Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée from the Bay of Saint-Pierre'

Northern Martinique largely consists of two mountain ranges: the Mount Pelee, which rises upto 1397m and the Pitons du Carbet (Carbet peaks) whose highest peak is the Piton Lacroix at 1197m. Approximately one third of the population of Martinique lives there. In this region, most beaches have this strange particularity of black sand. This color is due to the volcanic rocks from the Mount Pelée. But this volcano is mainly famous because it has also produced one of the largest disasters in history: the 1902 eruption has almost wiped out the city of Saint -Pierre (the little Paris) and killed nearly 30 000 people in a few minutes.
The center of the island is a humid area with sceneries altogether different from those of the seashore, it is the birthplace of the tropical forest with ferns, orchids , dense and lush vegetation .
It should be noted that the municipalities of Grand-Rivière and "Le Prêcheur" at the north end are not connected by a paved road but it is an opportunity for a very charming hiking ! Hill-walkers will be delighted when climbing the Mount Pelee: several routes are recommended but do not forget that climbing the "Pitons du Carbet" is only for professionals.
For those who are more sea amateurs, numerous coves and bays are scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea whereas the Atlantic coast beyond the town of Sainte-Marie is forbidden for swimming due to a continuous and heavy swell from the ocean. Two steps from the town of Saint-Pierre , you will find the beach of "le Carbet" where Columbus set foot the first time in 1502. The bay of Saint-Pierre is a mecca for scuba diving because many ships sank in the middle of the bay amainly at the same time during the explosion of the volcano in 1902.