Best Time to Visit Martinique

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Updated: November 9, 2020

When is the Best Time to Visit Martinique?

The best time to visit Martinique is from April to May. These months avoid the wet season which begins in June and the peak season of December-March. The temperature is warm with little rain, and deals can be found for hotels, air travel, and local amenities.

  • Best Time for Good Weather: February to May
  • Best Time for Sightseeing: February to May
  • Best Time for Honeymoon: March to May
  • Best Time for Saving Money: May to November
  • Best Time for Families: May to June
  • Best Time for Partying: February
  • Best Time to Visit Martinique: A combination of low rainfall, decent temperatures, fewer crowds, and better deals make April to May the best time to visit Martinique. Spring is the slowest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals and fewer tourists. April and May are good months to travel despite rising humidity due to the low-season prices and the end of high season crowds, and more hotels are open for business than in the stormy summer, often at discounted rates. Visiting during these months also ensures the worst of the storms that generally begin in June, as well as the marked-up prices of the peak season, are avoided.
  • Best Time to Book Hotels in Martinique: For the best deals, start looking for a vacation package 3-4 months before the projected travel dates. To experience a Martinique Carnival, begin looking for a hotel up to 4-5 months ahead of time.
  • Best Time to Visit for Good Weather: Martinique is situated in the heart of the Caribbean’s Eastern group of islands and has a hot, humid, and tropical climate year-round. There are 2 distinct seasons in Martinique, dry and wet. The months for the best weather are between February and May when the least amount of rain is expected and the average low temperature is 22-23°C, while the average high is 27.5-30°C.
  • Best Time for Saving Money: May to November is a very affordable time to travel as it is the low season. Crowds will be almost non-existent and some hotels will be shut. During this time, some hotel rates are reduced by 60%. Airfares are also more affordable and some really great traveling packages can be found. Apart from the great deals, since the island rarely experiences extremely bad weather, there is still a chance to enjoy some outdoor activities.
  • Best time to Party: February is the best time to visit Martinique if looking for parties and the deep cultural experience of Vaval. Martinique’s Carnival is the most popular event on the island and takes place annually in the early part of February. It is a 4-day festival with plenty of music, masquerades, and parades. In 2011, National Geographic labeled this as one of the top 10 carnival celebrations.

Martinique Travel Seasons

  • High Season (December to mid-April): December to April is the dry season in Martinique, making it the busiest season with the biggest crowds of tourists and peak hotel prices. Also, many of the most popular festivals on the island take place during the high season, most notably Vaval or Carnival, which takes place in February. Hotels and restaurants are generally running at their maximum efficiency and are fully staffed to provide the best service. Extra amenities such as classes, tours and activities, events, and attractions may only be available to travelers during the busy high season when hotels are sure of high demand. Keep in mind that nearly all of the island’s services geared toward tourists will be booked far in advance. Hotels, especially the more glamorous all-inclusive ones, should be booked at least 4-5 months in advance. Making reservations for recreational activities and dinner to ensure availability is also highly recommended.
  • Shoulder Season (May to June, late-November): June is the beginning of the rainy season and November is the tail end, making both months shoulder seasons for travel. May is also part of the shoulder season as there are fewer crowds once Spring Break wraps up, better deals can be found, and the weather remains pleasant, with only a slight rise in humidity and heat in comparison to the earlier spring months. Hotels that stay open during these months don’t lower their room rates by much, but good prices can still be found 3-4 months in advance.
  • Low Season (July to mid-November): July to mid-November is the height of the wet, hot, and rainy season in Martinique when the island can be hit by tropical cyclones. In general, the rains are more intense in the northern part of Martinique while they are considerably lesser in the more popular southern portion of the island. Despite the slightly lower amount of precipitation in the south where the majority of tourist destinations, resorts, and hotels are located, the entire island sees reduced hours and services of restaurants and hotels. Airline fares and hotel rates during this time can be reduced by up to 50% due to the increased rainfall and tropical weather systems in the Atlantic. Reservations, for the services that remain open, can be easier to secure with less advance notice. Many hotels, restaurants, and services will reduce operations and operating hours during these off-season months. Some hotels and restaurants will even close for weeks or months at a time as a result of the decreased demand. For the hotels that remain open, the off-season is a popular time to carry out renovations and construction of hotel facilities, so make sure to speak with hotel representatives before booking. If traveling to Martinique during this time, stay updated on the weather before and during the trip.

