On our second day in Martinique (read about our first day in Le Marin here), we drove north up the coast on N1 and then south-west on N3 to head over to the town of St Pierre, Mont Pelée and Anse Couleuvre. It was an epic drive, lush and green, passing little towns and beautiful coastline.
Morne Étoile and Mont Pelée
We had plugged the town of St Pierre into our phone and were following directions how to get there. Or so we thought. We ended up driving up into the mountains on these tiny, windy little roads (thank heavens for our diesel car, which gave us the power to go up, up, up!) and found ourselves at Morne Étoile, a beautiful but seemingly abandoned hamlet.
We double-checked our destination and headed back down towards the coast and Saint Pierre. This town was founded in 1635 and used to be the cultural and economic capital of Martinique. It was known as the ‘Paris of the Caribbean’. Unfortunately, it was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1902, killing all of the 28,000 population save two.
We wandered along the seafront and immediately spotted a cute crêperie for lunch – Le Cercle de Saint Pierre. We enjoyed guava juices, coffees and crêpes! Highly recommended!
We walked a little around the town. There are some ruins left over from the original settlement. The town has a pretty, somewhat dilapidated, weathered charm.
We headed north in search of Anse Couleuvre, which turned out to be one of our favorite spots on the island! There is a small parking lot but it was full when we got there (mid-afternoon) and there was a line of cars parked up the narrow, winding road. I remember there being some confusion about whether we could walk to the beach wearing flip flops, or if sneakers/trainers were needed. If you’re steady on your feet, flip flops or sandals are absolutely fine. It’s not far to the beach, and the path takes you past some interesting distillery ruins. There was another path leading to a waterfall, which we didn’t explore.
There were no facilities at this beach, although there was quite a lot shade from the trees. The surf was also rough; however, this time Erin and I ventured in and enjoyed an exhilarating swim. There was a very strong current and I would only recommend it for confident swimmers.
We started venturing away from the main beach and picked our way across a stream and through a leafy path to find another, almost secluded beach.
Overall, we spent an enjoyable couple of hours at this beautiful, black sand beach. We were also treated to a stunning sunset on the drive home!
Check out my reviews on Martinique’s other areas: Le Marin (including Les Trois-Îlets, Le Diamant and Anse Mitan). Saint-Pierre, Sainte-Anne, Presqu’ile de la Caravalle (including our rum distillery tour) and our fabulous day on a catamaran! Plus my overview of Martinique – costs, accommodation, flights, rental cars, food and drink.