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Botanical gardens of Martinique

Discover the best botanical gardens on the island

The island of flowers: this is the nickname given to Martinique, and rightly so. If it is famous for its beautiful beaches lined with coconut trees, it also reveals an abundant and generous nature. Between tropical forest, mangrove and savannah, you can explore a variety of landscapes during your stay in Martinique

Of all the Caribbean islands, it is the one with the largest number of plant species. There are more than 3,000 of them in the whole territory. 


So, to discover Martinique and its exceptional flora, nothing beats a visit to one of its gardens. They offer, in one place, a summary of all the biodiversity of Martinique. They invite you to a colorful, fragrant and sometimes even tasty journey.

Gardens occupy a special place in Creole culture. They serve to decorate, nourish and heal. They are a testimony to the rich history of this overseas territory. A visit to one of its remarkable gardens is therefore a must to appreciate all the beauty of this enchanting island. 


Gardens of Martinique: a showcase of exceptional biodiversity 

Martinique is a land of contrasts. On this island of volcanic origin, the landscapes are multiple. In the north, you will be in the heart of tropical rainforests where nature proliferates thanks to the abundant rainfall. In the drier south, the vegetation is rarer, but the biotopes are just as unique.

You will have, for example, the opportunity to discover the surprising ecosystem of mangroves. No matter where your trip to Martinique takes you, every sight offered by the local vegetation is magical.
 
To better understand it, a visit to a botanical garden is a must during your holidays in Martinique. While strolling along the paths, you can admire a great variety of trees, lianas and flowers. If the endemic species are highlighted, you will also discover a number of indigenous and exotic plants.

The mahogany trees, the cheese trees or the acomat boucans unfold their gigantic branches so that you can benefit from a saving shade. The majestic flowers of the hibiscus, the balisiers or the alpinias offer themselves to the contemplation.

Their red shades add a colourful touch to these lush green settings. Fruit trees, such as mango trees, add an exotic touch to your walk. While strolling through a tropical garden in Martinique, you can only let yourself be impregnated by this unique atmosphere.

The garden, a Martinican tradition 

In Martinique, gardening is an art. Since the time when the Amerindians populated these lands, it has evolved with European and African influences. It is this ancestral know-how that the Martiniquais still maintain today.

In the traditional Creole garden, plants abound in apparent disorder. However, they all bloom harmoniously, in the pure permaculture tradition. Underneath its wild appearance, the Creole garden proves to be particularly clever, as it decorates, nourishes and cares.

Ornamental, food and medicinal plants are grown side by side to meet the needs of the family. For example, manioc, yams and beans are grown to make delicious and generous dishes. One also finds there the essential of the traditional pharmacopoeia, such as the famous"zeb mal tête" with multiple properties.

Carambola, cayenne apples and cherries help to awaken your senses. The fruit trees make this plant paradise a delight for the eyes as well as for the taste buds. The gardens of Martinique will seduce you with their multitude of colors, flavors and fragrances.

Discover Martinique and its gardens 

The gardens of Martinique are an invitation to discover. As you stroll along the paths, the lush vegetation of the island of flowers reveals itself to you. In just a few hours of pleasant strolling, you can admire the rich biodiversity of Martinique.

The gardens also play an essential role in its preservation. They work to make visitors aware of the need to protect the unique and fragile ecosystems of the West Indies. These heavenly gardens are also witnesses of the history of the island.
Rehabilitated Creole houses or ruins of an industrial past, each in its own way shares a part of Martinique's history. The garden thus offers a cultural interlude to soak up life in the past. To make your trip to Martinique memorable, here are some must-see addresses for nature lovers.

The Garden of Balata 

Among the countless botanical parks of Martinique, the garden of Balata is probably the most known. Located ten kilometers north of Fort-de-France, it is the work of landscape designer Jean-Philippe Thoze. 
In the 1990s, this enthusiast rehabilitated the family property, which had been abandoned for ten years. The three hectares of land now contain more than 3000 species of tropical plants, both endemic and imported.

Around the old house, the various paintings imagined by their creator are set up. They condense all the beauty of Martinique's nature. You will stroll among palm trees, porcelain roses, bromeliads, birds of paradise and giant bamboos.
Suspended bridges invite you to approach the canopy to discover the park from above. It's a nice walk to do with the family.

The Garden of Bonneville 

The Bonneville garden mixes colors, flavors and fragrances to make you discover all the generosity of Martinique. This private arboreal property gathers a multitude of fruit trees, palm trees and ornamental plants, inseparable from Martinique's gardens.

You can discover the tangy taste of the kumquat, the powerful smell of the combawa or the bright yellow colour of the citron. Thanks to the guided tours, the Bonneville garden is worth the detour if you like sharing and authenticity. The owners will enthusiastically share with you their passion for botany, their territory and Creole traditions.

Garden of the Habitation Clément 

The garden of theHabitation Clément is a unique place that highlights the richness of Martinique's heritage. Sugar cane plantations once covered its 16 hectares of land. From 1917 onwards, the house even had its own distillery, founded by the owner at the time, Homère Clément.

In 1986, his heirs sold the family estate to the GBH group, which decided to rehabilitate it. The house thus became a botanical garden, a museum on rum and a foundation for contemporary Caribbean art. A visit to the garden alone is worth several hours of walking.

More than thirty varieties of palm trees live together on the property, along with the inevitable tamarind and flamboyant trees. The West Indian flora is particularly honoured. In this majestic and peaceful garden, the collection of rare trees and plants will satisfy the most seasoned botanists.

Garden of the Anse Latouche house 

At the foot of the Carbet peaks, the Anse Latouche house is one of the oldest in Martinique. Cocoa, tobacco and manioc were cultivated on this land. 

In the XIXᵉ century, the property even hosted its own distillery. The prosperity continued until 1902. That year, Mount Pelee erupted. The volcano's fiery cloud destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre in a few minutes and, with it, the dwelling Anse Latouche.
The latter was abandoned for a century until the horticulturist and landscape designer Jean-Philippe Thoze brought it back to life.

Around the ruins, he set up the endemic plants of Martinique to create the botanical garden of Carbet. In the heart of a prolific vegetation, you will admire, in this grandiose park, the numerous species that populate its alleys. Among the anthuriums, orchids, multicolored heliconias or tree ferns, the walk is synonymous with a change of scenery.
 
Whatever the garden you choose to visit, you will be seduced by the beauty of the flora of Martinique. The gardens are thus part of the innumerable riches of Martinique. It is a heritage that the inhabitants will have in heart to make you discover during your next holidays.