Martinique Weather by Month

    Martinique climate is typical of the region and can be described as humid and tropical. This means year-round warm temperatures with only minor fluctuations and comparatively high humidity. The weather is moderated by cool trade winds coming from the northeast. Even on hot days, the regular Alizés breeze from the northeast provides a slight cooling so that the temperatures are never perceived as stiflingly hot. Martinique is very mountainous and is characterized in the north by the 1,397m-high volcano Montagne Pelée. There is an average drop of 5.5°C for every 305m of altitude increase. The southern coast, seeing an average of 1,000 mm of rain per year, is significantly drier than the north, which sees about 5,000 mm of rain. For this article, the average weather of the southern region of Martinique, specifically Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, is considered.

  • Martinique Weather in January: The average daily high in January is 27ºC, however, the northeast Alizés breeze in the evenings lowers the temperature to about 22ºC. There are about 17 days with rain in January, but it is still one of the driest months of the year with brief tropical showers that don’t last for long. There are around 8 hours of sunshine – providing plenty of time for the beach and excursions – but UV levels are very high, so don’t forget sunscreen. The sea is comfortably warm at 27ºC, so pack swimsuits. Also bring along summer clothing, some light layers, and a sweatshirt for the cooler evenings. Bringing along a waterproof bag to protect electronics and valuables is also recommended in case there is a quick tropical shower or a plan to go hiking in the mountains. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 105mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in February: February is the coldest month of the year in Martinique with an average daytime high of 26°C and a nighttime low of 21°C, but the dry season continues, making it one of the driest months of the year as well. Rainfall levels stay low in February in comparison to the rest of the year, with 12 days with rain which appear as quick downpours, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the 8 hours of sunshine, low humidity, and Vaval and all of its associated events. The sea is warm at 26ºC, making it perfect for swimming and water sports. Pack similar to January, remembering those light layers for the cool evenings and sunscreen for strong UV rays during the day. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 89mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in March: Temperatures begin to increase in March with an average daily high of 27°C and a daily low of 22°C. March is the sunniest month of the year with an average of 8.6 hours of sunshine per day. The sea remains warm at 26°C. March is also the driest month of the year with only 65mm of rain expected over 13 days, so the combination provides perfect conditions for long beach days, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Pack light tropics-friendly clothing, swimsuits, and sun protection, including sunscreen with SPF of 35 or higher as UV rays are strong. Remember to also pack some light layers and a sweatshirt for the evenings as the northeast breeze keeps things quite cool in the evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 65mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in April: April is a moderately hot spring month with a slight increase in the daily high, which hovers around 29°C. The daily low remains 22°C, so warm layers are not necessary. However, the northeast winds still blow in April, making some light layers necessary for the evenings. April is still a relatively dry month with 13 days of rain. The sea temperature also increases to 27°C, so pack swimsuits as well as light summer layers, open toe shoes, and sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 90mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in May: May is the beginning of the shoulder season in Martinique, so beaches will be much less crowded, and since it is the last month before the rainy season, the weather remains great. The average daily high remains at 29°C, but the northeast breeze tempers the heat and humidity and keeps things comfortable during the day, while the average daily low of 23°C provides a reprieve from the heat in the evenings. May sees an increase of rain with an average of 15 rainy days, but also sees an average of 8 hours of sunshine, leaving plenty of time to sightsee, spend time at the beach, and swim in the warm 28°C sea. Pack similar to April: light summer clothing, plenty of swimsuits, hat, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 130mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in June: June is the beginning of the hurricane and wet season in Martinique, with an average of 18 days with rain – although July to November are the peak stormy months. The rains in Martinique occur as downpours or thunderstorms, which can be intense but generally do not last long. It is important to note that sometimes there may be a more intense wave of bad weather, so staying up to date with the weather forecast before and during the trip is highly recommended. The average daytime high is 28°C and the nighttime low is 24°C. The sea temperature remains at 28°C and there are around 7 hours of sunshine each day. Pack a selection of swimwear along with light summer layers and some rain gear like a waterproof bag to protect valuables during those quick tropical downpours. Sun hat and sunscreen are also important as UV levels are extreme in June (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 180mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in July: July is the wettest month of the year with around 22 days of rain. The average daily high is 29°C, which drops to 24°C at night. Expect 8 hours of daily sunshine. The sea remains warm at 28°C, so make sure to pack swimsuits and sun protection along with light tropics-friendly clothing. Also, if visiting Martinique during the hurricane season, plan for the rain by checking the hurricane forecast before traveling. Also, bring along good rain gear, a waterproof bag, and a light rain jacket. Purchasing travel insurance to cover travel disruptions due to the weather is advisable. