Welcome to the town of Fort-de-France, prefecture of Martinique. The city of Fort-de-France has a large covered market where you will find fruits, vegetables, honey, souvenirs and other specialties. It also has a ferry terminal that can offer you trips to Dominica and Saint Lucia. In terms of architecture, the city of Fort-de-France has a few monuments such as the Schœlcher library, Fort Saint-Louis (visit all year round) or the Parc de la Savane and its famous statues. 

The community of Fort-de-France is made up of different districts such as Didier, Cluny, Dillon, Ravine Vilaine or Balata. Concerning this last district, you will find nearby the thermal spa of Absalon. From this station, you will have many hiking trails including the one taking you to the Didier Fountain or the choice to enjoy the Absalon waterfall, very easy to access. 


To access the start of the hike, starting from Fort-de-France, take the A1 then the D41 and take the exit for the road to Balata (N3). Keep going straight, the road goes up and you will pass by the magnificent Sacré Coeur de Balata. After a few minutes and many switchbacks, you will see a yellow sign and a large gate on your left. this is the entrance to the Camp de Balata shooting range. Continue for a few more minutes and you will see the Jardins de Balata sign then 100 meters further on, turn left towards “Absalon” (D60). The road descends with many bends taking you to the spa town of Absalon. Stop a little before the car park at the level of the bridge. Access to the waterfall is via a staircase.

Park before this building. There is no parking at this location, if you wish, you can move forward to reach the parking lot at the end of the road (five minutes on foot). Otherwise, park on the side of the road so as not to get in the way.

Proceed on foot to the bridge to discover a staircase on its left, taking advantage of this green hygrophilous vegetation all around you.

The Absalon’s waterfall

Access is not suitable for people with motor disabilities. The stairs are quite steep but you will only have a few minutes of steps from the staircase to enjoy the basin and the waterfall of Absalon.

Go down the stairs, being careful not to slip.

Once below the bridge, cross the apron and take the path on your left to approach the basin and the waterfall.

Here you are facing the basin and the waterfall, it’s up to you to take advantage of this moment to refresh yourself and take magnificent shots.

Click on this link to have a first video preview of the stunt on our Facebook page.

For the return, you just have to turn around and take the same stairs. Enjoy the green vegetation that surrounds you.

It’s up to you to discover it now!


In terms of advice, 

Ø Traffic in Martinique: During the week, you will face traffic jams around industrial or commercial areas, especially in the morning, in the direction of the South (Rivières Salée, N5) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1) and from the East (Robert, N1) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1), from 7 am to 9.30 am, and vice versa at the end of the evening from 5 pm to 6.30 pm. Think about your route in order to adapt to this traffic which can be dense and easily waste time. 

Ø Equipment: Good pair of sneakers or hiking shoes, light clothing, hiking bag (knife, flashlight, raincoat, cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito repellent). 

Ø Health: 

Difficulty: 2 out of 10, possible walk for the whole family (except people with motor disabilities). Shaded path, risk of slipping. 

– In normal times, always start hiking as early as possible in the morning. The daytime heat during minimal sporting activity can become quite stifling. 

– Go at your own pace and plan the time you will need based on your physical condition. 

Most important, always a bottle of water per person and something to snack in your bag. With the heat, all fairly physical hikes can be dangerous with fatigue. 

Miscellaneous: you can undertake the hikes of the Boucle d’Absalon or the Fontaine Didier, the starting points of these hikes are nearby. You can also visit the Balata Gardens and discover incredible flora.

Do not hesitate to post you commentaries or to ask for information on contact@domloisirsetculture.fr.

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Dom Loisirs et Culture at your service.

OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide

The Dom Loisirs and Culture team is committed to raising awareness of the protection of the biodiversity of the overseas departments.


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