Fort-de-France, Martinique's capital, has undergone immense change in the past decade. Beginning the 21st century as an economically backward, dilapidated kind of place, the city has very successfully reinvented itself as a cruise-ship destination, with the construction of two impressive new terminals.
Northern Martinique is the side of the island that few travelers see. Rugged, windswept and mountainous, it contains much of the island's most impressive scenery and best hiking opportunities, including its trump card, massive Mont Pelée, the semi-active volcano that has profoundly shaped both Martinique's geology and history.
Packed full of Caribbean charm, St-Pierre is undoubtedly one of Martinique's loveliest towns, with a tranquil azure bay backed by steamy rainforest on the mountainside behind it. Full of colonial-era buildings, St-Pierre also boasts an attractive dark-gray sand beach and the perfect location for superb sunsets.
Presqu’île de Caravelle
The wonderful Presqu'île de Caravelle is a little-visited peninsula with some gorgeous stretches of beach and a wild, untamed feel. A gently twisting road with spectacular views runs through sugarcane fields to the charming main village of Tartane, and then on to Baie du Galion.
Directly across the bay from Fort-de-France is the commune of Trois-Îlets, which includes several distinct towns and villages. First of all, there's Trois-Îlets itself, a historic town that retains quite a bit of charm and is well known as the birthplace of Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, later Empress Josephine of France through her marriage to Napoléon Bonaparte.
Le Diamant, both a town and a commune, is one of the most scenic destinations in southern Martinique, although there's no real center here as things are scattered along about 2km of sandy, wave-tossed shore and in the hills immediately behind. For visitors, this seaside town is a good base to explore the western horn of the island.
Nestled away at Martinique's most northern point, Grand-Rivière is an isolated and unspoiled fishing village full of 19th-century buildings with a gorgeous position beneath coastal cliffs covered in jungle. Mont Pelée forms a rugged backdrop to the south, while there’s a fine view of neighboring Dominica to the north and black-sand beaches on either side.