Self-Guided walking in the French Caribbean

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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
W11MQ
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Coastal Walks
Min age:
12

Volcanic islands blessed with beautiful beaches.

Martinique and Guadeloupe are the largest islands in the former French colonies in the Caribbean and are perfect for easy exploration by car and on foot. There is a bewildering variety of terrain ranging from luxuriant rainforest and sugar and banana plantations, to mighty volcanoes and sandy beaches framed by swaying palm trees. The walking on both islands is wonderfully gentle, with the option of more demanding walking up La Soufriere volcano on Guadeloupe and the flexibility of doing as little or as much as you want.

Highlights

  • Explore Martinique and Guadeloupe at your own pace
  • Try fabulous cuisine: a fusion of Caribbean and French flavours 
  • Relax on white and black sand beaches lapped by azure seas, lush virgin rainforest, sugar and fruit plantations

Key information

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Two centre-based trip
  • 7 idyllic walks

What's included

  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Flight from Guadeloupe to Martinique
  • Car Hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation - available on request
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

7

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Walks mainly follow gentle, well-maintained paths, but on some days the rainforest terrain can be uneven, wet and slippery, so walking boots that dry quickly are recommended.

Day by day breakdown
Day 25.0km/3.0miles
Day 35.0km/3.0miles
Day 46.0km/3.0miles
Day 67.0km/4.0miles
Day 82.0km/1.0miles
Day 99.0km/5.0miles
Day 127.0km/4.0miles

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Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Guadeloupe
to
Martinique
  • Day 1

    Arrive on Guadeloupe

    On arrival at Pointe-à-Pitre airport, pick up your hire car. Then it’s an easy 75-minute drive to your hotel.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Three Carbet Waterfalls Various walks

    Today you explore Basse-Terre’s cascading Carbet waterfalls. A stairway of three thundering falls descend from their source on La Soufrière volcano, which forms a jagged backdrop to the day. Yellow warblers swoop overhead, as the Carbet River gushes through rainforest thick with ferns, ruby heliconia and tree vines on its journey to the tranquil Caribbean waters at Capesterre-Belle-Eau.

    Walks up to 5km/3mi/3hr.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Les Saintes

    Les Saintes - is a small island just off Guadeloupe, accessible by boat from Trois Rivières where you will stay. You arrive at Terre-de-Haut’s harbour where colourful fishing boats sway gently in the sheltered bay. A coastal cacti-fringed path winds towards the Napoleonic Fort where iguanas bask in the sunshine and on to Pompierre Bay. There’s time to relax on the palm-fringed sands or take a dip in the sea before heading back to Jardin Malanga.

    Two options: 4km/2.5mi/1.5hr or 5km/3mi/2hr
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Deshaies and North Basse-Terre

    Today’s lovely walk takes you past cultivated fields (of yams, squash and sweet potatoes) and banana plantations, through tropical forest and meadows, before you descend back down to the coast and the gorgeous Clugny beach. Perhaps take a 10km drive further along the coast to the colourful little town of Deshaies, where TV’s Death in Paradise is filmed. You’ll pass the fabulous Plage de Grande-Anse en route - the largest natural beach on Guadeloupe.

    Walking time 2.5hr 6km/4mi
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free Day in Guadeloupe

    You have lots of choice of optional excursions today: for a postcard-perfect Caribbean beach, Ste-Anne boasts infinite white sands, crystal-clear waters and superb beachside restaurants. Alternatively, for the more energetic, we provide route notes to hike La Soufrière for superb balcony views of Basse-Terre and its western coastline.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Grande Terre's Coastal Paths

    First to Pointe de la Grande Vigie viewpoint, a spectacular panorama of Antigua and Montserrat on the horizon. Then an inland path bright with pink oleander and trumpet trees leads to Pointe du Souffleur, where Atlantic breakers crash against the jagged volcanic cliffs. You return to your hotel for your final sumptuous dinner at Jardin Malanga.

