Naturally, we wanted to explore more of Martinique so we decided to rent a car for a couple days and hit the road! Martinique is a small, but super interesting island with rainforests, volcanoes, and magnificent beaches.

Here’s a map of some of the highlights from our road trip. We went to the South and to the North, but didn’t make it to the East of the island. Next time!

Day 1:

We rented a car with the help of our gracious host and headed to the southern part of the island. Tip: find someone who speaks French to book a car for you in Martinique. The French rental car company is way cheaper. We made it to three points of interest including two beaches and Josephine Bonaparte’s childhood home.

Les Trois Îlets

A beautiful town with gorgeous beaches. A bit crowded for my taste, but still so lovely to enjoy.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

There were some cool overgrown old buildings in the forest behind the beaches. I twisted my ankle because I’m bad at exploring, but still got some cool photos.

(John here. Brittney missed out on the cool abandoned buildings and WW2 relics, but I’m here to show you the cool stuff!)

Pointe du Bout

Josephine’s childhood house. There’s a museum, gardens, and a really cool old sugar mill that’s overgrown.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

Grande des Salines

The most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to. The water was crystal clear and the sand was baby powder soft. It wasn’t even too crowded. More importantly, I got to have ice cream.

It’s called the Salines because on the inland side of the beach is a saltwater lake. It’s filtered in through the sand and is really interesting to walk around. It’s basically a mud pit so they built a wooden walkway for people to enjoy the area and go fishing or whatever. There are tonnes of crabbies peaking out of the sand here.

We watched the sun go down from the Salines. We tried to name all the islands we could see in the distance.

Day 2:

We headed North. We started in the mountains/volcanoe-ee/jungle-ee middle to explore the tropical gardens of Balata and then headed through more twisty mountains to make it to the beaches of Saint Pierre, a town living in the shadow of the active volcano Montagne Pelee. We got to walk on some of the black beaches, have delicious foods, and explore the neighbourhood Gauguin hung out at in the late 1800’s.

Balata Gardens

At Balata we went on these really really high rope bridges. Please note that I am very afraid of heights … like break down crying afraid and I have never been so proud of myself for walking on this damn thing. I convinced myself to do it because I saw old people in flip flops strolling across these wobbly beams. Hey! if they can do it with ease so can I! right? After the first length of bridge If I could get off I would have. It was a nightmare at the time. I did it. I was up on a rickety high thing and only cried a little. #proud

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

Still calm on the bridge!

Less calm.

The “I might barf face”.

Only one more bridge!

I’m back on the ground! So sweaty tho.

Saint Pierre/Montagne Pelée

Saint Pierre is a cool little town that has seen destruction from the neighbouring volcano in the early 1900s. Most of the town had to rebuild, but you can still see some evidence of the volcano’s effect on the few still standing buildings.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

The city’s church still has the original base that survived the volcano.

 

Here’s a painting by Gauguin from the same area we visited, “Coastal Landscape from Martinique.”  I admire Gauguin’s painting style a lot and it’s so cool to go to places that inspired great artists. Not to get too deeply into it, but I find many of Gauguin’s paintings uncomfortably colonial with major themes of objectifying native people. However, this painting captures the landscape rather timelessly.

Source: https://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-gauguin/coastal-landscape-from-martinique-1887

The beaches in the area around Saint Pierre have uniquely black sand which was super hot to walk on.

Next: airplane adventures and a surprise stay in Guadeloupe

~B~

Published by Brittney

From Alberta. Living in Nova Scotia. Travelling the world. Passionate about art, photography, and knitting.