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 255mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in August: August is the warmest month on average in Martinique with a daytime high of 30°C and 81% humidity. The average nighttime low is 24°C. August is also one of the months when Martinique is the most vulnerable to being hit by tropical storms or cyclones and sees about 21 days with rain. Same as July, taking precautions for stormy weather is highly recommended if visiting Martinique during the hurricane season. Check the hurricane forecast before traveling and make sure to pack good rain gear, a waterproof bag, and a light rain jacket. Also, purchase travel insurance to cover travel disruptions as an extra precaution. Despite the rain, around 8 hours of sunshine can be expected along with balmy and warm sea temperatures of 28°C, so in addition to rain gear, definitely pack swimwear, sun protection, and light summer clothing. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 230mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in September: September is another month when Martinique is the most vulnerable to being hit by tropical storms or cyclones, also called hurricanes. September is the middle of the hurricane season and experiences some of the highest rainfall of the year with an average of 19 days with rain. The rain usually appears in short and heavy bursts, meaning there’s plenty of long, clear days with an average daily high of 30°C and low of 23°C. The sea is at its warmest at 29°C and with 7 hours of sunshine, there is plenty of time to enjoy the water and sunny beach days. Pack similar to August – light tropics-friendly clothing as well as rain gear like waterproof shoes and a waterproof bag, sandals, and sun protection. Purchasing travel insurance is a good extra precaution for September as well. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 255mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in October: October is the last month when Martinique is the most vulnerable to being hit by tropical storms, though there remains some risk up until November. Make sure to check the hurricane forecast before traveling and also purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Despite the average of 18 rainy days and chance of storms, around 7 hours of daily sunshine can still be enjoyed on clear days. The daily average high in October is 28°C, which drops to 23°C at night. UV levels remain extremely high, so make sure to pack plenty of sun protection, good rain gear, a waterproof bag, waterproof shoes, moisture-wicking clothing, and light summer clothing. The sea is wonderfully warm at 29°C, so pack swimsuits. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 225mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in November: November is the final month of hurricane season when the wet season begins to taper off. There is still quite a bit of rainfall – around 18 days – but the potential for major storms is gone for the most part. With 7 hours of sunshine, an average daily high of 28°C, and the sea remaining warm at 28°C, there are still plenty of opportunities for beautiful hot sunny days at the beach. The evenings show lows of 23°C and the humidity remains high, but with the Alizés breeze, the nights can feel cooler, so bring a light shawl or sweater. Pack light summer layers, swimsuits, open-toed shoes and sandals, and moisture-wicking clothing for the humidity, as well as sun protection along with light rain gear and a waterproof bag to protect valuables in case there is a sudden downpour. (Average Max Temperature: 30°C. Average Precipitation: 205mm.)
  • Martinique Weather in December: December is the beginning of the dry season and the humidity begins to lessen. There are still 17 days with rain but downpours are quick, and with an average high of 27°C and 8 hours of sunshine, things dry fairly quickly. Evenings begin to cool down with an average low of 22°C, so pack a few light layers since the nights can feel cooler with the Alizés breeze tempering the heat and humidity. The sea remains warm and perfect for swimming at 27°C, so make sure to also pack swimsuits. Bring tropics-friendly summer clothing, open-toed shoes and sandals, as well as sun protection as UV levels remain high. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 135mm.)

Martinique Holidays, Events, and Festivals

Martinique in January

  • New Year’s Day (Jan 1) – New Year’s Day is an official public holiday in Martinique and as such, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores will be closed. Some tourist shops and markets remain open. Families in Martinique have a traditional meal on New Year’s Day, and it is also tradition to eat an orange to ensure a fruitful year.
  • Epiphany (January 6) – A Christian holiday, commemorated usually on the first Sunday after New Year’s Day or on January 6. This is not a day off, but there are festivities amongst family or relatives where a dish called the French Kings’ cake is enjoyed with a glass of cider. Epiphany also marks the beginning of the Carnival groupes à pied (groups on foot) making their rounds as preparation for the festival, which begins with the election of Carnival Queens.

