The South Island of New Zealand is without a doubt…
Exploring Caribbean Island Paradise Martinique with Club Med
Close your eyes and picture the typical postcard image you have of the Caribbean. White sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water framed with palm trees. Got that? Great! This is exact what Club Med Les Boucaniers looks like.
Club Med promises their guests a premium all inclusive experience where everything is taken care off for you. Delicious gourmet food, a wide selection of drinks and all activities on land and water are included.
As the founder of Club Med Gérard Blitz perfectly described the concept „The goal in life is to be happy; the time to be happy is now; and the place to be happy is here!“. Once you arrive at the resort it is all smiles and laughters. The biggest concern you might have at Club Med is which activity to try first or how to manage to try all those yummy dishes from the buffet (I tell you I would have loved to eat a second or third desert but unfortunately didn’t manage).
Club Med certainly is not only a resort chain, but also a feeling. Guests who will visit Club Med once, will return again and again. So many guests around the resort wear their Club Med T-Shirts from different resorts all over the world with pride and I met numerous people who returned to the same Club multiple years in a row, simply because they loved it so much.
Martinique is the perfect holiday destination for everybody. It is situated in the French Antilles and actually is French. As an oversea department of France you actually have the same benefits as traveling within Europe. If you are European you simply need your ID card to travel to Martinique, no passport needed plus the currency is Euros and your phone plan will work as back home.
All great benefits that make traveling so much easier plus you will be spoiled by great weather that is never below 25 degrees and amazing views of palm trees and white beaches. A direct flight from Frankfurt to Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, will take you in 9 hours to paradise. Condor flies directly from Germany to Martinique once a week. If you book a flight with them I can recommend you the Premium Economy which is great value for money. It includes 25 kg of luggage, priority access, free entertainment, an amenity kit, a premium meal and all alcoholic drinks that you usually have to pay for in Economy at Condor are included as well.
Martinique is surprisingly green and known as a flower island. It is lush and when driving over the island, you see the most amazing plants on the side of the streets. Mangos, coconuts, passion fruit, bananas and avocados grow just in reach of your hands.
The island itself has a lot to offer. It is of course perfect for beach bums like me with white and black sand beaches, picture perfect lagoons and little islands dotted around the coastline, but also offers more than enough for the sports enthusiasts and culture lovers.
Here are my recommendations what to do on Martinique:
Scenic flight in a small Cessna above Martinique
A flight over the island in a small one propeller plane that fits exactly four people and that is including the pilot already was one of my personal highlights in Martinique- or if I am honest of all times actually. I love aviation and flying due to my job as a flight attendant. From up in the air you will be able to get a perfect bird’s eye view of Martinique and all the little islands around it. As we arrived at night it was fantastic to finally get an idea of Martinique-the size, the landscape and its beautiful coastline. The flight takes around half an hour and offers a variety of different scenery from beaches and beautiful coral reefs to mountainous area. If you are with two people this will set you back 99€ per person for the scenic flight. When standing in front of the plane you can’t even believe that this tiny little plane can fly- but it can. Our skilled pilot explained us a lot offer Martinique and pointed out the must sees during the flight. I also loved to see Club Med Les Boucaniers from above with its stunning reef and the long pier that reaches far into the ocean.
Boat tour to spot the dolphins
We departed early in the morning to go on a boat tour from where we would be able to spot the island. Our boat captain and tour guide Markus set us up with fresh Pain au Chocolat and something to drink before we drove off out onto the ocean. A few other tour boats were already out that morning. I have only been lucky one time to be able to see dolphins up close in their natural environment and that was in the Maldives. Despite numerous visits to the Caribbean I have never done a dolphin tour there and was very excited for the day. Markus switched off the engine and told us to be quit as he had the feeling that we were close to the dolphins. We were all sitting at the front of the boat, looking offer the deck full of excitement. Suddenly there was a movement and not one, but three dolphins came swimming past our boat. I was so excited. Numerous dolphins started swimming past us and even jumping above the surface. Seeing those beautiful creatures up close was so impressive and moving and once again made me realize that we still have to go a long way to protect our oceans and the incredible species that live in there. The tour boars are only allowed to stay around 30 minutes to not distress the animals so we headed back soon. We got incredibly lucky that day to see that many dolphins. After that experience we spend the rest of the morning on the boat drinking rum punch and taking a swim in different bays.
