Part of the greater French Republic, Martinique’s uniquely mixed culture draws tons of influences from a long eventful blended history. From the native Arawaks, Tainos, the French, the British, and the major Afro-Caribbean population, all mashed together with the island’s colorful characteristics, and the majestic blue of the Caribbean, Martinique is undeniably a must.
What Makes Martinique Unique?
While one of the many draws in every tourist destination is how incredibly unique it is, what sets them apart from each other is the pieces that fit together that eventually form their own uniqueness. These pieces could be anything from social demographics, history, natural wonders, and including the place’s weather system, yes. And, Martinique is no different.
Martinique is a proud blend of people since the colonial era, the Afro-Caribbean, descended from emancipated slaves, the Hindu immigrants from South Asia, the Muslims from Lebanon, up to the modern-day nomadic expats. One such piece of Martinique’s big unique puzzle is its people.
And with the people come their origin cultures, they brought with them their unique ways and customs from their old homelands. From their religion, food, to their music, this blend of different cultures has given birth to Martinique’s unique and rich culture today. Cemented together by the French influence who has been its governing power, has created this special island right at the heart of the Lesser Antilles.
Its culture and society, juxtaposed with the island’s natural bounties have greatly amassed the following that lured eager travelers and revels in its uniqueness. Martinique’s lush, green rainforests, and mountain-cladded landscapes have always been one of its defining points. A wet, bountiful north, and dry, yet interesting south. The island seems to never run out of curious things.
Is Martinique Beautiful?
With lush green rainforests at the north, immaculate beaches, interesting locals, and a colorful rich blend of cultures, Martinique is undoubtedly beautiful. The island is called “Madinina”, the “Island of Flowers”, a true testament to the island’s beautiful natural bounties. But, for starters, the many species of flowers are just one of the island’s many draws.
From its historical, beautiful cities of Fort-de-France, and Saint-Pierre, to its rainforest trails like Route de la Trace and the famous Mount Pelée, Martinique has something that you never know you’re looking for. The island’s many beaches in both the Atlantic and Caribbean sides are just some of the most picturesque in the region.
The Caribbean coasts’ Grande Anse des Salines, Saint-Anne, Diamant, and Anse Mitan, and the Le Francois, Le Robert, and the Anse Michel. The island doesn’t have a shortage of reasons what makes it beautiful, and additionally, the French language is one of the most beautiful languages there are, and it’s spoken by everybody on the island.
Is Martinique Safe or Dangerous for Tourists?
Martinique is considered generally safe for everyone, even for tourists. The risk level in Martinique is only medium which means you only have to practice normal precautions, like avoid walking alone at night or minding your valuables at all times.
However, despite a low level of risk, you have to watch out for pickpockets and mugging, and natural disasters like storms and hurricanes, and even volcanic eruptions as Mount Pelée is still active. Martinique is also prone to demonstrate strikes and it can disrupt services that you might be asking for when you’re staying on the island.
Can You Drink the Water in Martinique?
Tap water in Martinique is chlorinated, while it is considered clean and safe, it can cause upsets for sensitive stomachs. Most residents still prefer to drink water from bottles, so it’s best to apply the “When in Rome” rule. Water supply outside the main cities is known to be possibly contaminated, although sterilization services are available and advisable.
Are There Poisonous Snakes in Martinique?
Many of the endemic snake species in Martinique is known to be poisonous and dangerous for humans. One such poisonous snake species are the Martinican Pit Viper or the Martinique Lancehead. Famously called the fer-de-lance, it can grow up to 2 meters long and has the colors of brown, black, and gray. It is an ambush predator that tends to attack unsuspecting prey.
The snake’s venom has toxins that can cause clotting, and bleeding in humans, which is a bad combination if you are caught in the wild. The fer-de-lance is carnivorous and feeds on smaller animals like rats, mice, birds, rabbits, lizards, frogs, other snakes, bats, and many more.
How Safe Is Martinique Actually?
