food and lie on the beaches myself!
That bay looks so perfect and well kept! Martinique sure looks like a peaceful but fun getaway. Yet to visit Caribbean islands but will surely try to visit this one when I do plan my trip 😀
As I read your post, I could only think of this one sentence that sums it all up – clean, green and blue charming island that pumps up your Adrenaline… 🙂 won’t you agree?
My goodness, Martinique is absolutely more beautiful than I could have every imagined. I think lush is absolutely the right word, all that green dense foliage against the blue of the sky and the sea is so breathtaking! I’d love to visit.
You’ve completely sold Martinique to me. I love that first photo – that alone is enough to make me want to go. That is impressive how they’ve managed to keep the island clean. It is always disappointing with nature is spoiled by humans by not properly disposing off their trash, which can be common in tourist-filled spots.
Totally my kinda place! I love where there are no tourists and such secret spots! As long as they’re secret they tend to be so pristine and pure! Fresh food and surfing, now that’s perfect!!!
$79 flights to get to this unknown paradise?? Make me wish I was on the east coast because of this!! It’s pretty amazing; just when you think you know most of the beautiful places around the world, there’s always someplace that’s still a bit untouched/unspoiled! Would love to check out Martinique to enjoy this bit of hidden paradise