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Martinique and Guadeloupe are French overseas territories of France. 

As a result, the Euro is the official currency and French is the main language spoken.

It is seamless from both islands to hop over to the Eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica and St Lucia via the ferry service called L’Express Des IIes.

The aim of this article is to provide you with valuable details on Martinique and Guadeloupe to help you choose with French Caribbean Island is suitable for your vacation.

As a general rule, Martinique is ideal for visitors seeking a quieter island with white sand beaches and an array of flora and fauna. Alternatively, Guadeloupe is suitable for individuals looking for a more vibrant nightlife atmosphere and outdoor activities such as hiking La Soufriere volcano.

Read on for more information on how these spectacular French Caribbean islands compare.  This article was written by a Caribbean national.

Martinique Vs Guadeloupe- Which Island Is Bigger

Originally called Karukera, Guadeloupe has the larger landmass of the two islands of 627 square miles while Martinique is 436 square miles.

Guadeloupe is the island with the higher point of elevation called Guadalupe peak which stands at 8,751 feet while Mount Pelee stands at 4,583 feet in Martinique.

With the smaller landmass, Martinique also has the smaller population of 374,707 according to

Guadeloupe had a population of 400, 255 according to the same source at the time of publication.

Another key difference between the islands is that Martinique is a single landmass while Guadeloupe is an archipelago.

There are six main islands that are inhabited being Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, IIes des Saintes and IIles de la Petite Terre.

Martinique Vs Guadeloupe- Which Island Is Gets More Tourists

Based on statistics as per tourism analytics, Guadeloupe received slightly higher tourism arrival figures than Martinique in 2018.

Guadeloupe received 735,000 overnight visitors and 431, 000 cruise passengers. 

On the other hand, Martinique received 537,000 overnight visitors, 393,000 cruise passengers and 72, 000 day visitors.

Martinique Vs Guadeloupe- Which Island Has Better Beaches

Both islands are blessed with amazing beaches with white and black sand.

Nevertheless, if beaches are your main vacation activity, Martinique has a marginal edge.

There are white and black sand beaches with the majority of white sand beaches on the South of the island.

Due to the volcanic nature of the island, there are several black sand beaches.

When it comes to white sand beaches with turquoise waters, Les Salines is well loved by both locals and tourists alike.

This beach is a long strip of white sand with several amenities such as restaurants, bars, shops and showers in the area.

In terms of black sand beaches, Anse Noire is the most famous in Martinique. The snorkeling on this beach is spectacular.

However, this beach is in a more secluded location and there are no amenities nearby.

Grande- Anse is the most famous beach in Guadeloupe on the West coast of the island.

It is an ideal beach for swimming but there are undercurrents in this area.

Care must be exercised by both adults and children while using this beach.

A family friendly beach that is exceptional to visit on the island of Grand-Terre is Sainte Anne beach.

This location is calm with white sand and perfect diving fanatics.

There are many amenities such as restaurants, shops, bars and cafes nearby.

Martinique Vs Guadeloupe- Which Island Has Better Nightlife

If entertainment is your preference especially tasting and enjoying French cuisine, Guadeloupe is the better destination.

One event to try which is a great way to meet and interact with locals is a visit to the Gosier market.

This market opens at 5pm on Friday evenings where you can buy local craft items, souvenirs, and local fruits and vegetables.

The Le Gosier area is also an exceptional location for restaurants, beach bars and casinos.

Some of the popular places to visit include Zoo Rock Café, Le Petit New-York and New Ti Paris.

Additionally, in Martinique nightlife also is predominantly casinos, beach bars and restaurants with live music.

Some of the locations to visit while in Martinique include Wahoo Café and Dream Club.

Martinique Vs Guadeloupe- Activities To Try On The Islands

Jardin De Balata, Martiniquethis is located near the capital city of Fort De France and is one of the most population attractions on the island.

At this garden, there is a wide array of flora and fauna as Martinique is also known as the Island of Flowers.

Les Gorges De La Falaise, Martinique– this is a hike along the Falaise river that takes about one hour to complete.

There is an entrance fee which varies between adults and children.

This trail must be accompanied by a guide and you get to enjoy one of the waterfalls on the island. At times, if there is heavy rain this attraction is closed.

La Soufriere Volcano, Guadeloupe- this active volcano which stands at an altitude of 1,467 meters is located on the island of Basse-Terre.

This is a difficult but enjoyable trail especially for bird watchers. Kindly note that dogs are not permitted on this hike.

Pointe Des Chateux, Guadeloupethis is a natural heritage site that features rocks in a row in the ocean.

The views from this location are breath taking including the other islands of Les Saintes and Marie-Galante.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Martinique is the better destination for individuals seeking peace, tranquility, white sand beaches and flora and fauna. On the other hand, Guadeloupe is suitable for persons who love entertainment and hiking.

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