Climate – Temperatures average 79°F with two regular alternating wind currents (les alizés) keeping the island cool. There is only about a 5° difference between summer and winter temperatures.
Topography – Mountainous and lush in the north with plains in the center and rocky hills (mornes) framing pristine beach coves (anses) in the south.
Population – 400,000+
Currency – Euro
Capital City – Fort-de-France
Languages – French, Creole and English.
Electricity – Voltage is 220 AC. Visitors traveling with hair dryers, shavers and other appliances made in the U.S. will require international power adapters.
Religion – Roman Catholicism, Seventh-Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, Methodist, Evangelical, Baptist, Jewish, Hindu and Islamic.
Money Exchanges & Banks – U.S. dollars can be converted to euros at locations throughout the island. Hours of operation vary, though Fort-de-France banks are generally open 7:30 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Bank-operated 24-hour ATM’s can also be found throughout the island.
Accommodations – Martinique is home to 6,000+ hotel rooms with budget, moderate and luxury properties scattered throughout the island. For the rustic and truly budget-conscious, beachfront and rainforest camping can be arranged. Those seeking a more luxurious experience can opt for villa and private island rentals.
Getting There & Getting Around
Entry Requirements – U.S. visitors must have a valid passport for stays up to 3 months. Non US citizens should visit http://ambafrance-us.org/ for details.
|For short stays (up to three months) no visa is required for the following nationalities:
Citizens of the United States and Canada may enter without a visa for a stay up to three months; however a valid passport is required. For additional information, contact your Regional French Consulate.
Arrival/Departure Taxes – None for air or cruise arrivals.
By Air – American Airlines connects directly from Miami every Saturday all year long. This service is expanding to six weekly round-trip flights during the peak winter season starting December 15, 2016 to January 8, 2017, operating every day except Wednesday.
Martinique also is proud to annonce direct nonstop flights from three major gateways in the Northeastern United States – New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. (BWI) – aboard. The service, which begins November 10, 2016 will operate as follows:
- New York (JFK) – 3x’s weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
- Baltimore/Washington, D.C. (BWI) 2x’s weekly on Mondays and Fridays
- Boston (BOS) – 2x’s weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays.
By Cruise – Anyone keen on cruising to Martinique will be rewarded with more choices than ever before as well. Every major North American cruise line includes stops in Fort-de-France during the coming year, with a record 23 ships making their first-ever port calls in Fort-de-France:
- Adventure of the Seas
- Anthem of the Seas
- Carnival Glory
- Carnival Liberty
- Carnival Pride
- Carnival Sunshine
- Costa Favolosa
- Costa Pacifica
- Celebrity Equinox
- Disney Wonder
- MSC Orchestra
- Norwegian Breakaway
- Royal Princess
- Seabourn Odyssey
- Serenade of the Seas
- Seven Seas Mariner
- Seven Seas Navigators
- Silver Wind
- The World
One of the fastest growing cruise destinations in the Caribbean, Martinique has experienced a 900% increase in cruise passenger arrivals since 2010-2011. For the next year, The Martinique Tourism Authority is projecting 380,000 cruise passengers among the 216 scheduled port calls.
Getting Around by Rental Car – 5,000+ cars available from such notable companies as Avis, Budget, Hertz and more. Driving is on the right. A valid driver’s license is required; min. age is 21.
Yachting – Bareboat or crewed charters can be arranged at most hotels. Yachtsmen can choose among several marinas, most notably Port de Plaisance in Le Marin, the island’s largest and best equipped marina.
Getting Around by Taxi – Taxi stands are located at the airport, in Fort-de-France, and at major hotels. All cabs are metered. Martinique has 200+ taxis.
Activities & Attractions Aplenty
Culinary Travel – World-renowned for its cuisine, Martinique’s 365+ restaurants feature the best of French and Creole. Seafood abounds, prepared Creole-style with spices, or in a classic French manner with herbs.
Cultural Heritage – Birthplace of the famed poet, Aimé Césaire, Zouk and Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, Martinique boasts a rich cultural heritage kept alive in the island’s 25+ museums.
Rhum – The Rum Capital of the World, Martinique is home to 12 brands, each produced utilizing a unique rhum agricole method yielding blends comparable to fine cognacs. Martinique rhums are the only rums to carry the exalted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation formerly reserved for the finest wines. Free tasting is available at all of the island’s distilleries.
Ecotourism – Martinique boasts a whole world of natural wonders, making it one of the Caribbean’s top eco destinations. Two-thirds of Martinique is designated as protected parkland, affording visitors a wide range of nature-themed vacation adventures – hiking the island’s 27 well-marked trails, kayaking, horseback riding, enjoying a 4×4 tour, and more.
Shopping – Martinique offers the best of Parisian fashion, jewelry, perfumes, etc., and local treasures. La Galleria Mall is a top shopping spot, while Rue Victor Hugo is to Martinique as Fifth Avenue is to New York.
Casino Gaming – Martinique’s two casinos, Casino de la Batelière Plaza located just north of Fort-de-France and Casino des Trois Ilets, offer slots, blackjack, roulette and more. Patrons must be 18; dress is casual.
Scuba Diving – The best-kept secret in Caribbean diving, Martinique offers abundant marine life, historic shipwrecks and healthy reefs. The highlight is Diamond Rock, an offshore island with a deep undersea cavern.
Golf & Tennis – Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the 18-hole Golf de l’Impératrice Joséphine in Trois Ilets, is the island’s sole golf course. Tennis is available at the course and at resorts throughout the island.
Family Attractions – From sightseeing trains to the Butterfly Gardens and Mangofil, Martinique has much to offer families. The main attraction is Aqualand, a U.S.-style water park featuring water slides, wave pool, and young kids play area complete with its own pirate ship.
Destination Weddings – Required documents include original birth certificates; certificate of good conduct; residency card (bride or groom must reside on-island min. 1 month); medical certificate issued within 3 months of marriage; French translation of all documents.