Alyssa Writes

The Best Beaches in Martinique that aren’t Les Salines

Me on my birthday in 2013 at a beach in Sainte-Anne!

I’m going back to Martinique!

For those of you who don’t know, I taught English in Martinique for 14 months over two years. It was a time filled with challenges (relationship and work-related), learning, growth, fun, and a place where I was probably my healthiest (read: I had a bangin’ bod and a fabulous tan). I’ll be headed back to this place in February on my birthday, thanks to an extremely cheap flight ($179 return — hello!!) and I’m more excited than you can imagine.

For nine days I hope to spend some time surfing, visiting friends, and just reliving some of my fondest memories on a beach holiday during reading week from my master’s (maybe I have some conservative leanings after all?). If you’ve heard anything about Martinique, it probably had something to do with its beaches. I’ve written before that I prefer rivers, but there certainly is a fair share of lovely beaches in Martinique – and they aren’t called Les Salines.

Pointe Faula, Le Vauclin

Pointe Faula, Martinique

Pointe Faula is on the south Atlantic coast of Martinique. Despite being popular among kite- and wind-surfers, there is a calm, shallow area perfect for children and folks who don’t know how to swim. It still has the quintessential palm tree-lined beach, but with an exciting view.

Anse Grosse Roche, Le Marin

The heart of Anse Grosse Roche

Anse Grosse Roche is famous for the rock formation at the end of the beach with a little heart in it. The place isn’t easy to get to – it’s about a 20-minute walk from Grand Macabou (which is also an off-road drive) – but you’ll feel like you’ve gotten away from it all among the huge coconut trees and turquoise water.

La Baie du Trésors, La Trinité

La Baie du Tresors, La Trinite

It took a few trips on the Caravelle hike to finally find this place – and I’ll tell you it’s worth it! It’s on the Atlantic coast of Martinique but benefits from being tucked away in a cove, so it’s unusually calm. The sea glitters when the sun hits it, and the sand is grey and surrounded by mangroves. It comes near the end of a two- to three-hour hike, which makes it an excellent reward.

Anse Noire & Anse Dufour, Les Anses-d’Arlet

Anse Noire (left) & Anse Dufour (right), Martinique

As a result of a volcanic eruption in the early 20th century, Martinique has black sand beaches that are characteristic of the north of the island. The reason I chose these two locations is because you have adjacent white sand and black sand beaches – which I’m certain is a rare occurrence.

Anse Céron, Le Precheur

Anse Ceron, Le Precheur

If you like black sand beaches, this is the one for you. The secluded beach is at the edge of the island’s tropical jungle, so getting out here feels rewarding after a few kilometres of hiking. Since it’s a bit more off the tourist trail, you’ll find this place is wild and romantic and a far more pleasant place to spend a day.

A note of safety: Be careful when swimming in the north of the island – huge riptides and currents that can suck you out to Dominica if you’re not careful. Also, pack a pair of flip flops because black sand gets extremely hot in the Caribbean sun.

Photos courtesy of Rael Moine, Bagolina, Gael Chardon, nora_a, jessieflash2vie via Flickr — CC-licensed at time of publication.