The lush green slopes and spectacular views of mountainous Martinique beckon hikers of all ages and abilities. Perhaps fitting for a destination known as “The Isle of Flowers”, the landscape of Martinique is impressive enough that it has been recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Its lush environs, filled with energetic birdsong, offer incredible locales for short hikes and long treks, alike. No vacation to Martinique is complete without getting out there, but as to where? We have a few ideas below.
Shark’s Fin Trail, Mount Pelée
Hikers in their prime can scale Mount Pelée (recently recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), right to the rim of the volcano. Take sturdy hiking boots (trainers are not good enough), rain gear, a sweater (it gets cool at the top), a hat or cap, sunscreen, plenty of water and some energy bars. After rain, there will be muddy spots and slippery rocks requiring both hands to ascend, so a backpack is essential. Pick a fine morning to climb through stunningly beautiful landscapes and the forested nature reserve. At the top hikers will be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of the island. A challenging, 4-hour hike.
Chateau Paille Track
This track is a favourite with early-morning runners, though tough on shoes. A good scenic trail loops out onto the peninsula. Beautiful ocean views are dominated by cacti and black rocks. The track goes through grassland, forest, beach and mangrove landscapes, so there are both rocky and muddy spots. An easy 3-hour hike.
Jesuit Trail Hike
Said to be the path of a 17th-century religious pilgrimage, no trace of the Jesuits remains, but this out-and-back trail takes hikers through a beautiful stretch of tropical rainforest. Beautiful flowers and ferns are in abundance with magnificent views. An easy 2-½-hour hike.
Montravail Forest Hike
A peaceful stroll through a magnificent mahogany forest opens up to spectacular views of Diamond Rock, an amazing chunk of basalt rising a mile or so offshore. Nine wooden sculptures by local artists adorn the trails. One path is paved for accessibility. An easy 2-hour hike.