Caribbean Snapshots: Ilet Madame, Martinique

This is one deserted island you don't want to miss


There’s no better way to go off the grid than spending a day exploring uninhabited islands. On the east coast of Martinique, finding your own little offshore paradise is as easy as traveling to the fishing village of Le Robert. At the head of the township’s namesake bay lies a collection of sandbars, reefs and 10 small islands that form an aquatic playground for sailors, paddlers and swimmers. One of the largest and most favored of this group is Islet Madame. Yachtsmen from around the island of Martinique are lured to the calm anchorage that lies just off this small, green spit of land, while day visitors make their way over in private launches from the township of Le Robert.

The island is a protected refuge ringed by white sand beaches and surrounded by translucent waters where coral reefs create calm lagoons. Getting there is easy, as a number of tour operators offer sailing and powerboat excursions to the islands. A few adventurous locals even wade and swim a quarter mile over from Pointe La Rose.

Once there visitors find spectacular snorkeling, kayaking and swimming. On shore, there are paths to follow through the foliage, plenty of shaded areas and some local wooden huts to provide shelter from the elements. The island is prized for its collection of native tree species and protected animals, including iguanas, lizards, birds, hummingbirds and turtles. The scene is low-key though the week, while weekends may bring local boaters, who gather for a raft-up party at one of the nearby sandbars known as le Fonds Blanc. Visitors have described these islands as among the most beautiful in the entire Caribbean. If you are on Martinique, it’s a destination that shouldn’t be missed.

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