Photo 1- Beautiful Beaches 2 - The town of Fort-de-France Martinique 3 -
Plantation remains at Martinique.
Martinique Tourism Authority
Martinique is a little bit of French paradise located in the Caribbean.
Nestled in the heart
of the Lesser Antilles between Dominica to the north and St. Lucia, Martinique
lies 1,965 miles from New York and 4,261 miles from Paris.
This modest size island is approximately
425 square miles - (50 miles long and 22 miles across at its widest point). The
island is similar to New York City in size and has a population of 400,000. The
Martinique is actually considered a Region of France and the currency is the Euro.
The capital city, where most cruise ships dock, is named Fort-de-France. On
French, Creole and English is spoken.
Martinique has a rich history. The island was
first sighted by Columbus on his initial expedition in 1493, Martinique played
host to its first European "tourists" in 1502 when Columbus landed there during
his fourth voyage. Dubbed Martinique by Columbus, the island was inhabited by
Carib Indians who had driven away the Arawaks who, like themselves, had come to
the island from South America. Martinique was claimed by France in 1635 and
officially annexed in 1674. France and Britain fought over the island until
1815, when it was restored to France. Slavery was abolished in 1848. In 1946,
Martinique became a Department of France and in 1974 a Region of France, its
Martinique is the birthplace of the famed poet, Aimé Césaire,
Zouk and Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, Martinique boasts a rich cultural
heritage kept alive in the island’s 25 museums.
The island is mountainous
and lush in the north with plains in the center and rocky hills framing pristine
beach coves in the south. The average temperate is 79 degrees F. The temperature
only differs about 5 degrees between summer and winter.
Martinique boasts a whole world of natural wonders,
making it one of the Caribbean’s top eco destinations. Two-thirds of
is designated as protected parkland, affording visitors a wide range of
nature-themed vacation adventures – hiking the island’s 27 well-marked trails,
kayaking, horseback riding, enjoying a 4x4 tour and more.
the best of Parisian fashion, jewelry, perfumes, etc., and local treasures. La
Galleria Mall is a top shopping spot, while Rue Victor Hugo is to Martinique as
Fifth Avenue is to New York. For your shopping pleasure, U.S. dollars can be
converted to euros at banking locations throughout the island. Hours of
operation vary, though Fort-de-France banks are generally open 7:30 a.m. to noon
and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Bank-operated 24-hour ATM’s can also be found
throughout the island.
to drive in Martinique, you must have a valid driver license and be at least 21
years of age. Driving
is done on the right side of the road. If you choose to take a taxi, Martinique
has numerous taxi's with 80% of them being Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Known as "The Rum Capital of the World" Martinique is home to
15 brands, each produced utilizing a unique rhum agricole method yielding blends
comparable to fine cognacs. Martinique rhums are the only rums to carry the
exalted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation formerly reserved for
the finest wines. Free tasting is available at all of the island’s distilleries.
For world-renowned cuisine, Martinique’s 365+ restaurants
feature the best of French and Creole cooking. Seafood abounds, prepared
Creole-style with spices, or in a classic French manner with herbs.
Martinique offers Casino Gaming
in the Casino de la Batelière Plaza located just north of Fort-de-France
and Casino des Trois Ilets, offer slots, blackjack, roulette and more. Patrons
must be 18 years old to gamble and the dress code is casual.
best-kept secret in Caribbean diving, Martinique offers abundant marine life,
historic shipwrecks and healthy reefs. The highlight is Diamond Rock, an
offshore island with a deep undersea cavern.
Golf & Tennis
– Designed by Robert
Trent Jones Sr., the 18-hole Golf de l’Impératrice Joséphine in Trois Ilets, is
the island’s sole golf course. Tennis is available at the course and at resorts
throughout the island.
– From sightseeing
trains to the Butterfly Gardens and Mangofil, Martinique has much to offer
families. The main attraction is Aqualand, a U.S.-style water park featuring
water slides, wave pool, and young kids play area complete with its own pirate
Modern day Martinique is truly "a little bit of France in the
Caribbean." It exudes an alluring and distinctly French sensibility in the
excellence of its cuisine, the chic sophistication of its fine resorts and
hotels, and the sensuality of its language. Yet Martinique has a cachet all its
own; an endearing West Indian warmth and friendliness in its personality, a
special spice in its music and dance, its local dishes, cultural heritage, and
way of life. It is an island with style and so much more. A special place, to be
sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!
www.martinique.org, Martinique Tourism