    Two options: 3km/2mi/1hr or 7km/4.5mi/2.5hr
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Martinique

    After a tropical breakfast you return to the airport for your 40-minute flight to Martinique. It’s an easy 25-minute drive to the beautifully located Hotel Plein Soleil just outside Le François.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Exploring Northern Martinique

    After a visit to the Volcano Museum in St Pierre, you head to the northern Caribbean coastline. Here a path contours the craggy headland past spectacular kapok trees strung with lianas, before descending to stunning Anse à Voile - the perfect setting for an al fresco lunch.

    Two options: 2km/1.5mi/1.5hr or 3km/2mi/1.75hr
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    La Caravelle Peninsula

    Descending through dry tropical forest you reach the salt-rich coastal mangroves - keep an eye out for scuttling crabs! After a picnic overlooking the ocean, explore the ruins of Chateau Dubuc - a fascinating reminder of plantation days. Return to the hotel for your final Caribbean dinner.

    Walking time 3.5hr 9km/6mi
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Free Day in Martinique

    Perhaps take time to relax today by the hotel’s sparkling pool. Or follow the incredibly scenic Route de la Trace, which weaves inland across the island’s spine through the Absalon rainforest, studded with scarlet heliconia, returning perhaps via Le François.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    The Pointe du Vauclin

    Enjoy a lovely, varied walk offering superb coastal vistas as well as gorgeous views over the Caravelle Peninsula from the Pointe du Vauclin itself. En route, you're likely to see fishermen landing the day's catch as you pass a little fishing port, before moving on to sandy mangroves, secluded coves and colourful Creole villas. Return to the hotel for your final Caribbean dinner.

    Walking time. 2.5hr 7km/4.5mi
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Leave Martinique

    Leave Martinique

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Martinique

Visas are not required by UK citizens, most European nationals, Americans, Canadians and Australians. If you are a passport holder from another please check with your relevant embassy.

Vaccinations

Martinique

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis B and Tetanus. The risk of malaria is not normally present but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice locally before venturing for a swim.The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 11 evening meals are included.

The cuisine of the French West Indies has been greatly influenced by consecutive waves of immigration by the Carib Indians, Spaniards, Dutch, Africans, Indians, Chinese, and French. The result is an eclectic culinary tradition featuring an array of uniquely flavoured dishes. The local Créole specialties combine the finesse of French cuisine with the spice of African cookery and the exoticism of East Indian and Southeast Asian recipes.

Weather

On average the temperatures are high all year round. The hottest month tends to be September and the coolest month is January. The rainy season runs from May until December, with September also being the wettest month. The driest month is March.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

Your discovery begins on the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe. The left 'wing' is mainly home to swathes of tropical forest, thermal pools and thundering waterfalls; in contrast, the flatter, right 'wing' offers sweeping sugar cane fields and picturesque golden sands. Moving on to Martinique, there is an alluring diversity of natural beauty; beaches with sand ranging from volcanic black to the purest white and the rainforest-clad volcanic mountain peaks of the Pitons du Carbet.

This holiday is a mix of gentle walking and sightseeing - no major ascents or descents are compulsory, and a head for heights isn't necessary. Walks mainly follow gentle, well-maintained paths, but on some days the rainforest terrain can be uneven, wet and slippery, so walking boots that dry quickly are recommended.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. We have suggested that 12yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number.

Please note: This holiday includes a hire car and you will need to drive yourselves around the islands.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel

Nestling in the hills above Trois-Rivieres, your base on Guadeloupe is the fabulous Jardin Malanga. As well as affording unrivalled balcony views across the sparkling Atlantic, it offers a panoramic swimming pool and luxuriant tropical gardens. On Martinique, you stay at the discreetly charming Hotel Plein Soleil, a gorgeous Creole villa-style accommodation which exudes a feel of understated luxury and looks out over Thelmont Bay.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an adttional charge to cover transfer costs.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936