Martinique, Morne Chamapagne, Grand Anse D’Arlet

In Martinique, Morne Champagne is the hill that lies between Grande Anse D’Arlet and Anses D’Arlet. A pleasant 45-minute hike wanders over this hill and leads from one village to the other. The path is clear but not always perfectly signposted. You can return by the same trail or wander back by the main road; allow a couple of hours for a relaxing round trip.

From the dinghy dock in Grand Anse D’Arlet turn right on the road and look for the signpost on your right to Morne Champagne (about 3 minutes). Turn right at the sign and follow the road. At the bottom is a fork – a driveway with twin concrete tracks up to the left and dirt with good concrete road visible just beyond leading up to the right.  You want the right fork.  Follow the road up the hill and at the top look for the path heading off to your left; it is quite clear. If you arrive at the next house on the right you have gone a bit too far.

The trail is a rocky path cut through dry scrubby trees.  If you look back as you climb, you will be rewarded by some good views of Grand Anse D’Arlet. After the climb you come to a plateau where small side trails lead off to views or the sea. The main path continues past a small grassy savannah where a sleeping lion would not seem out of place. Eventually you imagine you have reached the top of the hill and the path heads down. At the bottom is a trail division with a well marked trail leading to the right and back towards the coast – I have not explored this yet. Since it heads in the wrong direction, it would be hard to make a mistake.  But the same would not be true if you were starting in Anses D’Arlet, in which case at this division you want to turn right.

The path heads uphill again, and this will be the last uphill. Near the top the trail divides again, take your choice; the right is a short cut, the left takes you up higher to a shrine then cuts back and joins the other trail. Now it is all downhill to Anses D’Arlet with some pretty views of the bay along the way.

If you are starting in Anses D’Arlet, turn left from the dock and follow the shore and the boardwalk till it turns into a road going uphill. Take this road and look for the trail, which has a sign, on your left.