Martinique is considered generally safe for tourists. Martinique has always been on the “medium risk level” which means you only have to practice normal precautions, such as avoid walking alone at night or be vigilante and watch your stuff.
However, despite a consistently low level of risk, petty and smaller crimes still run amock in any touristy spots in the world, like pickpockets and mugging. The real threat in Martinique is natural disasters like storms and hurricanes, and even volcanic eruptions as Mount Pelee is still active. With their heavy French influences, Martinique is prone to demonstrate strikes and it can disrupt services that you might be asking for when you’re staying on the island.
What Is Martinique Known for?
If you haven’t noticed most of the time each Caribbean destination isn’t only known for one thing only, but a combination, or a whole set of amazing things that involve an island’s culture, society, history, and natural beauty, and Martinique is not any different.
From its historical, beautiful cities of Fort-de-France, and Saint-Pierre, to its rainforest trails like Route de la Trace and the famous Mount Pelee, Martinique has something to offer to every kind of traveler. The island’s many beaches in both the Atlantic and Caribbean sides are just some of the most picturesque in the region.
The Caribbean coasts boast the Grande Anse des Salines, Saint-Anne, Diamant, and Anse Mitan, and the Le Francois, Le Robert, and the Anse Michel. You will soon find out that the island doesn’t have a shortage of factors that make it beautiful, and additionally, the French language is one of the most beautiful languages there are, and it’s spoken by everybody on the island.
Martinique has a rich diversity of people since the colonial era, the Afro-Caribbean, descended from freed slaves, the Hindu immigrants from South Asia, the Muslims from Lebanon, up to the modern-day nomadic expats. One such piece of Martinique’s big unique puzzle is its people.
Various people groups that came to the island brought with them their culture, unique ways, and customs from their old homelands. From religion, food, to their music, this blend of different cultures has given birth to Martinique’s unique and rich culture today. Cemented together by the French influence who has been its governing power, has created this special island right at the heart of the Lesser Antilles.
Its culture and society, sitting side by side with the island’s natural bounties have greatly amassed the following that lured eager travelers and revels in its uniqueness. Martinique’s lush, green rainforests, and mountain-cladded landscapes have always been one of its defining points. A wet, bountiful north, and dry, yet interesting south. The island seems to never run out of curious things.
What Is the Carnival in Martinique Like?
When you visit Martinique during the Carnival season, you’ll quickly realize that the island is just as festive as it is colorful. The Island of Flowers wouldn’t be the Island of Flowers without its bountiful beauty and soulful festive traditions, and one of them is the famous Carnival – probably the island’s biggest celebration.
The earliest Carnival celebrations used to be held in Saint Pierre before the devastating eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902. Now the island’s biggest festivity relocated its hub to the capital of Fort de France, nothing has stopped the grandeur of the Carnival ever since. The Carnival is characterized by festive music, dancing in the streets with grand parades almost every day until its culmination.
Depending on the year, the Carnival usually takes place in February or March. Prepared for weeks, the celebration officially begins on the Sunday that follows the Epiphany – a Christina holiday and then ends on Ash Wednesday.
The Carnival is filled with music, and creative costumes, and the cultural depiction that is strongly African-Caribbean, with the presence of drums and other traditional instruments. There is street dancing in the main areas of the city, parades, and even dress parties. One such highlight is the showcase and election of the Carnival Queens.
Does Martinique Have Nice Beaches?
One thing that’s common in the Caribbean region is the beaches. The divine, awe-inspiring, white sand beaches against the backdrop of the sweeping majestic Caribbean Sea. And, Martinique’s beaches are nothing short of lovely.
Set in the geographical heart of the Antilles, straddling across the Windward Islands, Martinique’s beaches are picturesque and charming. With golden to white sands, lined with palm trees, and pristine blue waters in beach strips and bays, the island is beautiful, to say the least.
The Grande Anse des Salines is often argued to be the island’s best beach. Situated on a moon-shaped bay, with golden sands that just look right under the sun, coupled with expansive views of the Caribbean. The beach is perfect for a good lounging, with cocktails on hand in one of the many bars that dot the shore.
