Cruise Ship Port of Call

The islands of the Caribbean are located in a region southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north of South America.

Tropical Weather

Atlantic/Gulf Coast

All Clear for Cruisers

 

Eastern Pacific

All Clear for Cruisers

Weather

 

Getting Around  

The roads in the French West Indies are the best in the Eastern Caribbean.

Roads are well paved and well maintained. Main roads are well marked; secondary roads and tourist sites are adequately marked. Excellent maps are available and local residents are helpful, especially if greeted in a friendly manner. Both Martinique and Guadeloupe have expressways.

martinique map

Traffic safety is enforced by the police. Night driving can be dangerous, especially in the mountains and on winding rural roads.

Public transportation in the form of taxis, vans, and buses is relatively safe.

For specific information concerning French West Indies driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the French National Tourist Organization offices at: franceguide.com

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Need to know

Natural Hazards

Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes

Hurricanes. Martinique is situated in an area of the Caribbean prone to hurricanes.  Rainy season is from May to November, and periodic hurricanes between June and November.

In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane alert, a notice will be posted on our Weather Page

Medical Services

Good medical care is available throughout the French West Indies. Not all doctors speak or understand English.

A Hyperbaric chamber is are available at: The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Fort de France. Website   

Area Events

Matnik Caribbean Carnival

Carnival Parade with groups from Martinique and other Caribbean Islands.

Martinique Carnival

February Annual Event
Four days (fat Sunday, fat Monday, fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday) of revelry and celebrations.

Shrove Tuesday

Red Devils Day celebrated with a kid's parades during the day and then the adult parties in the evening. Revelers gather to mourn the end of Carnival and the symbolic death of King Carnival. Only two colors are worn: black and white.

Ash Wednesday

In a good spirit of mischief, and for as long as anyone can remember, the theme for Ash Wednesday in Martinique has been “Rejoice today, repent tomorrow.” To carry the mischief even further, about three weeks into Lent, the island comes up with a dawn-to-dusk reprise of Carnival in miniature, an official holiday known as Mi- Mi-Carême (literally “mid-Lent”). Fasting is suspended for 24 hours and the revelry starts all over again. The fete is infused, week after week, with a merry madness in the bigger towns and cities, especially Fort-de-France. In the days just preceding Ash Wednesday the celebrations reach fever pitch.

Fête de la Musique

National and International day of music with free concerts in the streets. 

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ports > destinations > Martinique
 

Fort-de-France Martinique

Les_Salines_Beach, Martinique

martinique photo by wiki user

Martinique is located between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, 16 miles north of St. Lucia in the Windward Islands. The Caribbean island with French flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – by any one of its many names Martinique remains one of the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. Martinique is an overseas region of France, and in keeping with its traditions, this vibrant island stirs the passions with awe-inspiring natural beauty, a rich cultural history, distinctive culinary delights, warm smiles and so much more. Martinique is said to have some of the prettiest terrain in all the West Indies hosting fields of flora and fauna, majestic waterfalls and rivers, hills and mountains. and pristine beaches. Two-thirds of Martinique is protected land. The highest point is  Mt Pelee.

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Good to Know

Fort de France is the business center and administrative capital of the island with many tourist attractions. Most of these attractions are grouped together around the city’s haven of greenery named La Savane (Savanna.)

Port of Entry

Fort-de-France

Time Zone

AST (UTC/GMT - 4)

Map Coordinates

14°36′0N 61°5′0.02W

martinique map

Average Temperatures

Water: 82° Summer - 78° Winter

Air: 82° Summer - 79° Winter

 

Things to do and see

Shopping

The finest French products, from Chanel fashions to Limoges porcelain, are readily available here. La Route des Rhums, a tour of the world’s finest rum distilleries based on France’s famed Route des Vins, is offered here. Look for local wares at place like Tois-llets Potery Village and Rue Victor Hugo for Creole designed gold jewelry.

Maison de la Nature

Located in Martinique’s lush central region in the town of Morne Rouge, La Maison de la Nature offers a peaceful, relaxing ecotourism experience with some of the island’s best views of Mount Pelee. Here nature lovers can enjoy 100+ species of tropical plants laid out along a hiking trail through the rainforest.

