Things to See in Basse-Pointe, France

by Jamie Farber

Basse-Pointe, France, on the Caribbean island of Martinique, is one of two overseas regions of France. Martinique is in the Lesser Antilles and is surrounded by both the Atlantic and Caribbean Oceans. Basse-Pointe, on the northern edge of the island, borders the Atlantic. The town is home to roughly 3,500 people, according to Martinique Guide. Visitors to Basse-Point who want a change from the island's famous beaches enjoy activities such as tours of a historic plantation and climbing an active volcano.

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Hindu Temple

One of the greatest sights in Basse Pointe, according to Fodor's Caribbean, is a Hindu Temple just south of the town. The temple was built in the 19th century by descendants of the East Indians who settled the area and is simply known as the local Hindu Temple. It is surrounded by banana and pineapple plantations and offers visitors an unrivaled view of Mont Pelée, an active volcano located in Martinique. Tourists can tour the inside of the temple and walk the grounds during the day. Admission is free.

Leyritz Plantation

The Leyritz Plantation in Basse-Pointe is one of the town's best tourist attractions, according to Fodor's Caribbean. It also doubles as a hotel and a restaurant. The plantation includes a sugarcane factory and gardens, and offers a look at life on Martinique's plantations in the early 18th and 19th centuries. The home was originally built in the 1700s when Martinique was first settled and offers guests a look at tropical architecture from that time period. The plantation also includes several gardens displaying the island's native plants. Guests walk through the sugarcane fields, which are no longer actively harvested, and the factory to learn more about how the sugarcane industry that once flourished there. Admission to the plantation is free for hotel or restaurant guests, but others are required to pay a small fee to take the tour.

Figurines des Végétales Museum

The Figurines des Végétales Museum is located on the Leyrtiz Plantation, but is a separate entity. The Museum features rooms set up as vignettes of plantation life in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum houses figurines des végétales, dolls made of local plants including bananas and tall grass. Will Fenton, the local artist who creates the dolls, has immortalized famous women including Marie Antoinette and Marie Curie in period costumes. The admission to the Museum is included in the admission price for the Leyritz Plantation and hotel and restaurant guests are admitted free.

Mount Pelee

Mount Pelee (mount-pelee.com) is a short drive from Basse-Pointe and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Martinique. Mount Pelee last erupted in 1929, but the previous eruption in 1902 was one of the deadliest on record, killing 30,000 people, according to mount-pelee.com. Today, visitors to the mountain enjoy rock climbing, hiking and rappelling. The area around Mont Pelee includes waterfalls and rain forests. Hiking trails dot the volcano, and visitors can choose trails to hike for two hours, a half-day or a full day. Several companies offer guided excursions; you may also set off on your own, but Mount Pelee's website recommends you not hike the volcano alone.

About the Author

Jamie Farber started writing professionally in 2000. Her work has appeared in several newspapers, including "The Grand Rapids Press," "The Advance" and "The Wooster Daily Record," as well as in several local magazines and on various websites. Farber holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The College of Wooster.