In the southernmost of the French Antilles, there is an area where the white sand, turquoise water and coconut palms get together making every bay into a postcard-type beach. It’s a sucession of bay after bay, beach after beach, that will take your breath away. And the best part of it: there is hardly anybody around.
The “Trace des Caps” is a hiking trail, about 25 kms long and it takes between 2 and 3 days to finish. As I learnt in the past, when hiking on the beach to Punta Allen in Mexico, trekking on the beach with a heavy backpack is hard work. Even more challenging than hiking in the mountains. So this time, I based myself in the town of Sainte Anne where you can camp or hanging your hammock for 12 euros per night. Believe or not, this is a really good deal for Martinique.
From there, I did 2 day trips covering the two parts of the hike. I had to walk more, especially to go and come back from the coast, but I could go very light and much faster. I also hitch-hiked to come back to St Anne at some point.
If possible, we recommend to do the hike during the week. This way, even the popular beaches close to St Anne will be empty. Also, there are not many people along the coast and the very few you’ll meet don’t speak English. A basic command of French is recommended, especially in the unlikely event you need help.
The track itself is very easy to follow. It’s well sign-posted excepts in a couple of places. The most critical one is around Anse Trabaud. There is a wetland you have to cross. Depending on how much has rained lately, the more/less difficult will be to find your way. This way the end of my day 1, so I back-tracked to Les Salines and walked on the main road back to St Anne.
WHAT WE LIKED THE MOST
- Plenty of postcard-type beaches with nobody around.
- Being the town of St Anne close by, you can choose between a 2-3 days hike or day trips returning to St Anne and going very light.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE THAT MUCH
- Difficult navigation around the wetlands in a couple of areas.
EQUIPMENT CHECK LIST
Bring plenty of water with you. Only in a very few spots you’ll find some. You will be hiking on your own most of the time.
You will need at least 2 days to do the entire hike, but 3 days will give you enough time to really enjoy it.
You want sunny days to fully enjoy this hike. So avoid the wettest months (september & october).
You can carry all you need and camp on the beach along the way or base yourself in St Anne and do day trips.
If you come to Martinique, a visit to the south area is a must. Either you are a beach lover or hiking lover, the “Trace des Caps” will exceed your expectations.
A never-ending serie of empty beaches with fine white sand and crystal clear water. And nobody around. All for yourself. If you still haven’t been here, the question is: What are you waiting for?
Location: Southern Martinique, French Antilles.
Useful Notes: You can find more detailed information about this route and others around the island on this article.