Martinique, like Guadeloupe, is a French territory located in the Caribbean. The north end of the island is home to black sand beaches, courtesy of Mount Pelee; while the south side has the typical Caribbean white sand shores. French tourists have frequented this island gem for years, and the tourist infrastructure is very well developed. You can sail your way around the island, or take in the picturesque towns around the shore.
The official language of Martinique is French, the locals speak Creole.
The official currency of Martinique is the Euro. Those of you from the E.U. don’t even need to exchange currency. To find out about the conversion rates, visit our currency converter.
Budget accommodations are hard to come by on Martinique, with the low end starting at a little over $100 per night. You can rest your head anyplace from a locally run hotel, to a larger resort, to your very own villa.
Food and Drinks
Cuisine in Martinique is influenced by the islands French heritage, as well as by the culinary traditions of the African people who inhibit the island. Creole food is the name of the game, and you can have some of the tastiest dishes to be found in the Caribbean. Fresh seafood is found on most every menu on the island. Dining is an event in Martinique. Many businesses close during lunch time and dinner may last for hours. Smaller restaurants may not offer menus in English, so bring along your phrase book.
Carnival is a big event on Martinique, with an interesting twist. The island extends Carnival festivals for an extra day, partying in to Ash Wednesday. The understanding is “Rejoice Today, Repent Tomorrow,” which sounds great to me. Then, the island has a second Carnivalesque festival to celebrate mid-Lent. I guess 40 whole days is just to long to be good.
Getting There & Around
Getting to Martinique is easier than ever, with the following airlines offering service in to Martinique Airport Aimé Césaire: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, AmericanEagle, Air Caraïbes, Air France, LIAT, Air Antilles and Take Air Lines.
Ferries run from Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe and Les Saintes.
Taxis and minibuses are readily available for transportation around the island. If you’d prefer to rent a car, all of the large rental agencies are represented on the island.
Voltage is Martinique is 220 AC, 50 cycles, so your U.S. appliances will require a converter.
Things to Do
You can tour some of the finest rum distilleries found in the world on Martinique, but keep in mind some distilleries close during the harvest months of February to June. There are several historic sites available for visitors with an interest in history, including: La Pagerie, where Napoléon’s Empress Joséphine was born in 1763, Diamond Rock, a 600-ft. rock manned by British soldiers and registered in the British Navy as an armed warship and St-Pierre, the Pompeii of the Caribbean. Active travelers can scale Mount Pelee with a guide. Floats, surfboards made from tree trunks, are a site to be seen in Grand-Rivière. If you like to see animals try to destroy each other, cockfighting and snake-mongoose fighting are available near the town of Riviere-Pilote. Horseback riding on the beach is a nice way to spend an afternoon as well.