Located in the Antilles archipelago's heart in the Caribbean, Martinique island is the third-largest in the region. Each year thousands of tourists travel to Martinique to take advantage of its many riches to completely disconnect from their daily lives. It is hard to get around what the island has to offer in one trip to Martinique. Besides its mountains, tropical forests, and paradisiacal beaches, Martinique island has a lot to surprise its visitors. When you want to travel to Martinique, you may have questions like where is Martinique, how to travel to Martinique, what is the capital of Martinique, how is the Martinique weather, how to speak to the Martinique population, which places to visit in Martinique, what are the best places to stay in Martinique, etc. Therefore, I am writing about the ten most important things you may wish to know before going to Martinique island.
Where is Martinique, and why travel there?
Part of the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, Martinique offers an alluring mix of magnificent beaches, lush mountains, and flamboyant tropical gardens. But the island also has a fascinating history to tell you through architectural sites, museums, and monuments testifying to the pre-Columbian and colonial past of the island. Martinique is a postcard island, a true bewitcher, who knows how to satisfy the visitor thanks to its golden sand beaches. In Martinique, there is certainly the sky, the sun, the sea and sugar cane fields, timeless forest paths, villages at the end of the world, and fantastic gardens that make you forget the advance of concrete.
1. How to travel to Martinique?
Martinique is a French territory. This will simplify your travel formalities in Martinique as much as possible. Here, no need to change money or communicate in another language; payments are made in euros or dollars. How to travel to Martinique? Many direct flights will take you to the island without a visa for the citizens of most countries. If there is no direct flight from your country to Martinique, you can make a transit flight via one of the Caribbean Islands' airports. Also, for cruise lovers, there are many options to reach the island. All the conditions are met to make your stay in Martinique easy and unforgettable.
2. The capital of Martinique
Fort de France, the island's capital, formerly called Fort Royal, has about one hundred thousand inhabitants. It has been the capital since 1902. There are many beautiful sightseeings and comfortable Martinique hotels in the capital. The city is located around "La Savane," a central park dotted with palm trees, paths, and statues, including one of Empress Josephine, which is a beheaded monument, because she had reestablished slavery. Must-see places in Fort-de-France include the Fort-Royal, dating from 1638, the Palais de Justice, and the Saint-Louis Cathedral with its distinctive bell tower. The Schoelcher Library, too. It is named after Victor Schoelcher, an activist for abolishing slavery in the French colonies; the building was dismantled and shipped by boat to Martinique from Paris in 1893. If you want to stay in the city, it is better to book one of the best hotels, such as Villa Eden Rock or Au Sphair De Lune.
3. The Martinique population
The island has a population of more than 350,000. Most of the population is of French origin, while others African. Therefore, the official language is French, but many people can speak Creole, English, and Spanish.
4. Martinique culture
It is impossible not to fall under the spell of the Martinique population, a smiling people, welcoming and easy to approach. During your trip, you will have a chance to learn more about local customs and the very influential Creole culture in the region. Martinique lives to the rhythm of the sun, the sea, and the festivals. Its good amusement not only disconnects you from everyday life but also recharges your batteries in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
5. The Martinique weather
Where is Martinique is the reason there are only two seasons. From January to June in Martinique, it is the dry season with the sun and little rain. The Martinique weather is ideal for those who want to escape the cold. Winter, from July to October, corresponds to an increase in temperature and humidity. This second season is characterized by numerous showers, a weak wind that emphasizes the feeling of heat, and a drop in tourist traffic. The prices of hotels and restaurants on the island can be up to half as high during this period. On the temperature side, it fluctuates between 28 and 33 degrees all year round. However, freshness exists in the heights. By climbing Mount Pelee, you will discover several climatic stages, each with its specific vegetation. Beaten by the winds, the summit is rather chilly. This is why Martinique is so green, especially in the north.
6. The best places to stay in Martinique
Whether you want to stay in a small charming address or a large luxury hotel, Martinique's accommodation offers are as rich as it is varied. The charming Plein Soleil guest house, for example, welcomes you in a typical Martinican house in a place unknown to crowds of tourists. You can also enjoy your vacation to indulge yourself by opting for one of the 4-star Martinique hotels like the Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa, a superb establishment facing the coral reef.
7. The most luxurious Martinique hotels
Unlike other surrounding islands, Martinique only offers a fairly limited choice of high-end hotels. The reason is essentially historical because the tourist development coincided here with the rise of inexpensive vacations accessible to the greatest number in the 60s and 70s. However, since the 90s, the trend has reversed, and smaller structures have emerged. The best places to stay in Martinique include Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa Hotel, Hotel Plein Soleil, French Coco Hotel, and Hotel Bakoua.
8. Historical places to visit in Martinique
From Saint-Pierre to Fort-de-France, Martinique has many historical sites that allow you to retrace the territory's fascinating past. In Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique, you will discover exquisite Creole residences, the Saint-Louis Cathedral, the Schoelcher Library, and other extraordinary monuments. Enjoy your trip to Martinique and take a tour of the island's essentials such as Chateau Dubuc and its splendid ruins overlooking the bay of Balata's famous botanical garden, one of the best places in Martinique.
9. The best places in MartiniqueBeaches
: Martinique is surrounded by excellent and long strips of fine sand. Here, the beaches are more beautiful than the others and offer real postcard scenery. Whether you want to do activities like kayaking or kitesurfing or just want to relax by the sea, the beaches of Martinique do not disappoint. For an extraordinary experience, you can head to Les Salines in the south of the island. They are among the best places in Martinique and the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean in general. Natural sites: Martinique's voyage is not reserved only for idleness lovers since the island is also home to extraordinary natural resources. For example, this is the case of the Salines lake, a perfectly preserved natural site where forest and salt lake meet. For a panoramic view of the entire south of the island, head to Le Morne's viewpoint. From up there, the panorama over the coast, the town of Marin, the Creve-Coeur volcano, and the Pelee mountain makes it possible to become aware of Martinique's natural resources. Flower gardens: Martinique is nicknamed "the island of flowers" for the incredible diversity of its flora. Like a giant botanical garden, it offers a beautiful overview of the natural wonders of the Caribbean. Between its fields of sugar cane and landscapes composed of thousands of flowers, flower lovers will be in paradise. Owned by passionate horticulturalists, the Balata botanical garden, near Fort-de-France, has more than 3,000 species of tropical plants and flowers as well as ponds dotted with water lilies and lotus flowers. Monkey bridges amid the peaks give you an aerial view of the lush gardens as hummingbirds hum in the fragrant air. Benches are found almost everywhere to rest and admire nature.
10. The best activities to do on Martinique IslandGastronomy
: Your vacations in Martinique will let you taste Creole cuisine with the greatest respect for traditions. The Martinicans are indeed fond of good food, and the multiple influences of the island are felt even on the plates. The dishes consist of imported foods such as rice and spices and local foods such as exotic fruits, fish, and seafood. The restaurants of the capital are the most exotic places to visit in Martinique to experience its food. Diving: The seabed in Martinique is very beautiful. If you have never dived, take the opportunity to do your first dive. There are several famous diving spots in Martinique, and some of them are perfectly suited for beginners. The Trois Ilets, Marin, or Anse à l'âne sites are perfect for a first dive in optimal conditions: little or no current, high water temperature all year round, interesting seabeds for both flora and fauna.