Are all island beaches created equal? Perhaps not, but I have to confess that I've rarely met a beach I did not like. On the French Caribbean island of Martinique, for example, you will find stretches of black sand, white sand, and tan sand, on beaches that are remote, popular with tourists, and everything in between. The Island Runaways were fortunate enough to visit Martinique soon after American Airlines began their direct service to this isle from Miami. (Previously, the only U.S. based flights went through Puerto Rico.) This tropical getaway turned out to be a fantastic experience, in part because of scenery like this:
(La plage in southern Martinique. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
On the southern coast of Martinique, you will find Le Diamant or Diamond beach, a stunning sweep of sand and ocean that is any island photographer's dream. Although I love quiet coves of turquoise water, Le Diamant isn't like that. The waves roll onto land with gusto.
(The surf at Le Diamant. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
This makes for some stunning shots. It also means that Le Diamant "plage" or beach is a magnet for local surfers and body borders. But unlike some surf spots, this sea isn't chilly; it's deliciously temperate so that you just can't resist wading in. Then there's the backdrop of lush, green hills known as the "sleeping woman" for its profile.
(The Sleeping Woman hills. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
Out in the distance you can see the Rocher du Diamant or Diamond Rock. Centuries ago during the Napoleonic Wars, the British seized the rock and christened it a naval vessel, the H.M.S. Diamond Rock. They used it as a stronghold to attack French-held Martinique. They held out on its craggy, treacherous surface for 17 long months.
(Diamond Rock. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
Today the rock peacefully graces the horizon, its multiple facets reflecting the sun's light as it moves across the sky. I'd even say that you'll never get exactly the same shot of Diamond Rock twice, because the light changes so quickly.
(Facing east. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
Whether you're on the beach at sunrise, sunset, or in the middle of the day, the landscape just makes you want to stop and stare...and take out your camera. Locals and tourists walk and jog this long stretch of sand to get exercise at the beginning and end of the day. It's probably one of the prettiest jogging routes in the entire world.
(Mesmerizing Le Diamant beach. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
Think I'm exaggerating? If you ever get to Martinique, be sure to visit Le Diamant beach, which faces on the small town of Le Diamant, and see for yourself. Once you've seen it, I think you'll agree. This is one Caribbean destination that is truly a photographer's dream.