The Caribbean Island of Martinique—a dream destination for nature lovers, divers, foodies or those passionate about history—never ceases to astound.
Nestled at the heart of the Caribbean archipelago, this 50-mile long and 25-mile wide French island is unapologetically creole and explored with the greatest of ease. The island’s 450 square miles offer idyllic beaches, dense tropical forests, pristine rivers and the iconic and majestic Mount Pelee volcano—a candidate, along with the nearby Pitons du Carbet, for UNESCO’S prestigious World Heritage list.
It also offers divers & snorkelers of every level crystal-clear waters and an underwater world populated with colorful coral reefs and fauna. In addition to these natural assets and there are over 22 dive sites.
There is always something new to experience in the Isle of Flowers. Divers and visitors alike can explore the recently re-opened Frank A. Perret Museum, situated since 1933 at the heart of Saint-Pierre, Martinique’s former capital, a city of art & history. This completely redesigned and expanded museum now called the Memorial to the 1902 catastrophe is dedicated to the memory of the violent eruption that took place on May 8, 1902 of Mount Pelée that destroyed Saint-Pierre and since dubbed the Little Pompeï of the Caribbean.
Also in the limelight, the prestigious rums of Martinique have a new showcase with newly opened House of Rhums boutique, located at the heart of Fort-de-France, the island’s capital. Rum lovers from visitors to cruise passengers will get a unique opportunity to taste all the AOC rums of Martinique.
King Vaval will return to the streets of Martinique during the island’s colorful and unique carnival happening February 23 to 26, 2020.
Another joyous and unique event will be the world finals of the 2020 Ti Punch Cup. It will take place from March 9 to 13, 2020 at the historic Habitation Clement distillery. Mixologists and bartenders from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America will showcase the rums of Martinique with local ingredients and their creativity. The big question will be: who will dethrone American Bethany Ham?
And Martinique, would not be Martinique without its grand and unique island-round boat race known as the Tour des Yoles which will take place late July 2020. Last but not least, the mid-August Baccha Festival returns for its 7th incarnation. This must-see summer music and dance fest features local and international groups in a dreamlike setting.
Coming up this fall, the female empowerment competition, Raid des Alizés will be back for its 6th edition. This women-only nature adventure and race will take place late November, with competitors crisscrossing the island on foot, mountain bikes and canoes, to benefit their charitable associations.
Another great race is the TransMartinique which has established itself as one of the Caribbean’s signature competitions. This December, runners will traverse the island from Grand Rivière to Sainte-Anne, an 83 mile scamper through Martinique’s tropical forest, plantations and shoreline.
Last but not least, Music lovers will certainly enjoy the Martinique Jazz Festival that will be held this year late November. On the bill are local and Caribbean artists of international note. The festival will also include exhibitions and Jazz workshops.
Where to stay
To accommodate its visitors, Martinique offers a wide variety of lodgings; this includes 3-star hotels like the freshly renovated Hotel Bambou—known for its waters-edge location and verdant surrounding on the Anse Mitan beach, the Plein Soleil in Le François which was recently elevated to a 4-star hotel or elegant 5-stars like La Suite Villa, a trendy boutique hotel boasting a gastronomic restaurant and breathtaking views of the magnificent Fort-de-France Bay. The beautiful Club Med Buccaneer's Creek offers guest an all inclusive stay and for those do-it-yourselfers, there is a wide variety of gîtes ruraux, Airbnb and cottage rentals. A popular option in Martinique, they are complemented by a wide array of villas with beach access or unbelievable views and superb concierge services.
This winter, like always, Martinique will welcome North American visitors with open arms.
American Airlines offers year-round service from Miami with up to 7 non-stop flights weekly, from Miami International Airport to Fort-de-France’s Aimé Césaire International Airport, a convenient hub to connect from Boston, New York and even from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Other convenient options include Air Canada and Air Transat, which also offer year-round flights to Martinique from Montreal. This non-stop service offers many possibilities for connections to and from Boston, New York as well as from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
ABOUT MARTINIQUE (us.martinique.org)
The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. Hot off the press: In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by OprahMag.com and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also featured in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”.”