Best Time to Travel to Martinique & 9 Reasons Why You Need to Visit

Best Time to Travel to Martinique & 9 Reasons You Need to Visit :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

The Antilles archipelago is a hotspot for snowbirds and those looking for summer year round. Martinique is approximately 80 kilometres long and reaches a width of 35 kilometres at its largest, making it one of the smallest French overseas territories at about 1100 kilometres squared. Despite its size, the island lifestyle is one of the many draws to Martinique along with the beautiful beaches, turquoise blue waters, plethora of tropical fruit and abundance of flora and fauna. I mean, it’s nicknamed the Island of Flowers for a reason!

If this sounds appealing to you, a visit to the island must be added to your bucket list. Though you might be wondering when is the best time to travel to Martinique and if so, these tips and tricks will help you plan your visit.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links where I may receive a kickback at no extra cost to you. It helps keep IBB alive so thank you!

Sunrise Over Plage du Diamant :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Golden Hour in Martinique is Gorgeous No Matter the “Season”

Martinique’s Two Seasons

While we have four distinct seasons here in Canada, this is not the case in Martinique. Like many tropical destinations, it only has two seasons – the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season begins typically in December and lasts until May. On the average day, you’ll enjoy sunny skies and a beautiful sea breeze. Temperatures tend to be highs of 29° to 30° with lows of 21° to 22° during this time. February and March tend to have the least amount of rain with an average of 6-7 days throughout the month.

As for the rainy season, this usually occurs from June until November. The humidity tends to skyrocket with frequent rainfall along with a lack of wind to keep the air cool. This is also known as hurricane season, however historically Martinique has not suffered great damage from them. During this time, the island is most likely to suffer a strong storm in September.

Small Fishing Boat Amongst Clear Shallow Water Off the Coast of Martinique :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Isn’t That Water Absolutely Magnificent?

What’s the Weather Like?

However, the “seasons” are loose rules as climate change has become a huge factor in the weather’s volatility. While its location in the Caribbean Sea makes it ideal for consistently warm weather, the 1,397 metres of elevation at its tallest point, Montagne Pelée, can make weather patterns a little unpredictable. These days, it’s not surprising to have a short rainshower amid the dry season so keep an eye on the weather and have a rain jacket or umbrella close by if there’s a chance of storms.

Your location on the island can have an impact on the forecast as well. The northern part of the island is largely covered by gorgeous rainforest, meaning it will be more humid. Its volcanic terrain adds to this and as such, there is a higher chance of precipitation in the area. As for the southern part of the island, it’s much flatter which lends to more sun and hotter temperatures.

SOMETHING TO NOTE: There’s an interesting phenomenon in Martinique as sands from the Sahara Desert are blown across the Atlantic Ocean. While it’s rich in iron and helps important organisms like phytoplankton in the Caribbean, this can affect temperature, visibility and air quality. 

Overall, you should expect the air to have a high humidity (especially compared to Canada) so be prepared to sweat at least for the first few days as you get acclimatized. The existence of sand in the air can also affect the air quality making temperatures warmer and less pleasant for those sensitive to it.

Views Over Fort de France and the Harbour from Fort Saint Louis :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Views Over Fort de France and the Harbour from Fort Saint Louis

How About the Tourists?

As you can surmise, the winter months mark the peak tourism season for Martinique. Coinciding with the dry season, the months of December, January, February, March and April are the busiest for visitors to the island. Holidays such as Christmas and the New Year as well as Carnival make late December, early January and February the busiest times for tourism. 

However, May can also be a busy month for Martinique. This is more for local travel rather than international visitors as the island has two large celebrations. The first occurs on May 8th with the commemoration of Mount Pelée’s eruption in 1902. May 22nd marks the latter with the Abolition de l’Esclavage, honouring the abolition of slavery across Martinique.

Overall when travelling across the island, Fort-de-France is where you’ll have the highest chance of running into crowds. This is mainly because of cruise traffic and it being the largest city as well as the capital. Chances are if you venture to other towns around Martinique, you won’t have many issues with big crowds.

Aerial Views of Martinique's Shoreline with an Air Canada Plane Wing Above It Amongst Some Clouds and Blue Sky :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Flight Times Might Help You Decide When to Go to Martinique

How Easy is It to Travel to Martinique?

For Quebecers, travel to Martinique is a breeze. There are direct flights 4 times a week from Montreal to Fort-de-France all year long. Frequency increases as we head into peak travel season, beginning in November and ending in April. Both Air Canada and Air Transat fly from Montreal to Fort-de-France and you can find deals below $600!

If you’re located in the rest of Canada, you’ll have a connection via Montreal. However, Air Canada operates direct flights from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Fort-de-France from December until April. Geared towards cruise travel, they only operate on Saturdays. However, it does make a round trip visit easier if you can fly directly one way… or stay a full week and enjoy the ease of direct flights!