Martinique in February

  • Vaval (February 23-26) – Martinique’s Carnival is the most popular event on the island and dates back to the middle of the 18th century. This 4-day festival in the capital is the island country’s biggest bash with music, festivities, extravagant traditional costumes and masquerades, large parades, and the presentation of King Vaval – the King of the Carnival. Other characters to look out for during Carnival are the “Groups on Foot” – performers who walk the streets and perform to music in between main festivities, the Neg Gwo Siwo who represent mythical figures from colonial days and paint their bodies with sugar cane molasses, the clay men who act like real human statues with their bodies covered with clay, and the red devils who appear on Mardi Gras to scare spectators. Each day features a theme with costumes that showcase the different days making up Carnival. The first day of Carnival is the Saturday before Fat Sunday and features costume parties in the evening.
  • Fat Sunday (February 23) – Carnival begins officially on Fat Sunday in Martinique. On this day, the Queen of Carnival appears with street orchestras and groups on foot wearing costumes and performing choreographed dances. Fat Sunday is also the first appearance of bradjaks – old cars repainted in bright colors and decorated in slogans.
  • Shrove Monday / Fat Monday (February 24) – Fat Monday is the second day of Carnival and begins in the early morning with performers wearing costumes in the theme of pajamas and dancing in the streets to the tune of musicians and orchestras. Another feature of Fat Monday is a drag wedding where the bride is a man and the groom is a woman.
  • Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday (February 25) – Fat Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras and is the third day of the Martinique Carnival. The costume theme on Fat Tuesday is the Red Devil with performers wearing impressive bright red costumes made with mirrors, horned masks, and oxtails. The red devils rush into the crowds to frighten children and interact with the spectators.
  • Ash Wednesday (February 26) – Ash Wednesday is the final day of Carnival and performers and spectators bid farewell to King Vaval (the King of Carnival). All the orchestras perform on Ash Wednesdays and everyone wears black and white while parading through the streets singing the traditional King Vaval farewell song. Carnival ends on the evening of Ash Wednesday and it is traditional for everyone to wear mourning clothes while dancing and singing the praises of Vaval.
  • Schoelcher International Nautical Week (February 22-25) – In Schoelcher, an international sailing competition is held every February over 5 days with racers from all over the world. It is a regatta of light sailing and one of the major nautical events of the French sailing federation. The event hosts sailors between the ages of 8 and 80, and as of 2019, the event has committed to sustainability best practices to protect the Caribbean waters.

Martinique in March

  • Le Vauclin Crab Fair (March 27) – On the Saturday before the Easter weekend, the town of Le Vauclin hosts a crab fair with entertainment, crabs for sale, and takeaway food.
  • Expo of Dillon (March/April) – A trade fair for local crafts people, traders, artists, and producers to showcase their wares in a large exhibition that welcomes over 40,000 visitors each year. There are products of every kind available for purchase, along with musical entertainment, games, and activities for kids.

Martinique in April

  • Easter Friday, Easter Monday, & The Crab Festival (April 2-5) – If visiting Martinique before Easter or during the Easter weekend, the island’s tradition of enjoying le matoutou, or ‘land crab’, is an unforgettable experience. There are events such as La Crabe d’Or, a matoutou curry-making competition, and La Patte d’Or (crab race) in the town of Sainte-Marie. On Easter Monday, the crabs are traditionally enjoyed as a curry with rice and vegetables. During Easter, the people of Martinique attend mass, visit a local Calvaire to go for a hike, or spend the long weekend at the beach – so keep in mind that beaches might be extra full. While Good Friday is not a public holiday, Good Monday is. As an official public holiday, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores are closed, though some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Martinique Surf Pro (March 17-24) – This is an 8-day event that is organized with the support of the World Surf League and is part of the world qualifying circuit for surfing. In addition to the surfing competitions, there are family-friendly surfing workshops, family and children’s day concerts, various workshops on how to play drums/build kites, Kreyol tales (Creole storytime), various dance demonstrations, introduction to the circus, eco-awareness, and other activities. The surfing festival wraps up on the final day with a Surf Pro Night Party that runs from 9:30pm until 3am. The last MSP was held in 2018, but the festival might return.

