Martinique is an island state between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This island is situated in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. Martinique is the oversea department of France. The capital city is Fort-de-France.
The climate is tropical with trade winds. The average monthly temperature is +24-+27°C. From July to November is a wet season. We recommend the tourists traveling to Martinique from February to May during a dry season.
The official language in Martinique is French. The local also use Patois in their everyday life. This is a combination of European and African languages with a mix of English. The majority of the population are the Christians.
Martinique is an ideal place for divers and those who love to spend time on the beach. The tourists will be admired by the diverse underwater world of the Caribbean sea where they can also see sunken ships.
Those who prefer city entertainments should head straight to the capital city Fort-de-France which is sometimes called a ‘small Paris’. Anyone will enjoy this very cozy and well-groomed city in the lush tropical green.
The main sight of Martinique is an active volcano Mon-Pele. Dozens of thousands of the people on the island became the victims of the volcanic eruption.
There are no direct flights from CIS countries to Martinique. The tourists will have to take a transit flight with a stop in Paris. The flight lasts 12 hours.
From Paris, the travelers can fly with Air Caraibes, Air France and Corsairfly. American Airlines and Air Canada offer flights to Martinique from the USA and Canada. Air France, Codashares and Air Antilles Express offer flights from South America through French Guiana.
Cruise ships arrive at the port in Fort-de-France.
Martinique is the oversea department of the French Republic so it is subject to the statements in the Schengen Agreement.
The travelers from CIS countries have to submit the documents to the Embassy of France.
The time for processing the documents for a visa can be as much as several weeks so plan everything beforehand.
The tourists with valid USA, Canada and Schengen visas can travel to Martinique visa-free. The citizens of the European Union do not need to obtain a visa to travel to Martinique.
The Customs legislation of Martinique does not restrict the imported or exported amount of money. However, the sum exceeding 10.000 € must be declared.
The tourists can import in Martinique duty-free the following goods:
- Alcohol and tobacco;
- perfume (up to 250 ml);
- unexpired foods;
- personal belongings and souvenirs (the total cost of which should not exceed 15 €).
It is not allowed to take medications without a doctor’s prescription. All the imported and exported plants and foods are checked by the quarantine inspection.
The combination of French, African and Creole cooking traditions makes the Martinique’s cuisine one of the most fascinating. The staple food on the island is seafood, rice and grains, exotic fruits and spices. The locals widely use pepper mix, ginger, coriander, cumin and ground fried rice.
In Martinique, the tourists can choose from 365 restaurants where they can try the authentic cuisine.
The foodies will be delighted by Creole dishes such as goat, fish or chicken curry, Boudin (mussels with black pudding) and Lambi (mussel and sea cucumber stew). We also recommend ordering in one of the restaurants fantastic tuna. Reveal for yourself an unusual taste of Accras (Creole fritters with shrimps, fish and vegetables), Crabe Farci (crabs with savory sauce) and Poulet boucané (chicken smoked over sugar cane and served with mussel sauce). One will be greatly impressed by the taste of the flying fish with cream and garlic sauce, boiled octopus and savory seafood soup Blaff.
Do not miss a chance to order Gratin de Banane (mashed bananas with coconut flesh and coriander) and Flan de Coco (sweet coconut pudding with shrimps).
A traditional side for many dishes in Martinique is a vegetable salad Crude. The most popular meat dishes are made of goat and mutton. Beef dishes in restaurants are rather expensive. At the end of the meal, the locals like to drink a cup of coffee.
For a dessert try a pie with a pear shaped Caribbean fruit Christophine.
In Martinique, you will find a great choice of French wines and champagne. As for the local alcoholic drinks, we can recommend Ti' Punch, Shrub and Collage.
The national currency of Martinique is Euro but the tourists can also pay with US dollars.
One can exchange currency at banks and in exchange offices such as Banque Francaise Commerciale, Banque des Antilles Francaises or Banque Nationale de Paris.
The tourists can pay with the credit card in large restaurants, stores and in hotels.
It is better to take Visa or American Express.
One can cash traveler’s checks in hotels, banks, inns and travel agencies.
Details of interest
Celebrations and festival in Martinique are very bright and remind of the Cuban holidays.
January is the beginning of the Carnival season when all the streets are crowded with the participants. In February and March. Mardi Gras Carnival takes place. Traditional music is playing, the locals are dancing, drinking rum and having fun.
Sightseeing in Martinique
The capital city Fort-de-France is the main port of this island state. In the center of Fort-de-France, there is the Savane Square and in the central park La Savane, the tourists can see exotic palms and beautiful sculptures. Anyone can visit Fort Saint Louis, take a picture of the Palace of Justice and St. Louis Cathedral. If you are interested in the history of the island, go to the Regional Museum of History and Ethnography.
10 kilometers away from the capital city of Martinique, the tourists can visit the Balata Botanical Garden. There are orchids, unique exotic plants, blooming hibiscus and a dragon tree. The landscape designers created amazing ponds with blooming water lilies.
On the volcanic Montagne Pelée, there is a city of Saint Pierre. In the past, it was the main port in Martinique. In Saint Pierre, everyone will see the ruins of the old theater and one-story buildings. On the Montagne Pelée, there is the Volcanological Museum.
You will like it in Martinique, if you prefer beach resorts. Visit Diamond Beach and Pointe du Bout. Take a horse-riding tour. In the Lamentin at the hippodrome Carere. In Lamentin, there are many hiking and bike trails.
Souvenirs in Martinique
In Martinique, the tourists by French perfume, sea shell jewelry and fantastic rum.
Coffee grown on the Leyritz plantation will remind you of the island.