Martinique is a French island in the Lesser Antilles known as the Flower of the Caribbean for its spectacular nature. The island is a real gem that features lush gardens, thousands of species of tropical flowers, rain forests, rivers, waterfalls, and mountains. The northern part of the island is volcanic and displays wild vegetation and surprising black sand beaches. The southern part is a bit drier, but it is where most tourist facilities and long white beaches are. But don’t worry, because with our Martinique sailing itinerary you won’t miss anything!
From a cultural point of view, the island offers an intriguing mix of French and Caribbean culture. It is an overseas insular region of France located in the eastern Caribbean sea, precisely in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indes. The currency is the euro and, and also, the official language is French.
But now, without further ado, let’s talk in details about some navigation tips. Read our one-week route around Martinique to go around the island and its heavenly Caribbean beaches, forests, and pretty seaside resorts.
Martinique has good winds all year round. However, the perfect sailing season is when north-easterly trade winds blow, usually between 15 – 20 knots. Gradually it decreases by June to 10 -15 knots, until September and October that are the calmest months.
We recommend for less experienced sailors to navigate the Caribbean side, as it is much quieter than the Atlantic Ocean. However, you must be careful because of the numerous coral reefs.
Winds and Climate
The best time to sail in Martinique is from January to April, that is during the cold and dry season. The so-called average, the humid and rainy season, goes from mid-June to mid-November. Between the two seasons, there are two transitional periods: from mid-November to early January and from mid-April to Mid-June.
The northeast trade winds constantly blow during the dry season, but with moderate intensity. While hot winds from the south can sometimes lead hurricanes, with a peak in September that, usually, is the wettest month.
The temperature is rather steady and seldom varies from a minimum of 21º – 23ºC to a maximum of 28º C – 31º C. The sea temperature is also warm and pleasant all year round with an average between 26º C and 28ºC.
Sailing Itinerary Martinique
Day 1: Le Marin – Petite and Grande Anse d’Arlet
Our Martinique sailing itinerary will start from Le Marin marina, the yachting hub of the island, equipped with all the facilities for charter boats. If we start from the capital Fort-de-France, we can change our itinerary and start on Day 2.
Le Marin is a buzzing port appealing also many young people for its stylish restaurants and clubs. Leaving the base, you will see Diamond Beach and the famous Diamond Rock on the right.
Diamond Rock is an uninhabited island of 3 km that takes its name from the reflections it casts at certain hours of the day. Along the way, you will pass through the beach of Petite Anse d’Arlet and then Grande Anse d’Arlet. Here you can anchor for the first night, take the dinghy ashore, explore the town, and savour a traditional creole meal in one of its restaurants.
Day 2. Petite and Grande Anse d’Arlet – Fort-de-France
Head to Fort-de-France, where we can buy groceries and visit the capital that is also the largest city in the French Antilles. Beautiful and historical buildings are spread through the town: St. Louis Cathedral, Schoelcher Library, the Fort Saint Louis, and Palais de la Justice, and the Balata Gardens. However, the most appealing attractions are its constructions of cheerful Caribbean tones concentrated around the hill. Rue de la République is plenty of XIX and XX buildings, and it is the main street of the city. There is also a handicraft market where you can buy some pretty local souvenirs.
Day 3. Fort-de-France – St. Pierre
Then, continue north to Saint Pierre, arriving in the volcanic area of the island. Here, you see the massive Mount Pelée, which erupted in 1902, destroying Saint Pierre, that at the time, was the capital of the island.
Walking through the old town, you can still spot the houses destroyed in the eruption. But don’t miss a visit to the traditional Caribbean open market where you can find tropical produce and local handicrafts.
Day 4. Saint Pierre – Anse Coulevre
Continue your Martinique sailing itinerary to the north of the island and finish the day at Anse Coulevre. But before, make a stopover at Anse Céron. Both are among the most famous black sand beaches of the island. The beach arises from the dense tropical forest at the foot of the volcano Mount Pelée. The clear shallow water will allow you to appreciate the several shoals of fish that inhabit its seabed. Pearl Island, which can be seen a few hundred meters off the beach, is one of the most beautiful spots for underwater snorkelling on the island. The bravest can also jump off the rugged rock formations!
Day 5. Anse Coulevre – Marina Pointe du Bout
Marina Pointe du Bout is an artificial beach just about a mile of the town of Trois Îlets that you can easily reach with your boat. If you like tourist areas and casinos, these two holidays resorts are perfect for what you’re looking for. Marina du Pointe Bout is equipped with picnic tables, lounge chairs, umbrella, and public restrooms. The Trois Îlets is lined with shops of every kind and restaurants. Both are busy harbours, thus if you prefer a more relaxing atmosphere, you can drop anchor in Anse Noir or Anse Dufour. The last one is the ideal place to observe sea turtles, the main attraction of the beach.
Day 6. Marina Pointe du Bout – Sainte Anne
Located in the south-east of Martinique, the peninsula of Sainte-Anne offers one of the most beautiful landscapes of the island. The city has been built in the 17th century around the culture of sugar cane.
Sainte-Anne offers nearly 22 km of white sands and turquoise water which makes it one of the most famous tourist hub for yachties. The beach of Salines, offers a real movie or postcard decor. Every year, many visitors have the pleasure to admire it for then enjoying a moment of relaxation and rest under the sun. The small church of Notre-Dame is one of the oldest on the island. If you like hiking, go to admire the Petrification Savannah, a real desert in the heart of the tropical landscape.
Day 7. Sainte Anne – Le Marin
On the last day of this sailing itinerary for Martinique, we will return to Le Marin. It will be a quiet day, with a few miles, and we can relax with all the facilities Le Marin provides for boaters while visiting all the attractions that you couldn’t see the first day.