Martinique is a French island in the southeastern Caribbean 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 has wild vegetation, with surprising black sand beaches. The southern part is a bit drier and is where most tourist facilities and long white beaches are.
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 see in details some navigation tips. Read our one-week Martinique sailing itinerary for Martinique to go around the island and discover Caribbean beaches, forests that stretch to the sea and pretty seaside towns.
Martinique has good wind all year round. However, the perfect sailing season in Martinique i when north-easterly trade winds blow, usually of 15 – 20 knots. Gradually it decreases by June to 10-15 knots, until September and October that are the calmest months.
It is recommended for the less experienced sailors to choose the waters of the Caribbean Sea side, not the Atlantic Ocean because the Caribbean ones are much quieter. However, in the Caribbean waters, you must be careful because of coral reefs.
Wind and Weather
The best time to sail in Martinique is from January to April, the cold and dry season. The so-called average, the humid and rainy season, is from mid-June to mid-November. Between them, there are two transitional periods: from mid-November to early January and from mid-April to Mid-June. The dry season, the northeast trade wind blows constantly, but with moderate intensity. While the hot wind from the south can sometimes lead hurricanes, with a peak in September that, usually, is the wettest month.
The temperature is rather steady that seldom varies from the minimum average of 21º to 23ºC and the maximum between 28º and 31º. The sea temperature is also warm and pleasant all year round with an average between 26º and 28ºC.
Sailing Itinerary Martinique
Day 1: Le Marin – Petite and Grande Anse d’Arlet
Our sailing itinerary around Martinique will start from the base of Le Marin, the yachting hub of the island, equipped with all the facilities for charter boats. If we start with 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 in 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. Here there is also a handicraft market where you can buy 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, which 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 sailing itinerary for Martinique 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 on 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 os 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 of admiring it and then enjoying a moment of relaxation and rest in 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.