Anse Dufour in the Les Anses d’Arlet is one of the most charming beaches in Martinique. The beach may be small and can seem quaint but its picturesque natural beauty juxtaposed with the colorful beached fishing boats can seem like a scene out of a postcard. With two rustic bar restaurants in the area, Anse Dufour lives up to its charm.
If you’re traveling with small kids, be sure to check out Anse Michel in the southern reaches of the island. Famous for its crystal-clear waters and protected by a long coral reef, the beach is perfectly safe for children. It may be family-friendly but it manages to be energetic and youthful with its many small bars and restaurants where you can sample local Martinique food and drinks, making for an enjoyable excursion.
If you’re up for hidden gems, Ilet Thierry on the east coast of the island has an interesting twist to it. The beach is said to have the bluest water and doesn’t seem to have large crowds like the others. You can get to the beach by kayaking with a company “Kayak des Ilets du Francois” on a self-guided tour, and they’ll meet you at a sandbank in the middle of the ocean with food and drinks.
Anse Mitan is yet another beautiful beach on the west coast with a narrow stretch of that famous fine white sand. Its connection and accessibility to the capital of Fort de France have made it one of the liveliest and energetic beaches on the island. You can get there by shuttle boats from Fort de France, and enjoy some music from its many bars and restaurants.
How Many Beaches Are in Martinique?
Being an island surrounded by the majestic Caribbean Sea it’s no surprise that Martinique doesn’t have a shortage of beautiful beaches. With 30+ more beaches and some of which can rival premier beaches in the region, you will have plenty of reasons and places to check out in Martinique.
Do Cruise Ships Go to Martinique?
With its enduring beauty right at the heart of the Lesser Antilles, Martinique is a cruising hotspot, worthy of every shore excursion. A fleet of international cruise ship lines docks and visit the island every year. Cruise ship lines Oceania, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and the Royal Caribbean Cruise are just some of them.
Where Do the Cruise Ships Dock in Martinique?
All cruise ships will dock in the capital city of Fort de France, in either Pointe Simon pier or the nearby Tourelles – both of which are near the city center. However, being the main pier of the city, Pointe Simon is the most used dock on the island. The other dock, Tourelles is about 1.5 miles away. Both piers have easy access to the city and are just 15 minutes outside of the downtown area.
What Is There to Do on a Martinique Cruise?
You can get the most out of a Martinique cruise experience if you would get out of the ship and see everything Martinique can offer. From its exciting, vibrant capital city of Fort de France, the historical city of Saint Pierre, the island’s countless lovely beaches, nature, and the interesting locals, Martinique never runs out of reasons for you to explore its magnificent draws.
You can always get on another boat once you’re docked on Fort de France and book via your cruise line a boat excursion around the island. A catamaran sailing trip is a quick way to see the landscape of the island just off the coast. A catamaran follows the perimeter of the island accompanied and navigated by a captain that explains things as you sail through Caribbean waters.
You can head down to the Les Anses d’Arlet via bus and ferry from Fort de France and take a snorkeling tour from there. The snorkeling might be on par as the ABC Islands but it is beautiful still. Plus, the waters in the town of Les Anses d’Alet are just divine.
The island is known for its production of Rhums, arguably some of the best in the world, so it would make sense if you visit these distilleries and sample some of Martinique’s best. You can tour the Distillerie Depaz, Rhum Saint James, A1710 Distillerie, Maison La Mauny, and Distillerie la Favorite are just some of the most recommended.
If you would rather sweat it out than just staying inside the cruise ship, you can always follow the dozens of trails in Martinique that let you explore the beautiful outdoor and nature of the island. You can head to mountains, intriguing rainforests, and scenic views of the island via any of these trails.
Or, if you would just want to lounge and have a laid-back day at the beach you can do so on many of the island’s lovely beaches. The Grand Anses des Salines, the Anse Dufour in Les Anses d’Arlet, Ansel Michel, or any of the Trois Ilets are some of the best and popular beaches on the island.