Case-Pilote

The 17th-century church in Jesuit and rococo style is the oldest on the island.

Bellefontaine

A tiny village hanging onto the cliff's edge. From the Bellefontaine beach you can watch typical fishing scenes. The fishermen here use a special type of net called a "senne."

Morne-Vert

This village not only has a very pleasant climate but also offers a magnificent view of the peaks of Carbet and Mont Pelée.

Le Carbet

There are two spots to visit in this village: the Bally distillery on the outskirts of town and the Gauguin Museum.

Fonds Saint-Denis

Clinging to the slopes of the Carbet, this enchanting little community stretches out along a winding road. Fonds Saint-Denis is dominated by the Morne-des-Cadets, where an observatory on the summit keeps constant watch on volcanic Mont Pelée.

Saint-Pierre

You cannot afford to miss this town, made famous for its near-total destruction by the eruption of Mont Pelée in 1902. The river of boiling hot lava claimed 30,000 victims. There was one survivor by the name of Cyparis, a prisoner who was protected by the thick walls of his cell. The Franck Perret Museum of Vulcanology has a collection of relics from this period that were transformed by the terrific heat.

Le Prêcheur

The last town on the northern Caribbean coast. It is famous for the hot volcanic springs and the "Tomb of the Caribbean," where according to legend a collective suicide took place when Carib Indians returned from fishing to find their village had been pillaged by the colonials. Visit the Ceron Plantation.

Le Morne-Rouge

This village stretches to the foot of Mont Pelée. For those who want to climb the majestic mountain, it is best to hire a guide. Le Morne-Rouge also is known for its pineapple jam, anthurium plantations and well-known spring waters, which are bottled here.

Ajoupa-Bouillon

This little village full of flowers is the home of an extraordinary place called "les Gorges de la Falaise," mini-gorges of the Falaise River. You can walk up the mini-gorges to a very lovely waterfall. A botanical footpath called "Les Ombrages" is a beautiful hike where you can delight in the tropical vegetation.

Basse-Pointe

Huge fields of banana and pineapple trees line the road that leads to this town situated on the Atlantic coast. It is worth making a small detour to visit the Leyritz Plantation, a colonial home built in 1700 and renovated into a hotel-restaurant in 1970.

Le Macouba

This village is built on the top of a cliff. The distillery that produces "JM Crassous de Medeuil" rum is located here.

Grand-Rivière

This small fishing village is one of the most picturesque places in Martinique. It has often been completely cut off from the rest of the island after heavy rains.

Trois-Ilets

You can get here by car of course, but also on a ferry from Fort-de-France. The Pagerie Museum is in this town, set up on the spot where Empress Josephine was born. The pottery center, where the objects are handmade by local craft artists, is also worth a visit.

Les Anses d'Arlet

This is a small fishing village with a beautiful beach frequently sought out by vacationers.

Le Diamant

This village is situated in front of the rock that shares its name, a rock that rises out of the sea 2 1/2 miles off the coast. You can admire the rock, home to many birds, from various spots nearby. The Gaoule house standing beside an old mill is also interesting for a visit.

Sainte-Luce

This is a pretty fishing village surrounded by several small beaches of white sand. You can see the rocks carved by the Carib Indians in the Montravail forest, which has been specially prepared to receive visitors.

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Le Marin

The church at Le Marin, one of the most beautiful historic monuments in Martinique, was built in Jesuit style and dates back to 1766. Amateur yachtsmen know the bay as the best mooring spot on the island. A lively biennial celebration with concerts, dancing, art exhibits and food tastings takes place in Le Marin during the month of August.

Sainte-Anne

This is a pretty little region at the far southern end of the island. There are several quiet coves and capes with beautiful white sand beaches, including famous Les Salines, undoubtedly one of the most majestic beaches in all the West Indies. Beyond the Pointe des Salines, the Stony Savanna is an arid expanse of fields scattered with jasper plants and petrified wood.

Le Vauclin

This is a fishing village where visitors can find fresh fish and seafood. The return of the skiffs and fishing boats made from gum tree wood is a sight that should not be missed. A few miles from the town, at Anse Macabou, there is a beach equipped with facilities to accept visitors. Also, if you go hiking on the Montagne du Vauclin, you will be rewarded with a wonderful panoramic view.

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