Caribbean Tourism

Martinique

Tourist Information

Tourist Offices Overseas Belgium Service Official Français du Tourisme 21 Avenue de la Toison d’Or, 1060 Brussels T25130762, F25143375 Canada French Government Tourist Office 1981 Avenue MacGill College, Suite 490, Montréal, Quebec, H 3A 2W9 T514-2884264, F8448901 30 St Patrick Street, Suite 700, Toronto T416-5934723, F9797587 Office du Tourisme de la...

Before Travelling

Documents The regulations are the same as for France. In most cases the only document required for entry is a passport, the exceptions being citizens of Australia, South Africa, Bolivia, Dominica, St Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Turkey, when a visa is required. In 2000, for a trial period of three...

The Tropical Rainforest

La Route de la Trace winds through the tropical rainforest on the slopes of the Pitons du Carbet from Fort-de-France to Morne Rouge on the southern slope of Montagne Pelée. The town was hit by a second eruption of Pelée on 20 August 1902. A new park has been opened, called Le Jardin de la Pelee, on the hill above the town, where there is a fine display of...

South Martinique

Les Trois-Ilets The small village of Les Trois-Ilets, across the bay from Fort-de-France, has a charming main square and is surrounded by tourist attractions. Empress Josephine, born Marie Josèph Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, was baptized in the church on the square. Her mother is buried here and the church, restored with money from Napoléon III, is rather a...

North Martinique

The area of Basse-Pointe is the pineapple cultivation area of the island, where huge fields of spikey pineapple tops can be seen. Basse-Pointe is an old settlement with a late 17th-century church and a good view of the cliffs from the cemetery. Inland from here is Plantation Leyritz, a former plantation complex, complete with slave houses and machinery. The...

Fort-de-France

Fort-de-France was originally built around the Fort St-Louis in the 17th century. The settlement’s first name was Fort-Royal and its inhabitants are still called Foyalais. From 1681 it was the headquarters of the Royal Governor although St-Pierre was the commercial capital and seat of the bishop. It became the capital of the island in 1902 when St-Pierre...

Shopping

Fort-de-France has ample scope for shoppers, with an abundance of boutiques selling the latest Paris fashions, as well as items by local designers, and numerous street markets where local handicrafts are on sale. Seekers of clothing and perfume should head for rue Victor Hugo and its two galleries (malls). Jewellery shops are mostly in rue Isambert and rue...

Golf & Other Sports

Golf At Trois-Ilets is a magnificent, 18-hole championship golf course designed by Henry Trent Jones, with various facilities including two tennis courts, shops, snackbar, lessons and equipment hire. Green fees in high season are US$46 and in low season US$39, or you can book for a week (US$285, US$227) or a month (US$960, US$900). Electric carts and other...

Food & Drink

Sampling the French and Créole cuisine is one of the great pleasures of visiting Martinique. There is an abundance of restaurants, cafés, and snack bars to be found everywhere. The quality is generally very high so it is worth being adventurous and trying the various dishes and eating places. The main meal of the day is at midday and many restaurants and...

Festivals

Martinique has more than its fair share of festivals. The main pre-lenten carnival, Mardi Gras, takes place in February or March when the whole of Martinique takes to the streets in fantastic costume. On Ash Wednesday, black and white clad ‘devils’ parade the streets lamenting loudly over the death of Vaval. At Eastertime, the children fly coloured kites...

Entertainment

Nightclubs abound and tend to be very expensive (70F to get in and the same price for a drink, whether orange juice or a large whisky). Nightclubs include Le New Hippo, 24 Boulevard Allègre, Fort-de-France, T602022; Le Cheyenne, 4 rue Garnier Pagès; Le West Indies, rue Ernest Deproge; Zipp’s Club, Dumaine, François, T546545. Casinos charge 60F entrance fee...

Beaches & Watersports

Sailing and windsurfing Sailing and windsurfing at Club de la Voile de Fort-de-France, Pointe de la Vièrge, T614969, and Pointe des Carrières, T633137; Club Nautique de Marin, Bassin la Tortue, Pointe du Marin, T749248; Club Nautique du François, Route de la Jetée, T543100; Club Nautique du Vauclin, Pointe Faula, T745058; Yacht Club de la Martinique, Fort...

Accommodations

Martinique offers a wide range of accommodation from the modest family-run auberges scattered over the remote and spectacular north, to the huge five-star complexes of Pointe du Bout and Trois Ilets, the main tourist area, in the south. 20 hotels with over 60 rooms are classed as Grand Hôtellerie. About 100 smaller places are grouped as Relais Créoles. The...

Entertainment

For those whose visit does not coincide with any festivals, there is plenty of other entertainment. The Ballet Martiniquais (T 63 43 88) is one of the world’s most prestigious traditional ballet companies. Representing everyday scenes in their dance, they wear colourful local costume and are accompanied by traditional rhythms. Information about performances...

Communication

Postal services Post offices are open from 0700-1800 and Sat mornings. The main post office is on Rue de la Liberté and always has long queues. Post card to USA 3.70F Telecommunications Nearly all public telephones are cardphones except a few in bars and hotels which take coins. At the PTT office in Rue Antoine Siger, just off the Savane, there are numerous...