If you want to be more intimate with the local culture, you can take a walking tour along with Fort de France and be immersed in the local life, in the best places in town to get to know Martinique. Plus, mingling with the locals is always one of the most respectful ways to travel to a new place.
How Do You Get Around Martinique?
You can get around Martinique in 5 common ways: by rental car, taxi, bus, ferry, and by walking. For seasoned travelers, the best way to explore much of Martinique is by rental car. You might not solely need a car because there is good public transport on the island, but having one has a lot of advantages. Make sure you rent from any of the European-based companies like Europcar or Sixt to ensure safety.
Public transportation like taxis and buses are other go-to options for a handful of travelers, especially those who cannot drive, and or don’t have the necessary documents to secure a rental car. However, it isn’t budget-friendly. Taxis are efficient but prepare to pay around 20 to 60 Euros or 23 to 68 USD to get from point A to point B.
Buses are perfect for city-to-city travel like Fort de France to Saint Pierre, or Trois Ilets, Le Diamant, and Saint Anne. However, the drawback is that while it’s effective, it might change routes according to passengers’ needs making prices a blur for the most part.
Ferries are affordable and efficient to travel between marinas, like the ones in Fort de France, Pointe du Bout, Anse-Mitan, and Anse-a-l’Ane. Ferry trips can take about 20 minutes one way and can cost around 6 or 7 Euros roundtrip, which is already a good deal in itself. Plus, ferries can save you a lot of time from driving from one side of the island to another.
Is There Uber in Martinique?
Uber is available in Martinique, with services like UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT, UberPool, and many others. The initial fare prices cost around 2.55 to 20 USD.
How Long Does It Take to Drive Around Martinique?
The island is only 50 miles long, and 22 miles wide, apparently it is relatively small. However, the roads that meander through and across the island are winding, and complicated, to drive across the island on a single loop might just take more than a day and less than a week.
The narrow, windy roads of Martinique are characteristic of the island because of its mountainous terrain that is covered with dense rainforests making building networks complicated. Sometimes it’s difficult to get to one side of the island in a single day because of the roads – this is where the ferries come in.
Where Should I Stay in Martinique Without a Car?
If you don’t plan on renting a car while you’re in Martinique, the best place to stay would be around Fort de France, especially near the city center or the downtown area. These areas are accessible to taxis and Uber and are filled with shops and businesses that might cater to your needs like supplies, groceries, etc.
Some notable areas outside of central Fort de France, include Saint Luce if you’re up for that Martiniquais nightlife, Saint Anne if you’re willing to splurge more than necessary, and Les Anses d’Arlet a family-friendly, charming coastal town that is near the best beaches.
Does Martinique Have All-Inclusive Resorts?
With the makings of a dream tropical paradise island, Martinique does have all-inclusive resorts, however, there are just two of them. Buccaneer’s Creek is located on the southwest coast of the island, close to Point Marin where it is home to some of Martinique’s best beaches.
Staying in Buccaneer’s Creek grants you a luxurious room, including wi-fi, gourmet dining, an open bar, sports, and other leisure facilities and activities, and entertainment. The property is sprawled out on a lovely beach, with blond sand, and speckled with coconut throughout the resort.
Located right at the capital of Fort de France, Club Trois Iles is a beachfront resort that offers all-inclusive service that is considered one of the best of Martinique. Booking in Club Trois Iles includes a lovely suite, meals, drinks, entertainment, a kid’s club, and a fitness center.
Some of the resort’s activities include sailing out into the sea, play golf, and a children’s program to let the parents have their best time on the island.
Is Martinique a Good Island to Visit?
With a plethora of lovely beaches against the backdrop of the gorgeous Caribbean Sea, interesting local culture, awe-inspiring nature, and outdoors, all wrapped in one relatively small island, Martinique has it all when it comes to a tropical paradise experience. Though some may argue that there are better ones out there, you can’t argue that Martinique is worth the trip.