What Makes Martinique An Ideal Travel Destination This Year?

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Picture by Janine Miranda

Martinique is the fascinating island that features in the popular series Death in Paradise. It remains a unique dream destination with its stunning fauna, flora, beaches, and succulent Creole cuisine.

The year has started and with the cold weather affecting not only our mood, but our whole well-being, many of us are beginning to think of our next vacation. If you’re at this stage, then Martinique, a French-speaking island with native Creole in the Eastern Caribbean Sea is the place you may want to consider; some say it’s a must.

Prestigious World Heritage Sites & Culture

In September 2023, Mount Pelee, the volcano in Saint-Pierre, the surrounding forests, and Piton du Carbet, a mountain range of Northern Martinique, became part of UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage Sites. Its biodiversity was not overlooked. 

The story of Martinique, named Island of Flowers, is as rich as its lush vegetation. We can see the Arawaks, Caribs, Europeans, African or Creole’s presence.

This shows that Martinique is a melting pot of culture where everyone feels welcome. Fort-de-France the capital is inviting. The people are very hospitable, tolerant, and always joyful. It comes as no exaggeration when referring to the hospitability of the locals. I won’t say more as you need to live the experience to believe it.

Although French and Creole are the main spoken languages, in most hotels and cities they also speak English and Spanish.

Exotic Flowers And Vegetation

Martinique is a genuine paradise for all lovers of nature; a multitude of flowers and plants await you, and you’ll be impressed by lush ferns and plants. Another treat for your eyes and your palate is tropical fruits and vegetables; coconuts, soursops, guavas, and dasheen, all exotic!

Among the many beverages are the famous rum, ti punch, planteur, and punch coco. Don’t leave Martinique without tasting these— eat locally and exotically to make it special!

The all-year-long average temperature varies from 22°C to 28°C, which is ideal for outdoor activities or going to the beach. There are dreamy, sandy beaches all over the island: Les Salines (Sainte-Anne), Pointe du bout (Marin), Corps de Garde, Anse Mabouilla (Sainte-Luce), Anse Couleuvre, Anse Noire, just to name a few.

As well as lounging on the beach, there are various walks in the forests. Martinique is a walker’s paradise! You can add something different with a Neurofeedback Dynamique in Petit-Bourg to experience a new kind of relaxation.

Activities

There are diving & snorkelling clubs all around Martinique and the sea fauna is fascinating, it’s teeming with unsuspected natural treasures. Many sea tours are available such as discovering dolphins and sea turtles on the Caribbean Coast.

If you’d prefer a drier activity, there are lots of local crafts worth discovering at the markets; Au Grand Marche is the main market, but La Savane is also worth exploring.

If you like dancing there are many clubs where you will learn the Zouk or the many moves of the Caribbean.  Zouk is a very rhythmic, energetic dance where you shake the body; it can be sensual.

Tours

There are more than 100 discovery tours in Martinique, although I believe you only need to go on seven to explore this magnificent place properly; the rest is just extra, and there’s something for every taste. The first four listed are my personal favourites because they offer exactly what I’m looking for and provide a good insight into the places I visit. I like to discover, learn, and get to know the locals and their culture, and I would advise all seven tours if possible!

La Baignoire de Josephine

La Baignoire de Josephine or Josephine’s Baths, is a visit to the beautiful turquoise waters where Napoleon’s first wife loved to bathe. You can swim in the water here, and it’s protected by coral reef which stops the water from getting cold by ocean currents.

The North Caribbean Tour

The North Caribbean Tour lasts eight hours. It takes you to the magnificent volcano Mount Pelee, the Carbet Mountains, and, of course, the ruins of the old town or capital of Martinique Saint-Pierre. These are all part of The World Heritage Sites.

Food Tours

There are a variety of food tours, some lasting five hours! These take you to different places, where at each stop samples of food and drinks will be served. What better way to learn about local food and beverages? No wonder it’s one of my favourites!

Authentic Tour of Southern Martinique and Rum Distilleries

The Authentic tour of Southern Martinique is a guided tour including top cultural attractions. The local distillery makes rum, a famous alcoholic drink made of sugar cane. There are many distinguished rum distilleries in Martinique; a visit is highly recommended. Rum tours are a good choice for people interested in tasting rums and are a shorter version of the Authentic tour.

I would also recommend the Saint-Pierre waterfall and ruins and a rainforest hike as the final two tours on the list. All the tours can be booked at your hotel or online.

Hotels And Travel

When picking where to stay you can get a holiday package, private accommodation chez l’habitant or Airbnb’s are widespread, and price varies according to the accommodation type. The currency is the Euro.

It is essential to rent a car if you want to visit Martinique at your own pace. There are many affordable rentals such as Solene locations, which was the cheapest found when I last visited. All pick up is from the airport Aime Cesaire.

If you now feel tempted to visit Martinique, for further information contact your nearest travel agency or search Skyscanner or any other travel search engines for fares.

Words by Janine Miranda

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