One thing you should note is that, as you may have guessed, Martinique is a French speaking country. Yes, the direct flights from Montreal make sense now, right? If you don’t know a lick of French, not to worry as there is some English spoken on the island. However, I would recommend downloading Google Translate to help you navigate your visit.

Lindz Walking Along Le Diamant Beach at Sunrise :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Martinique’s Beaches Are Pure Magic

So, When’s the Best Time to Travel to Martinique?

It’s possible to find some decent deals to venture to tropical destinations during hurricane season, chances are you don’t want to risk being rained out on your vacation. Travelling during the dry season is recommended and you’ll be treated to some of the best weather.

While February and March tend to have the lowest amount of rainfall on average, this is also in the heart of peak tourism season. Cruise traffic is at a high as many travellers are looking to escape the winter weather in Canada, the United States and France. Martinique’s Carnival festival is typically held around this time as well, drawing large crowds to much of the island, especially Fort-de-France. Of course, if you’re looking to experience Carnival, plan your visit for this time! But if you’re hoping to dodge the crowds, it’s best to visit later in the year.

Considering all of the above factors, the best time to travel to Martinique is between the end of April and the beginning of May. I visited at the end of April and it was perfect. While I found the heat to be a little toasty myself, I am a winter baby and as such, tend to melt a little in tropical temperatures. Despite this, the weather was a magical 28°-29° every day and dropped by about 6°-7° at night. During my five-day visit, we had about 10 minutes of rain and otherwise were treated to beautifully sunny skies and that iconic refreshing breeze courtesy of the trade winds.

9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Martinique

Now that you know the best time to visit, let’s address the bigger question – is Martinique worth visiting? The answer: absolutely, and here are 10 reasons why you should visit this gorgeous island besides the incredible weather.

The Beaches in Martinique – To say Martinique’s beaches are stunning is an understatement. What you may not realize is that Martinique not only has white sand beaches but also black sand beaches as well. Move over Iceland, you have some competition! I absolutely adored Le Diamant. the second-largest beach in Martinique and one of the most popular. It’s not only incredible for sunrise and sunset but also has magnificent views of the Rocher du Diamant or Diamond Rock, receiving its name because of the way its salt-encrusted surface sparkled in the sun. 

Martinique’s Rich History – The island is rich in history and like many colonized entities, a turbulent one. There’s no better place to learn about the last 400 years than La Savane des Esclaves. Founded by Martinican Gilbert Larose, his life’s work is to illustrate the history of the island through this outdoor museum. He details life before, during and after slavery on the island to not only honour his ancestors but ensure the knowledge and traditions are remembered for generations to come.

The Adorable Small Towns – Martinique may not be the biggest island but there’s no shortage of adorable towns scattered across it! One such place is Les Trois-Îlets as this quaint seaside spot is bursting with fantastic restaurants and local shops. It features a wonderful promenade where you can admire the variety of boats in the marina, relax seaside along Point du Bout beach, and take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Plage de l’Anse Mitan.

Martinique’s Stunning Colours – With the nickname Island of Flowers, it will come as no surprise that Martinique is bursting with colour in many shapes and forms. The most poignant is the incredible flora and fauna you’ll find across the island, and there’s no better spot to admire this than the Jardin de Balata. It has over 7 acres of breathtaking gardens crafted by horticulturist, landscape designer and poet, Jean-Philippe Thoze. For over 50 years, this heavenly escape has charmed locals and visitors alike with its stunning flowers, lush forests and towering trees. The Jardin de Balata should be a stop on every Martinique itinerary! Purchase your tickets online in advance here.

The Incredible Restaurants in Martinique – If you struggle to eat well on the island, then you’re not travelling right because Martinique is bursting with incredible flavours. Galanga Fish Bar is not to be missed as this alfresco eatery serves Michelin-level plates paired with unparalleled service. Their fish dishes are not to be missed as they highlight local spices to amplify their unique flavours. Lili au Lagon is another amazing restaurant with incredible seaside views. Enjoy Caribbean cuisine with a hint of French terroir and a dash of international inspiration. 

Martinique’s Award-Winning Rum – Home to over 15 distilleries, Martinican rum is unique in that it is made with fresh-pressed sugarcane. You won’t find any molasses in these spirits! Braud & Quennesson is the island’s newest distillery but it’s already gaining recognition as its Rhum Blanc 50° won gold at the 2023 Concours General Agricole in Paris. Another is the incredible Habitation Clément where distillery meets contemporary art. One of the older distilleries on the island, they have been crafting rum from historic sugar cane fields dating back to 1887. I highly recommend buying your ticket in advance which you can do online here.

The Island’s Unique Experiences – Every destination in the world is unique, that’s why we love to travel, right? This island is no different and these two activities are easily the most unique things to do in Martinique and will make your visit a memorable one. The first is to explore the tropical waters and gorgeous mangroves via clear kayaks, allowing you a glimpse at the world below the surface. Book your excursion online here. The other you can only do if you’re staying at Club Med Les Boucaniers and that’s the traditional yole. Requiring agility and coordination, this is an experience like no other and one you have to take if given the opportunity.

