Located between Bellefontaine and Saint-Pierre, on the Caribbean coast of Martinique, the charming town of Le Carbet owes its name to the big huts or "carbets" where the Carib Indians used to meet. It is known as the place where the famous explorer Christopher Columbus landed on the island during his last trip in 1502. It was also here that the colonisation of Martinique began in 1635, with the arrival of the filibuster Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc.
At the heart of Le Carbet, many sites and other buildings are worth a look, starting with the pretty Place Jules Grévy and its beautiful Baroque-inspired 18th-century church, dedicated to St James. In the graveyard next to the church, you can see the famous grave of the Spanish lady, a mother who, legend has it, was found dead on the beach with her two children in her arms following a shipwreck.
This typical town of the Côte-sous-le-vent also has the Paul Gauguin Heritage Interpretation Centre, with its exhibition room dedicated to the famous painter and his time in Martinique, its multimedia room full of interactive games, and its temporary exhibition room.
Not far away, near Latouche Cove, you can visit the estate of a former sugar plantation, now converted into a botanical garden and zoological park. In this superb place, you can admire the remains of the Latouche habitation, as well as palm trees, cacti and tropical plants, and a wide range of animals: monkeys, pumas, jaguars, raccoons, lorikeets and more. There's plenty to see!
And if you're looking for a nice beach, look no further: Big Cove (Grande Anse) has a particularly relaxing beach, with its grey sand and coconut trees by the Caribbean Sea. The beaches of Le Coin and the Turin Cove are also very good for sunbathing and swimming!
If you're passing by here in July, don't miss the famous fish festival in Le Carbet, with many activities and food tastings in store.