Martinique Travel Guide
Everything you need to know before you fly to Martinique
Martinique is the embodiment of the French Caribbean. An overseas department of France, it provides the same feeling and aura of a European city on a Caribbean island. But Martinique isn’t merely the transposing of a culture on its sandy shores. It has a lure all its own.
Sandy beaches and beautiful water aside, Martinique is considered one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands because of the stunning flora that thrives there, the tropical birds that consider this island flanked by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean an oasis, and the friendly people that great you at every turn. The incredible mix of things to do on this island will please any outdoor enthusiast. If you like sandy beaches and water sports, this island has them in abundance. If you enjoy hiking, Martinique has vast rainforests and mountain ranges to explore. For those who would rather spend time delving into the history of the place, the island’s ties to Napoleon will more than satisfy their curiosity. And the food… don’t forget – this is France, Caribbean style. The food is outstanding. An inspired mix of French and Caribbean flavors, the gastronomic experience in Martinique is like nowhere else in the world.
Are you a daredevil at heart? Visit Mount Pelee, the volcano that erupted in 1902, leaving only two survivors out of a town that had over 30,000 inhabitants. Hike one of the trails. Get inside the jail cell that saved the only two survivors and imagine what they saw from this vantage point. It will be an experience to remember for the rest of your life.
Here’s something interesting about Martinique: it has been featured in several Hollywood films. To Have and Have Not (1944), Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979), Sugar Cane Alley (1983), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), among others, all had scenes that featured Martinique. The island’s beautiful scenery and alluring disposition make it a favorite all over the world.
If you want to experience all of what the Caribbean can provide, visit Martinique. The island’s charm, history, and beauty will astound you. You can explore, relax, partake, and enjoy without a crowd of people around you. There are many spots that you can claim all your own. Enjoy Martinique for its serenity; it’s aesthetic beauty, and it’s natural comfort.
Where To Stay In Martinique
Visitors to Martinique stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Martinique include:
- Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
- Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek
- Hotel La Pagerie
- La Suite Villa Hotel & Spa
- Residence Hoteliere Les Cayalines
- Carayou Hotel & Spa
- Hotel French Coco
Activities In Martinique
Major tourist activities in Martinique include:
- Swimming and relaxing at Les Salines one of the most beautiful and famous beaches on Martinique
- Checking out the studios and shops at Village de la Poterie des Trois-Ilets
- Hiking the Presqu’ile de la Caravelle or Mount Pelée, an active volcano
- Surfing the waves at Anse l’Etang Beach
- Touring Musée de la Pagerie, a former sugar plantation
- Checking out the wildlife at Zoo Martinique and Le Carbet
- Sampling the rum at one or more of Martinique’s ten rum distilleries
Facts About Martinique
1,100 square miles
Telephone Country Code:
right side of the road
Columbo of chicken with white rice
Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport
220 V/50 Hz – plugs are European standard with two round prongs
Visa Information For Martinique
Martinique is an Overseas Department of France, and as such French immigration rules apply. That said, no visa is required for citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and most other European countries.
All visitors to Martinique must have a passport with at least another six months’ validity. Furthermore, all visitors must have a return or onward ticket plus sufficient means to support themselves during their stay in Martinique.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Martinique
With a valid passport and supporting documents, it can take between 5 to 20 working days for a Martinique (French) visa application to be processed by the nearest French Embassy. Approved visas for entry to Martinique are valid for a stay up to 90 days.
Is It Safe In Martinique
In comparison to major American and European cities, Martinique is relatively safe, and crime levels are low. That said, it is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.
How To Get To Martinique
Most visitors to Martinique arrive via the Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (IATA:FDF, ICAO:TFFF), located in Le Lamentin , a suburb of the capital Fort-de-France.
From Canada, book flights to Martinique via:
- Air Canada Montreal – Trudeau
- Air Transat (Seasonal): Montreal – Trudeau, Toronto – Pearson
From the United States, book flights to Martinique via:
- American Airlines (Seasonal): Miami
- American Eagle: Miami
From Europe, book flights to Martinique via:
Air Caraibes: Paris – Orly
Air Belgium: Charleroi
Air France: Paris – Orly, (Seasonal charter: Paris – Charles de Gaulle)
Condor (Seasonal charter): Frankfurt
Corsair International: Paris – Orly
Level: Paris – Orly
Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Martinique via:
- Air Antilles: Barbados, Castries, Dominica-Canefield, Dominica – Douglas-Charles, Pointe-à-Pitre
- Air Caraibes: Castries, Pointe-à-Pitre
- Air France: Pointe-à-Pitre
From Latin America, book flights to Martinique via:
- Air France: Cayenne
- GOL (Seasonal charter): São Paulo
When To Go To Martinique
The most popular time to visit Martinique is from mid-December to mid-April when the weather is warm, sunny, and typically dry. From August to late October is the low season as temperatures are hot and muggy; also, there is an increased risk of tropical storms. Many hotels offer deep discounts during the low season.
Major events attracting visitors to Martinique include:
- February/March: Martinique Carnival
- June: Fête de la Musique
- July: Tour Cycliste de la Martinique
- November: Fort-de-France International Half Marathon
- December: Martinique Jazz Festival
Weather In Martinique
The weather in Martinique is tropical all year round. The temperature ranges between 72° F to 86° F. Inland temperatures can drop to as low as 66° F. The trade winds bring a magnificent breeze that keeps the island temperature comfortable. June through November is the rainy season, but the storms are relatively short and pass through quickly.
Getting Married In Martinique
A couple wishing to get married in Martinique will need to apply for a special license, which takes three weeks to process. This can be obtained from the Town Hall in the city where the marriage will take place.
In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
- birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
- certificates of no impediment or single status report
- certificate of good conduct;
- a medical certificate with blood test issued within three months before the planned wedding
Also, if applicable:
- divorce papers i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
- proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
- proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Note: All documents must be presented in French and notarized.
Either the bride or groom will need to be on the island for at least 30 days before marriage.
Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.
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