Martinique in May

  • Labour Day (May 1) – An official public holiday in Martinique, Labour Day celebrates the victory of the workers’ movements of the early 20th century demanding an 8-hour day of work. The day is commemorated with a parade by the unions of the island. Schools, businesses, banks, and most stores are closed, though some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Victory Day (May 8) – A public holiday to celebrate the end of World War II. A military parade is held in Martinique to celebrate the armistice along with special church services and patriotic concerts. Only some tourist shops and markets are open.
  • Le Maire Saint-Pierre (May 8) – On May 8th, the city of Saint-Pierre commemorates the 1902 eruption of Mt. Pelée which destroyed the city and killed virtually all its inhabitants. The anniversary of the eruption is commemorated with a series of lectures, presentations, guided tours, live jazz performances, and a candlelight procession through the town from the cathedral along the seafront.
  • Ascension Day (May 13) – This holiday marks the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after his Resurrection. Other than customary masses and occasional church processions, the public holiday is spent as a long weekend relaxing at home or the beach. Only tourist shops and a few markets remain open.
  • Slavery Abolition Day (May 22) – The National Day of Martinique commemorates a rebellion of enslaved people in 1848 that forced the Governor to issue a decree abolishing slavery. As a public holiday, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores are closed, but some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Whit Monday / Pentecost (May 24) – Pentecost is a major Christian observance in Martinique that takes place on the 15th day of Easter, 49 days after Easter Sunday. It is also known as Whit Sunday and is celebrated with a Whit Monday public holiday each year. Only some tourist shops and markets remain open.

Martinique in June

  • La Fête de la Musique (June 21) – A celebration of Martinique’s rich musical tradition that has been going on for 39 years with free concerts performed in the streets throughout the island. Different types of music is featured during this festival, including calypso, reggae, as well as zouk, a traditional, rhythmic Caribbean music style. The festival takes place on June 21st every year.

Martinique in July

  • Cultural Festival of Fort-de-France (July 1-28) – Running for most of the month of July, this festival was first held in 1972 so that people of all ages could unite to celebrate Martinique’s culture. The festival includes entertainment and shows of all types: dance, music, concerts, exhibitions, theater, family day on the Savannah, youth podium, jazz night, carnival of the arts, and more. Some events are free and some paid.
  • Le Tour de Martinique International Bicycle Race (July 18) – Similar to the Tour de France, Martinique hosts an annual cycling race with professional cyclists from around the world. Many roads are closed as the tour crosses most parts of the island, so plan accordingly.
  • French National Day / Bastille Day (July 14) – A national holiday that commemorates the formation of the French Republic in 1789 when the Bastille prison house was stormed by French revolutionaries. It is considered the beginning of the French Revolution. Most businesses are closed except for restaurants and hotels. There are parades and cultural events throughout the island.
  • Schoelcher Day (July 21) – This day marks the birthday of dedicated abolitionist Victor Schoelcher, remembering his positive contribution and work for abolishing slavery. As a public holiday, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores will be closed. Some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Tour des Yoles Rondes (July 25 – August 4) – One of the Caribbean’s biggest racing events is a sailing festival held in Le Francois, with races around the island in different towns. Sailors are required to use a traditional fishing yacht to compete in several stages around the island over 5 days. The yacht is a rectangular-sailed “Yole Ronde”, a boat created by a carpenter from Martinique in the 1940s. Hundreds of yachts, catamarans, and other private vessels trail the racers and party at the same time. The event wraps up with a big, carnival-style party at the end of the 5th day. The festival includes beach parties, live music, Martinique’s famous rhum, and other great activities.

