Known as the Paris of the Caribbean, Martinique fuses Parisian style with West Indian Creole culture to create a one-of-a-kind island experience. With the beautiful Dominica to the north and stunning Saint Lucia to the south, Martinique brings a touch of European elegance to its rugged landscape in the eastern Caribbean.
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Home to some of the most bio-diverse, ecologically rich forests, Martinique offers stunning beaches, swaying palms and even a live volcano with commanding views over the island and surrounding seas. Vacationers can also discover the island’s many banana farms, sugarcane fields, and rum distilleries.
The island’s predominantly French heritage is reflected in its food. Island eateries serve croissants side-by-side with spicy Creole cuisine. In Martinique, you’ll also enjoy a variety of fresh seafood, such as balaou (ballyhoo), soudons (clams), cribiches (freshwater crayfish) and langouste (Caribbean lobster), as well as an abundance of local produce from breadfruit to cassava.
The island’s French colonial charm can be seen in its capital, Fort-de-France, while its marvelous natural wonders abound on both land and sea.
Although two-thirds of Martinique is protected parkland, there are plenty of remarkable dive sites offshore, including the underwater caverns of Diamond Rock.
What To Do
Take a self-guided tour and tastings to ten different rum distilleries along La Route des Rhums on Martinique, considered by many to be the rum capital of the world.
View the aftermath of the 1902 volcanic eruption at the informative Museum of Vulcanology.
Discover the world of Gauguin in the picturesque fishing village of Carbet, where the French painter once lived.
Stroll through the capital city of Fort-de-France, housing chic galleries, restaurants, the towering 1895 Saint-Louis Cathedral, lovely Savane Park and the Bibliothèque Schoelcher, a replica of the library built in France for the Paris Exposition of 1889.
Explore the city’s yacht-filled harbor and narrow streets, such as the fashionable Rue Victor Hugo.
View the unique statues at the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial on Diamond Beach.
Take a dip in the tranquil waters of Les Salines.
When to Go
A year-round destination, Martinique boasts average temperatures in the 80s F. The period from late winter to early spring is a bit cooler and drier and considered the high season.