Go on a snorkeling excursion
The underwater world fascinates me. I do have a diving license, but actually prefer snorkeling. Whenever I get the chance to go on a snorkeling excursions I go for it. Especially in the tropics it is such an amazing experience to see all the colorful corals and different varieties of fishes from up close. On Martinique are quite a few spots where you can see turtles which are such fascinating animals. One actually swam on the surface just next to where we were snorkeling and it was the best thing ever. There are plenty of tour operators that organize day trips on Martinique to several snorkeling sites.
Visit to a rum distillery and rum tasting
Martinique is famous for their rum and if you can believe the people of the island it is in fact the best rum in the world. So if you like rum you should definitely plan a visit to one of the distilleries on Martinique. On a tour you will be able to see the different steps what it takes to make the rum and afterwards you will be able to join a little tasting session and try the different varieties of rum and of course take some rum home after as souvenir.
Day trip to Illet Chancel
Illet Chancel is a private island that is owned by the same family since 400 years. The owner of 70 years personally picked us up on a float and took us from the mainland to his island paradise. There we climbed on the back of a jeep. He drove us around the island to show us beautiful hidden spots and stunning view points. It certainly was an adventure to drive off road across the island. We stopped at a particular nice place with a beautiful view to enjoy an apéritif before lunch. A rum cocktail called „Ti Punch“ which is rum, syrup and lemon juice mixed together and along with that served with some homemade pastry. The owner lives on the island since over thirty years on a small farm with over 100 sheep and goats, two horses and six dogs that he rescued from the street. We enjoyed some delicious lunch in the garden and afterwards played with his dogs for hours. It was a really special day out and his tour really felt very personal and different. If you want to sleep on a private island he also rents out a cute, little bedroom which I think is perfect for couples.
Stroll through Fort-de-France
If you have time why not go on a stroll through the colorful capital of Martinique, Fort-de-France. You will be able to visit an historic fort, stroll through shops and enjoy some nice food in one of the many restaurants. If you are looking for nightlife this is the place to party on the island.
Martinique is really lush and green and the Northern part of the island is basically tropical jungle. So it is no surprise that you will be able to go chasing waterfalls. One of the biggest and nicest waterfalls called Didier Waterfall is close to Fort-de-France and can be reached after an hike of roundabout one hour.
Discover the stunning nature of Martinique
To my surprise Martinique is very, very green and the perfect place for plant lovers and hobby biologists. One of the most popular sights on the island is the botanical garden “Jardin de Balata“. Here you will find a large variety of different plants and flowers. A really cool thing to do there is the treetop walk.
If you are into hiking Martinique is your place to be. A challenging but great hike is for example up the still active volcano with the name “Montagne Pelée“.
Another nice activity is to do canyoneering where you basically walk through rivers, jump or abseil from waterfalls. I haven’t had the chance to try it in Martinique, but it was one of my favorite activities to do on the neighboring island Guadeloupe.
Visit the black sand beaches around Saint-Pierre
As Martinique is an volcanic island you will be able to not only enjoy perfectly white sand-beaches that are typical for the Caribbean, but you will also find black sand beaches and a more rough coastline up in the North which gives a nice contrast. Saint-Pierre which used to be the former capital of Martinique until it got destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1930 is situated next to one of the sand beaches and since it has been rebuilt is more of a quiet town, that is certainly worth a visit as well.
Tour to the Diamond Rock
The diamond rock stands tall and strong right in the ocean not far from the shores of Martinique. I first spotted it on our scenic flight above the island. Join an organized tour to see this stunning natural sight from up close, go snorkeling or to simply enjoy the beach there.
