Brief Martinique Boat Rental Guide
Martinique is a southeastern Caribbean located between Dominica and St. Lucia and is an overseas department of France. The northern part of Martinique is volcanic and has a spectacular nature and wildlife. And the southern part is a bit drier and is where most tourist facilities are. Because of its location, it is wetter and lusher in vegetation than its northern neighbor islands. If you choose boat rentals in Martinique you have many places to discover, from Caribbean beaches to forests that stretch to the sea and also pretty seaside towns.
What to do in Martinique?
The best plan if you visit Martinique is relax and enjoy in a wonderful Caribbean environment. Sailing in Martinique allows you to reach all kinds of beaches and the coastal villages of the island and discover the rocks or the islets that rise off the coast. You can practice diverse watersports like surfing, kite surfing or kayaking. You can also go scuba diving to discover the rich wildlife that is hidden underwater or admire the remains of sunken ships in Saint Pierre.
On land, hiking is one of the best experiences in Martinique. You can climb up the hillsides of the mountains and volcanoes, or walk between the luxuriant jungles of the island. Martinique is also called ‘The Island of Flowers’ and its natural wealth and biodiversity are a treasure in the middle of the Caribbean. Some options north of the island are the tours of the Pelée volcano or the visit to the Butterfly Garden. South, with boat rentals in Martinique you can disembark in the capital Fort-de-France or enjoy the blend of modernity and tradition in Le Marin.
Martinique's beaches are distinguished by the color of its sand. Normally the south ones are of white sand and the north ones have black sand. The dark color of the northernmost is due to the volcanic environment of this part of the island. With some exceptions (such as Le Diamant), the beaches of this French Caribbean island are small and cozy, with vegetation near the water. In addition, since the north is far less populated than the south, sometimes the only way to get to a beach there is by sea. We list some of the best beaches of this island, north and south, so you can approach with your rental boat in Martinique and enjoy at its best.
- Les Salines
If you want to relax on a postcard beach, Les Salines in Sainte-Anne is the ideal place. The water is clear and the sand is white and fine. But surely the best is the lush vegetation of palm trees a few meters from water. And seeing how some of these palm trees grow twisted, trying to touch the water.
Couleuvre, northwest of the island, is the most famous black sand beach of Martinique. It is very difficult to reach by land, so usually it is not crowded and it is ideal for relaxing. A few miles north or south of Couleuvre there are other very similar coves, and with the boat you can move to them all.
Like Les Salines and very close to it, Trabaud is one of the long and ‘Caribbean-style’ beaches of Martinique. The best days to enjoy this beach are between Monday and Friday since during the weekend it is often crowded with tourists or entire families of islanders.
- Fonds Blancs
Fonds Blancs, east, is one of the most beautiful areas of Martinique and to visit it, it is essential to do it on a boat. It is a place of very calm waters, which some describe as a pool in the middle of the sea. There are parts with very little water and white sand at the bottom, and this is what gives the beach its distinctive name, ‘White Bed’. With boat rentals in Martinique you can move at your leisure in this area and enjoy every corner.
What to eat in Martinique?
Martinique's cuisine is as colorful and varied as the origins of its inhabitants. Like in most islands of the Caribbean, here the dished prepared are African, European, Asian and American-inspired. Still, the French and Creole influences are the most important ones.
Among the native ingredients, in Martinique the highlights are tropical fruits, queen conch and crab. With the animal species that the sea provides, delicacies like stuffed crab or white sausage stuffed with fish, named Boudin Creolé, are prepared. One of the most typical dishes of meat is the Poulet Boucané or smoked chicken, following an original recipe of the Caribbean.
And only for adult sailors, the traditional rum produced in Martinique is one of the treasures of the island. Some are produced from molasses and other made directly from sugar cane. With rum they prepare the cocktail par excellence of Martinique: the Ti Punch.
Weather and Navigation in Martinique
- Boating season
The best time for boat rentals in Martinique, as in the rest of the Caribbean, is in the middle of the dry season, between January and March. You can also sail comfortably in the months of December, April or May. Still, in this last months you could be surprised by bad weather. The season to avoid are the months of hurricanes, which usually go from July to October, but the season can be extended from June to November or even there may be bad weather in May and December. 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.
Martinique, like the rest of the Caribbean, has not summer and winter, but rainy season and dry season. Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year, and use to be between 22 and 31 degrees Celsius.
Because of the rainy season, most of Martinique rainfall is concentrated between June and November. This island, like those of around as St. Lucia or Dominica, is rainier than the north ones of the Caribbean Sea. Thus, during the dry season there can also be several days of rain.
- Sea Temperature
The sea temperature in this island is really warm, and a few degrees above the ones in other places of the northern Caribbean. In general, throughout the year, the water temperature is in an average of between 27 and 29 degrees Celsius. It is slightly higher in the rainy season, but both in the Caribbean Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean, boat rentals in Martinique ensure you to enjoy this fantastic water conditions.
Leaving aside the hurricane season, during the boating season in Martinique winds tend to be moderate. Throughout the year the trade winds blow, which are ideal for sailing. In the rainy season the main winds are from the northeast and southeast, and between 10 and 20 knots. During the dry season they are a bit stronger, between 15 and 20 knots, and blow mainly from the northeast.
How to get in Martinique?
- By Plane
The best way to reach Martinique is by plane. You can land at the only airport on the island, Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) in Fort-de-France, departing from several American and European cities, as well as from other Caribbean islands. There are direct flights from France, from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly (ORY). From the North American continent, you can get in Fort-de-France from Miami International Airport (MIA) and from Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL). Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Lucia and other nearby islands also have direct flights.
- By Boat
You can reach Martinique by ferry from nearby Caribbean islands. There are boats that connect the capital Fort-de-France with other French islands like Guadeloupe, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante, and neighboring Dominica and St. Lucia. On the other hand, with a particular boat or with boat rentals in the Caribbean it is possible to reach Martinique from the nearest islands. There are just 22 nautical miles from southern Dominica or about 18 from north of St. Lucia.