Martinique is truly "A little bit of France in the Caribbean Islands." It exudes a distinctly French feeling, in the excellence of its Caribbean cuisine, the beauty of its language. Yet Martinique has a cachet all its own, an endearing west Indian warmth in its personality, a special spice in its Caribbean music and dance, its local dishes, and its way of life. It is an island with style. Numerous French people are born or lived in Martinique. For instance, Josephine, Napoleon’s wife was born in Martinique and the famous painter Paul Gauguin lived also there.  Martinique offers beaches of white sand on the South part and black sand beaches up North; it has nice little isolated coves; picturesque small fishing villages; lush tropical forests; hot water springs, spectacular peaks and gorges; and everywhere flowers and fruits.


In 1502, on its fourth trip to the New World, Columbus arrived in Martinique. Before him, the island was inhabited by the Arawaks and Caribs. These nations came from the Orenoque valley and for them Martinique was the Flower Island. Colonization began in 1635, when the French, who had promised the native Caribs the western half of the island, established a settlement. The French proceeded to eliminate the Caribs and later imported African slaves as sugar plantation workers. Martinique became a domain of the French crown in 1674. In the 18th century, Martinique's sugar exports made it one of France's most valuable colonies; although slavery was abolished in 1848, sugar continued to hold a dominant position in the economy. A target of dispute during the Anglo-French worldwide colonial struggles, Martinique was finally confirmed as a French possession after the Napoleonic wars. In 1902 an eruption of Mt. Pelée destroyed the town of St. Pierre. It became an overseas department of France in 1946 and an administrative region in 1974.


The population includes African and African-white-Indian mixture 90%, white 5%, East Indian and Chinese less than 5%. Martinique’s local culture is diverse and well developed, so there is much to experience and celebrate on the island. The beautiful arts centre in Fort-de-France offers theatre, dance and musical performances on a grand scale. Local artists exhibit in galleries throughout the island and some open their workshops to visitors.


To See

There is a wealth of sightseeing opportunities on this large, diverse island. Good beaches, water sports, or golf, historical attractions, beautiful scenery, hiking, bird watching are some examples of the numerous activities you can choose from. Lush vegetation, plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables are everywhere. You can take the time and enjoy this marvellous unspoiled nature. There are about 20 museums to learn about the history of Martinique like the first one, The Volcanologique museum in Saint-Pierre, opened in 1933 by the American Franck Perret

Usefull Information

Airports: Lamentin, 11 km of Fort-de-France.

Area: 1,101 km2 (425 square miles).

Business: From Monday to Friday 730am to 1230pm and from 230pm to 430pm. Good French knowledge is crucial to do business on the island as it is closely related to France.

Capital: Fort-de-France.

Climate: Martinique profits from a tropical coastal climate. The Azores anticyclone directs towards the islands an East wind better known under the name of "Alizé". The temperature is pleasant and the trade winds are generally established. The air is 24 ° on average in February and can go up to 27 ° C in August. There are two seasons with not precisely marked transitions.

Clothing: Light clothes but also a warmer jacket for evenings is recommended, good sunglasses and products against sunburn and mosquito.

Currency: Euro.

Customs: Martinique being a department of France, duty free exemption is the same as France.

Economy: The most important industry of Martinique is tourism. In agriculture, sugar cane and bananas are the major commercial cultures. Flowers have also begun a new area good to the export.

Electricity: 220 Volts AC, 50 Cycles.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official Martinique tourism website (link below) or ask us.

Health: Martinique has 18 hospitals, many specialised services and several clinics.

Holidays: New Year’s day (01 JAN), Mi-carême-carnival (MAR), Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Labour Day (MAY), Victory Day (MAY), Ascension Day (MAY), Abolition Day (MAY), Whit Monday (JUN), National Day (14 JUL), Schoelcher Day (JUL), Assumption day (AUG), All Saints' s Day (NOV), Armistice Day (NOV), Christmas (25 DEC).

Language: French, Creole patois.

Political status: overseas department and administrative region of France.

Population: 436,000.

Religion: Catholicism is the most important on the island. However, many religious communities also have their place here, including the Adventist Church, Evangelists, and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Security: Petty street crime occurs throughout the French West Indies. Visitors should take sensible precautions such as not carrying too much money around and should try to secure valuables in a hotel safe and take care to always lock and secure hotel room doors and windows. Finally, they should be especially vigilant on the beaches at night.

Shopping: Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Bamboo products, jewellery in coral or gold, tissues, Creole dolls, music and rum are the main souvenirs. Lots of handicraft stores are on the Island, like on Savane Place.

Taxes & Service charges: Same as in France. Tipping is usually 10%.

Telecommunications: The International Dialling Code for Martinique is 00 596.  Note there are no codes for individual towns and cities in Martinique. You can call from your hotel (more expensive), from a telephone booth or with a telephone card (available in tobacco shops). Martinique has 10 digits number ((0 596.XX.XX.XX.).

Time: GMT – 4 hrs. Martinique Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: There is no public transportation but « Taxi-Communaux », small buses that make regular runs from the capital. They only leave the bus stop when they are full. There is no regular schedule. Stops are on request anywhere. Car rental is the best way to visit the island at your own pace.  Road system is of an average quality, except the highway which is very good. Secondary roads are quite damaged. Driving on the island request all your vigilance. There are also taxis, but price grows rapidly. They are normally in Fort-de-France close to the pier of the cruise boat.



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From: 4195 CHF/3395 €

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