About Club Med Les Boucaniers
Club Med, as previously mentioned before, has a number of premium all inclusive resort in the most stunning locations. They carefully select the location for their resorts since they want to offer their guests a feeling of secludedness and privacy.
Club Med Les Boucaniers is among their nicest resorts in the Caribbean. Situated in a stunning bay of Sainte-Anne, Club Med Les Boucaniers is the only resort around. The beach is also known to be among one of the best one on Martinique. Here you will find everything that you came to the Caribbean for. Stunning sand beaches, palm trees and crystal clear ocean. One of the highlights of the resort is the long pier that goes into the ocean. It is not only the perfect photo spot, but also keeps you wondering whether you are in the Caribbean or perhaps even in the Maldives.
Club Med Les Boucaniers, like all Club Med resorts, offers their guests a large variety of activities and sport facilities on water and land. Water sports include wind surfing, kayaking, stand up paddling, wake boarding and water ski, snorkeling, aqua fitness plus they have a large pool were you could go swimming if you prefer the pool over the ocean.
On land you could either work out in the indoor or outdoor gym, play tennis or join one of the many fitness classes. The great thing about this is that everything is free- so if you are keen in trying out a new sport this is possible here. Even the tennis lessons are included for all levels and throughout the week they hold different sport competitions and tournaments.
Apart from all the sport that is happening at Club Med Les Boucaniers, they also arrange great events and parties with different themes throughout the week. If you want to stay up to date what is happening, I can definitely recommend you to download the Club Med app where you can see the daily schedule of activities and events.
I loved the fact that the guests of the resort actually all followed the suggested dress code for the theme parties such as the Neon or White Party that is held on the beach in a beautiful set up. Also the shows after dinner are something not to miss.
Now to my favorite activity when on holiday: Eating. Foodies certainly won’t be disappointed by the cuisine here at Club Med Les Boucaniers. Guests either have the option to eat at the main restaurant „The Pays Mélés” which is buffet style and offers a great mix of local cuisine and other delicacies. Even though it is buffet, they have numerous cooking stations where dishes are getting freshly prepared for the guest. The choice is immense and even if you have certain diet requirements such as gluten intolerance or you happen to be vegetarian or vegan you will be able to find plenty of delicious and fresh options. I certainly was struggling to try out all the different dishes, the choice was large and everything looked mouth-watering. Especially the pastries and the deserts were incredible, the French certainly know how to prepare that.
If you are looking for a smaller and more intimate setting you can also eat à la carte at the beautiful designed beach club L’Ô. Here you can get food all day long, however the choices are a bit limited and I would have loved if they varied the dishes that you can order from the menu a bit more throughout the week. The beach club is also the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and the sunset in the evening. Later at night for certain theme parties they turn this area into an outdoor beach club.
One think that is remarkable about Club Med and deserves special mentioning are the amazing staff members called „G.O“ – gentille officeurs. They are a great team of young and motivated people from all over the world. The concept of Club Med is that they want staff to mingle with guests, so it is a common sight for staff and guest to eat together on the big communal tables in the restaurant or simply get asked a friendly question about how your day is going when on the way to the pool or beach.
The rooms of Club Med Les Boucaniers are held in a Créole Style, mixing color with dark wood. It does make the room a bit dark to be honest and I think they do need a small touch up and need to be a bit modernized- but that really is a minor issue since you are spending most of your time outdoors anyway. We stayed in a superior room with beach view that really had all the comforts you would be looking for in a hotel room. I loved to start the morning with a coffee and the view of the palm trees on the balcony of the room.
Whether you want to have a relaxed all-inclusive holiday or you love sports and want to do some excursions as well, Club Med Les Boucaniers is the perfect place for your vacation on this Caribbean island paradise called Martinique.
Disclaimer: I was invited on an unpaid press trip to Martinique by Club Med, however my opinion remains, as always, my own.