FUN FACT: The yole is protected as an intangible cultural heritage practice by UNESCO for its significance in preserving the history of the region and the importance of traditional boats to the island. Read more about what the yole is and its designation here.

To Rest & Recharge – There’s no shortage of ways to enjoy some R&R on the island but the easiest is with some fantastic accommodation. If you’re wondering where to stay in Martinique, these two hotels come to mind. Hotel La Pagerie is located in Les Trois-Îlets and features spacious rooms, a gorgeous pool in the heart of the complex, and an amazing restaurant, all adorned in tropical beach chic. Another is Hotel Diamant les Bains with its stellar beachfront location and gorgeous villas. Each room has an adorable outdoor patio complete with a kitchenette!

Martinique’s Impeccable Hospitality – While the beauty of the island will certainly carve a place into your heart, the people are what will solidify another visit. You will constantly be met with smiles and laughter, even with a language barrier. Speaking the tiniest amounts of French (bonjour, merci beaucoup, s’il vous plaît, etc) and a positive attitude goes a long way. Honestly though, it’s hard not to be in good spirits when you’re met with the Martinican enthusiasm. There’s a reason why approximately 50% of first-time visitors return to the island and my bet is a lot of it has to do with the island’s kind and generous people.

Lindz Walking Along Beach in Black Tanktop and Black and Purple Ankle Length Skirt With a Palm Tree Leaning Right Above Her with the Turquoise Waters and Mountainous Terrain of Martinique in the Background :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

I Already Can’t Wait To Visit Martinique Again!

In Summary…

Let’s have a quick recap, shall we? If you’ve reached this far, you know that Martinique is worth visiting for a multitude of reasons. From the beautiful beaches to the delicious eats and the amazing experiences in between, this island is special. So, let’s summarize everything so you know when the best time to travel to Martinique is and how to make the most of your visit. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to drop them in a comment below and I’ll do my best to reply in a timely manner!

When is the Best Time to Visit Martinique?

April and May are the best months to visit Martinique. The weather is fantastic as you dodge hurricane season and it’s after the rush of tropical visitors who are looking to avoid winter. 

What’s it Like Travelling to Martinique?

At least 4 direct flights a week from Montreal to Fort-de-France make travelling a breeze. However, Ontarians can enjoy direct flights from December until April with the next season beginning December 14, 2024 and ending April 19, 2025.

How Long Should I Visit Martinique?

While the island isn’t the largest, there is plenty to see and do. I highly recommend spending at least 5 days, though you can fill a week easily. If you can stay longer, that’s ideal!

What Stops Do You Recommend For My Martinique Itinerary?

As you’ve seen, there is no shortage of incredible things to do in Martinique. To get you started however, I highly recommend the following experiences:

  • Carve out some time to relax on the beach like Plage du Diamant, especially a black sand one if your travel plans permit
  • Learn about the last 400 years in Martinique at La Savane des Esclaves, the island’s incredible open-air museum
  • Wander aimlessly along the streets and alleys of the island’s small towns like Les Trois-Îlets
  • See why Martinique gets the nickname Island of Flowers at the incredibly stunning Jardin de Balata
  • Sip on the island’s prized rum at one of the distilleries like Braud & Quennesson, the newest one to open in Martinique
  • Learn about the history of rum making at the most sought out destination on the island, Habitation Clément
  • Enjoy one of my favourite water sports and get a glimpse of what lies beneath on a transparent kayak tour 
  • If afforded the opportunity, try your hand at experiencing the Martinican tradition of the yole
What Hotels in Martinique Do You Recommend Staying At?

There are a number of fantastic options for accommodations in Martinique. While bed and breakfast style accommodation tends to be the most popular, I highly recommend these hotels I stayed at in Martinique. The first is Hotel La Pagerie in Les Trois-Îlets as I absolutely loved its tropical vibes, plein air common areas and gorgeous murals throughout the property. Second is Hotel Diamant les Bains for its beachfront location and incredible eats at the on-site restaurant.

Lastly, if you want to be absolutely spoiled, head to Martinique’s only all-inclusive resort, Club Med Les Boucaniers. Compared to my other all-inclusive stays in Cuba and the Bahamas, I was blown away by what they had to offer. Not only was the food absolutely spectacular (I’ve never seen so much variety), the cocktails were top-notch. The resort also offers several activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving without an additional fee! This is also where you can try your hand at Martinique’s unique sport, the traditional yole.

While Martinique Tourisme hosted me during my stay facilitated by Jesson + Company, all of the content and opinions outlined here are, as always, honest and speak to my personal experience.

Never Forget the Best Time to Go to Martinique & Pin It For Later!

Share Your Thoughts