Martinique in August

  • Baccha Festival (August 7-8) – A music festival in Vauclin that brings together over 10,000 music lovers and party goers.
  • Assumption Day (August 15) – The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a very important day in the Catholic religion and is a public holiday in Martinique. This is a religious holiday and is most commonly celebrated with traditional masses, religious processions and ceremonies, and also a colorful fireworks display by the beach. Only some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Biguine Jazz Festival (August 15) – The Biguine Jazz Festival is the first world festival of Afro-Caribbean Jazz, and has been held annually since 2003 over 5-6 days. The festival brings together an ensemble of 8 musicians-creators from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti. The main mission of the festival is to promote Caribbean culture internationally.
  • Foyal Color Run (August 15) – Held in the city center of Fort-de-France, the Foyal Color Run is an annual 5 km-run where each kilometer is marked with a cloud of 100% natural colored powder. The event brings together people of all ages, with nearly 4,000 participants in previous years participating in this non-competitive, colorful, and playful spirited run for charity.

Martinique in September

  • European Heritage Days (Sept 19-20) – All 50 European States, parties to the European Cultural Convention, including Martinique, actively promote everything that forms European Heritage. Every September, all European states and parties host events and activities over 2 days following an established theme. In Martinique, doors are opened to around 140 events, free tours, and numerous monuments and sites, allowing citizens to enjoy free visits and learn about their shared cultural heritage.

Martinique in October

  • Kreol Food and Rhum Festival (October 20-26) – Kreol Food & Rhum is a week-long food festival in Martinique which showcases creole cuisine and local products. Visitors can attend tastings and cooking demonstrations with chefs from Martinique and other islands in the Caribbean, Canada, and mainland France.

Martinique in November

  • All Saints’ Day (November 1) – All Saints’ Day is a holiday in Martinique every November 1. Christian believers remember known and unknown saints of past centuries and visit the graves of their loved ones. Only some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Armistice Day (November 11) – France commemorates Armistice Day with a national holiday. Observed on November 11th, the day marks the end of World War I on that date in 1918 and honors the veterans of both World Wars. As a national holiday, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores will be closed. Some tourist shops and markets remain open.
  • Beaujolais Nouveau Celebrations (November 19) – At midnight on the third Thursday of November, the arrival of the new season of Beaujolais red wine is celebrated on the island with parties, fireworks, and music. Many restaurants and cafes stay open late to appreciate the new wine and host events to celebrate.
  • La Belle Martinique (November 11) – An amateur cycling race that has been running in Martinique for 18 years. Visitors and locals participate annually with nearly 450 riders in total choosing to ride 71km or 95km.
  • Semi Martinique (November 29) – The capital of Fort-de-France draws visitors from all over the world and more than 2,500 runners for a half marathon. There are complementary races that occur around the same time for high school students and also for seniors.
  • Jazz à la Martinique / Martinique Jazz Festival (November 24 – December 8) – One of the most popular music festivals of the year brings some of the Caribbean’s and France’s best jazz and blues artists together to play a series of concerts in different venues. The festival is a 10-day event beginning in the last week of November and runs through the first weekend of December every alternate year.

Martinique in December

  • TransMartinique (December 5-6) – A great race which has established itself as one of the Caribbean’s signature competitions. In December, runners cover the island from Grand Rivière to Sainte-Anne, a 134 km trek through Martinique’s tropical forest, plantations, and shoreline.
  • Rum Festival (December 15) – Hosted at the St. James Distillerie annually in Saint-Marie. Event visitors can enjoy rum tasting, live shows, a parade, fashion show, and rides and activities for children. Visitors can also purchase local products from vendors with artisanal goods like basketry and pottery.
  • Christmas: Chanté Nowèl (December 1-25) – During the entire month of December, special Christmas carol-singing soirées or events are organized all over Martinique. These are called Chanté Nowèl and are very popular events that consist of gathering either at a public place or at a friend’s house to sing as well as eat and drink, often until dawn. To participate in the Chanté Nowel, visit a tourism office for more details and buy a little booklet called “An nou chanté noel” or cantique, with all the lyrics (in French). Christmas Day is a national holiday in Martinique, as such, schools, businesses, banks, and most stores will be closed. Many restaurants also close on Christmas Day, but special menus are available at hotels, resorts, and in Fort-de-France.
  • New Years Eve / Boucans de la Baie (December 31) – Enjoy a grand firework display at the Bay of Fort-de-France in Fort Saint-Louis to mark the end of the year. There are also opportunities to light and release paper lanterns along the pier and beach. Most hotels and restaurants offer prix-fixe menus on NYE, while locals tend to enjoy meals with family and friends at house parties instead of participating in large public parties and clubbing events.

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