If, like me, you hesitate: which island to choose between Martinique or Guadeloupe for your stay in Caribbean french islands? Here are some useful information that may help you decide between these two small and beautiful islands in French Antilles.
Personally, for my short stay of 1 week in the French Antilles, I was looking for priority the island where are the most beautiful beaches, the most easily accessible to spend the best time relaxing in the sun …
But I did not want to choose between Guadeloupe and Martinique basing only on beaches… So I compared then the assets of these two islands in particular at the level of the landscapes and the gastronomy.
Martinique or Guadeloupe ? Where are the most beautiful beaches?
Even if some will say that it rains a little more in Martinique than in Guadeloupe, it’s not the climate that will make the difference between Martinique and Guadeloupe Islands. In fact, Guadeloupe and Martinique are two neighboring islands that display the same variations of seasons with a sun present throughout the year. Martinique and Guadeloupe are both ideal to enjoy seaside holidays (water temperature between 24 and 30 ° C!). No, to make my choice, it’s first of all the beauty of the beaches of each island that will be important for me.
Beaches in Martinique
Grande Anse des Salines, Pointe Marin, Anse du Diamant, Anse Dufour … The beaches of Martinique are known and recognized as the most beautiful of the Antilles. In addition, they are many and different (beach of white sand, black sand, big handles, small bays …), there is something for all tastes (see my article Most beautiful beaches of Martinique).
Beaches in Guadeloupe
Of course in Guadeloupe, the coast also has some beautiful beaches but most of the most beautiful are located on the surrounding islands (Marie-Galante, Saintes, Marie-Galante, the Desirade). Guadeloupe is larger than Martinique, its coast is longer which allows it to count more beaches. However, many of Guadeloupe’s beaches are very exposed to the wind. This is an advantage for lovers of water sports but for lovers of swimming and idleness, it is not ideal.
Martinique or Guadeloupe? Best diving spots?
Diving in Martinique
Martinique offers divers splendid underwater seabed especially around the Diamond Rock, Saint-Pierre or François. But I’m not an expert because I do not dive …
Diving in Guadeloupe
However, for diving spots, I read that Guadeloupe is more attractive than Martinique. Moreover, the Lonely Planet puts Guadeloupe in 1st place as the best destination for diving in the Caribbean: https://www.lonelyplanet.fr/article/les-plus-beaux-spots-de-plongee-au-monde
Moreover, in Guadeloupe there is an incredible spot called Cousteau Reserve. This protected nature reserve is located in the heart of the Guadeloupe National Park in front of the beach of Malendure to Bouillante. It is a small paradise to observe multicolored fishes, corals, turtles, humpback whales …
Martinique or Guadeloupe? Where are the most beautiful landscapes and national parks
For lovers of nature and hiking, it will be more difficult to choose between Guadeloupe and Martinique. Indeed, these two Caribbean islands display very similar landscapes with each a volcano (Soufrière for Guadeloupe and Mount Pelee in Martinique), lush tropical vegetation and important national parks.
A little more for Martinique nicknamed the Ile aux Fleurs (flowers island) which has more than 1,700 floral species to discover and its famous Garden of Balata where have acclimatized floral species from all the tropical regions of the whole world (more than 3 000 species of tropical plants).
National parks in Guadeloupe
There, I think that Guadeloupe is winning against Martinique. In fact, the Guadeloupe National Park in Basse Terre allows to discover the vegetation of the island thanks to the 300 km of marked hiking trails passing, among others, by exceptional sites such as Deux Mamelles, the splendid falls of Carbet or the famous Soufriere volcano at more than 1400 meters. This magnificent park covers nearly 22,000 hectares, including 17,300 hectares of tropical forest and 3,700 hectares in wet and marine environment.
National Parks in Martinique
Martinique also remains attractive on nature and landscapes. Its Regional Nature Park covers 63,000 hectares and occupies a large part of the island. From the Pelee Mountain, through the impressive Pitons du Carbet or the beautiful peninsula of Caravelle, Martinique, too, offers landscapes that are worth the detour. In fact, the island has developed more than 180 km of marked trails.
Martinique or Guadeloupe? Where do you eat the best?
As for gastronomy, Martinique and Guadeloupe have the same cooking basics. Both islands perpetuate a tradition of Creole cuisine with African and Indian influences. The culinary culture is very similar in Guadeloupe and Martinique and local products also: coconut, exotic fruits, fish …
In Guadeloupe or Martinique tasty Colombian spices, various acras and the famous smoked chicken are served, the latter being more widespread in Martinique, as well as rum, which Martinique is considered the best in the world.
Martinique or Guadeloupe? What is the most animated?
This is not a subject that interested me because for my stay of a week in French Antilles, I was looking for calm and tranquility. By cons, I could read here and there that Guadeloupe has more nice places to party. On the marina of Gosier are many restaurants and bars that attract many tourists.
Martinique or Guadeloupe? My choice for my stay of 1 week
So finally, Guadeloupe or Martinique? Well for me, it was Martinique for its paradisiac beaches and beautiful landscapes.
This destination has proved perfect for a short week of vacation in peace, sun on heavenly beaches … However, if I had the chance to leave longer, I would not hesitate to combine a stay in Martinique and in Guadeloupe island. I think the formula would be ideal for a 2 week stay.
Martinique or Guadeloupe? My choice of hotel
After having decided between Guadeloupe or Martinique, I had to study the different coasts of Martinique to choose the most beautiful place for my stay (see What coast to choose in Martinique?). Indeed, for a relaxing stay, I wanted a quiet hotel on a beautiful beach in a nice and convenient for sightseeing that I planned to do. Of course he had to be comfortable, clean and have a good restaurant. Finally, it is Cap East Lagoon Resort & Spa that I booked and I can confirm that it was a very good choice! More information about this hotel
If you need an idea for your stay in Martinique island
have a look at: