Car hire in Martinique
Hiring a car in Martinique
Located in the French Antilles, Martinique is wonderfully diverse in terms of both feel and landscape. The island was formed by volcanic eruptions, with the Mont Pelée volcano being easy to pick out of the mountainous landscape due to the fact it is still smoldering. You'll find some areas incredibly busy, especially in the more populated regions, while more relaxed atmospheres are present when you drive further north or south.
Driving in Martinique is a must so as to experience the two different halves of the island, with the north offering mountainous treks and the south featuring beautiful bays. Hiring a car is by far the most reliable way to get around, especially as the roads are in excellent repair.
What you need to know
You'll find a number of car hire companies operating in Martinique, offering different options in terms of vehicle and price. You can make your decision easier by using our booking tool, which gives you all the details you need with no hidden costs. Booking through Holiday Autos also means you benefit from free cancellation should you need it and 24-hour support if you encounter any problems. This is why people choose to book hire cars with us all around the world.
Where to pick up your car
You can start your holiday the minute you touch down in Martinique, as you can collect your hire car at Fort De France Airport (FDF). The car hire desks are located in the arrivals hall, so you can arrange the pick up of your car as soon as you've collected your luggage. Some hire companies offer pick-up locations elsewhere in Martinique, so it is worth checking what other options are open to you before you travel.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Hiring a car ensures you can explore everything that Martinique has to offer, including the differing atmospheres that will make it seem as though you are visiting completely different places. Drive north to visit the beautiful natural rainforested areas and take in the stunning mountain vistas. Head south for beaches and coastal activities or stay in Fort-de-France to enjoy the busy city. A trip to Martinique allows you to do a bit of everything so you'll never be at a loss for new experiences.
If you're a fan of rum, it is worth the 45-minute drive from Fort-de-France via Route de Balata to visit the Distillerie Depaz. Located on a hillside surrounded by sugarcane fields just outside St-Pierre, the distillery allows you to take self-guided tours. Here you'll learn about the history of rum and how it is made, as well as get the chance to try some different types. This is the perfect place to pick up a bottle or two to take home.
To enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and explore beautiful tropical plants, head to the Balata Gardens, which are only 20 minutes away from the centre of Fort-de-France. Here you'll find more than 3,000 different types of tropical plants, as well as beautiful ponds and raised wooden rope bridges that offer you great views over the stunning gardens. The gardens really are a little taste of paradise that you shouldn't miss.
If you want to enjoy gorgeous beaches, head to the southernmost village on Martinique, which you can reach in around an hour from Fort-de-France via the N5. The village is fringed by tropical palm trees, adding a serene feeling to the long stretches of beach. As well as beaches, you'll find a range of restaurants and shops, as well as a market making the trip well worthwhile.
The north offers a different experience from the south and is also home to Mount Pelee, which you can reach in just over an hour via the N2. The volcano is currently in its quiet phase and so you can enjoy a hike to the summit and take in amazing views. It was this volcano that erupted in May 1902, destroying the former capital city of Martinique, Saint-Pierre. You can also learn more about the volcano at Musee Volcanologique.
Top attractions to visit in Martinique
The wonderfully varied island of Martinique has so many attractions to visit, which you are able to do once you hire a car.
Route de la Trace
For the most scenic drive on Martinique, you can't beat the Route de la Trace highway (N3). The road runs from Fort-de-France up towards the north of the island, taking you through beautiful inland rainforest straight up to Mont Pelée. The winding road - which was originally cut in the 1600s - will take you past a number of sites that are worth stopping at, including Balata Church and the town or Morne Rouge. Hopping in your car for a day and heading off on this road is the best way to explore the north of Martinique.
Arguably one of the most popular beaches on the island, Les Salines is a one-km stretch of beach that offers calm water and classic Caribbean views. The beach is named for the nearby salt pond and features coconut palms and food vendors. If you like to spend your vacations on the beach, it is a good idea to go to Les Salines during the week, as it tends to be more peaceful than at the weekends.
It isn't just the north and south of Martinique that have plenty to offer; the east of the island is also worth a trip, in particular the Caravelle Peninsula. Once you drive to the peninsula, swap your sandals for walking boots and hike through the mangrove forest to enjoy views out over the coastline. The Ruins of Dubac Castle can also be explored near the start of the hike and you can learn about the Dubac family on a guided tour of the ruins. To cool off from your walk, take a swim at Tartane Beach before heading back to your car.