Martinique Water and Land Sports

Windsurfers, water sports, Martinique, French West Indies, French Caribbean International
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Water sports options in Martinique’s clear, turquoise waters provide a wide range of choices for the sports-minded traveler.

For Martinique swimming and snorkeling, it’s always best to check locally for the best places to go as you explore various areas of the island. Technicolor fish and coral abound in the waters near Pointe-du-Bout and Anse Mitan. The small bays around Anses d'Arlets and Sainte-Anne can provide excellent snorkeling. Some hotels have glass bottom boats for snorkeling trips and most have fins and masks available for rent.

Martinique water skiing and jet skis are available through many of the beachfront hotels in Pointe-du-Bout as well as in Carbet and Ste. Anne. Many beachfront hotels in Martinique have windsurfing equipment for use by guests and some offer lessons. Rental is generally by the hour. Away from the hotels, there are countless windsurfing havens. Among the best spots is Cap Michel, near Cap Chevalier in the south. Canoeing and kayaking opportunities can be found in the Bellefontaine and Lamentin areas.

Scuba divers in Martinique can avail themselves of fascinating dive sites, ideal water temperatures, abundant marine life and interesting shipwrecks. Fine facilities with licensed instructors are available at several locations in the Pointe-du-Bout marina, at Anse Mitan, at Anse d’Arlet and near Fort-de-France. On the south coast, there is a scuba operation at Pointe Chéry near Diamant. Memorable Martinique dive spots include Ilet la Perle and the shipwrecks off St. Pierre in the north (where it’s also possible to view the wrecks on a small sub). Sites in the south include Anses d'Arlets, Cap Salomon, Sainte Anne and the legendary Diamond Rock (le Diamant).

Golf is available on a scenic 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Sr. course set on the bay in Trois Islets. Tennis can be played at many hotels as well as at private clubs that often welcome guests as temporary members. Squash is becoming increasingly popular and is available at several locations. Biking, either independently or in cooperation with local cycling clubs or companies can be arranged, sometimes with a guide and meal included in the fee.

Hiking is one of the best organized sports in Martinique. The spectacular topography provides a wealth of possibilities. Challenges (and opportunities) include the tropical forest, a world-famous volcano, mountain peaks (pitons), rocky hills (mornes) and long stretches of virgin beach.

Parc Naturel Régional and the Office National des Forêts, along with a hiking organization, le Club des Randonneurs, have developed a network of more than 30 trails, all well-marked and maintained, designed for hikers to enjoy on their own. They are described in two excellent guidebooks published in French: 31 Sentiers Balisés, and Belles Balades de la Martinique. Inexpensive hikes are conducted for the local citizenry year round by Parc Naturel guides, but visitors are welcome to participate. Commentary is in French.

Among serious Martinique hiking tours is a two-hour climb, with guide, up Mont Pelée volcano through thick foliage and overgrown trails. Less difficult, but still requiring skill, is the trek through a dense coastal rain forest between Grand' Rivière and Le Prêcheur. Fairly easy hikes originate at Les Ombrages and at Ajoupa-Bouillon.

The Caravelle Peninsula (
Presqu'Ile de la Caravelle), a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic near the town of Trinité, has safe beaches, a nature preserve, and well-marked paths to historic Château Dubuc's ruins.

Horseback riding in Martinique offers many equestrian itineraries, some along scenic beach routes, others through tropical hillsides. Both excursions and riding lessons are available in various locations throughout the island.

In addition to horseback riding, those wishing to explore some of the island other than by car or on their own two feet will find Martinique Segway tours available in towns, at beaches, or even in cane fields. Tours on ATV or all-terrain vehicles, some including paintball battles, are offered, as are Tandem ATVs for two persons, with visits to forests, pineapple fields and sugar cane plantations, some with distillery visits on the route.

Martinique fitness centers are located throughout the island, many offering daily or weekly rates for visitors. Day spas in Martinique operate independently or are located at some of the island's larger hotels.

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