Martinique is an island located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is an overseas department of France (one of the 27 regions of France) in the Caribbean Sea, north of St. Lucia and south of Dominica. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica. It has land area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 square miles) and as of January 2013, it had a population of 386,486 inhabitants. Its capital is Fort-de-France. Since it is a part of France, it is part of the European Union. Its official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais).
What to see & do
Martinique is dominated by Mount Pelee, which erupted in 1902 and completely destroyed the city of Saint Pierre, the former capital. The island is home to plenty of beautiful beaches, and in the north are the rainforests. The interior of Martinique is mountainous. Sainte-Anne is considered as the most touristic town in the island, being the access point to all the white sand beaches of the south, including the most famous but crowded Les Salines. Experience the beauty of Gorges de la Falaise, which you can do so by a combination of walking and swimming.
How to get around within Martinique
Getting around Martinique can be done primarily by car, due to the limited amount of public transport in the island. Majority of the roads here are excellent and are far better compared to other Caribbean islands. Go on a road trip by car (there are car rentals available in the island) and see the stunning sceneries of Martinique. Although hitchhiking here is not uncommon, it is best to always be cautious and pack lots of water. You can avoid the traffic by getting on a shuttle boat, which plies between Pointe du Bout and Trois Ilet to Fort-de-France every half hour. There are taxis in the island, but they are expensive. Taxis operate an extortionate 40% surcharge between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. as well as on Sundays and public holidays. Public transport in Martinique is comprised of buses, although they are only few in number. Most bus services are mini buses marked "TC", which stands for “Taxi Collectifs.” The destinations of the buses are marked on a board either on the front window or on the side door.
How to get there
There is only one airport in the island: Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport, which is in Le Lamentin, a suburb of the capital Fort-de-France. It is served by Air Antilles Express, Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Caraïbes, Air France, Air Transat, American Airlines, Corsair International, Cubana de Aviación, LIAT, Miami Air International, Seaborne Airlines, and XL Airways France, which fly to and from numerous destinations in Paris, the Caribbean, Germany, USA, and Canada like Pointe-à-Pitre, Saint Lucia-Vigie, San Juan, Santo Domingo-Las Américas, Cayenne, Montreal-Trudeau, San Juan, Havana, Barbados, and more. There is no public transport from the airport, so you’ll have to either hire a car or take a taxi. The other way of getting in, aside from air transit, is by ferry. If you’re coming from the surrounding islands, you can book a trip via Express des Iles or Brudey Frères. However, note that cruise ships often visit “in season”.