Martinique is a hidden French gem in the Caribbean. Nestled between Dominica and St. Lucia, the island is a haven for families seeking the perfect mix of adventure, culture, and relaxation. It’s an easy escape for those in the United States with flights from the east coast taking under five hours. Norwegian Air offers non-stop flights to the Fort-de-France airport from New York, Boston, and Baltimore/Washington D.C. as low as $79 each way. At this price, Martinique is perfect for families as it is a quick flight to a beautiful tropical escape.
Why Martinique is Perfect for Families
*This post is sponsored by the Martinique Tourism Authority but all opinions are 100% my own
There are endless miles of beaches in Martinique offering opportunities for water sports or relaxation. Many of the beaches on the north side of the island are covered in black sand as a result of the island’s past volcanic history. These sit in the shadow of Mount Pelée, the highest point of the island, and an active volcano. Kids would love to hike up the volcano and afterwards explore the nearby town of Saint-Pierre which was destroyed after the volcano erupted in 1902. Hiking through the ruins has been likened to exploring Pompeii. What an adventure!
The southern part of the island has beautiful white sand beaches, turquoise water, and coconut trees. It is the ideal place to relax for a day. Families looking for action can find tours for snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, and more. There are also plenty of fishing villages throughout the island where kids can learn about the culture and sample the local cuisine.
La Fontaine de Didier and Gorges de la Falaise offer beautiful hikes through tropical forests with opportunities to swim in waterfalls and natural pools along the way.
Food in Martinique may be different than many kids (and adults) have ever experienced, which is a good thing. Diners can expect to find combinations of Creole, African, French, and Indian cuisine mixed with seafood and local produce. The rich spice combinations and culinary feasts will leave kids asking for more.
La Savane des Esclaves (The Savannah of the Slaves) is a 2-hectare open air museum with huts and traditional plantations dating from the 1800s. This is important for kids to see the history of slavery and traditions of Martinique and how it shaped the island as it is today.
Habitation Clément is a museum that showcases the island’s history and one of it’s major exports, rum. Families would enjoy exploring the plantation and its sculpture gardens. Kids can learn about life on a plantation and parents will enjoy learning about the rum distilling process. Samples are available for adults.
Fort Saint Louis is still an active French military base, so some areas are off limits, but the place is worth a tour. Children will love exploring the 17th century fort and looking out over the ramparts to the bay below.
Another unique place to explore is the Jardin de Balata. This unique tropical garden was built by an artist who created this masterpiece near his grandparents Creole home. There are a variety of flowers and plants throughout the property, as well as hanging bridges and places for kids to play.
As with any destination, always make time for the locals. The Martinicans are friendly and welcoming. Make time to engage them in conversation and learn about life on the island.