Caribbean Vacations – Martinique
The Caribbean is a great destination, with tropical climates, beautiful sandy beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, and there are plenty of beautiful hotels and resorts spread across the islands. Caribbean Vacations in Martinique is one of the most popular of the east Caribbean Islands, and has a stunning landscape of stunning volcanic mountain ranges, tropical vegetation and pure white sandy beaches. This was once a French fort, and the glamorous Gallic atmosphere still prevails, combined harmoniously with the laid back Caribbean vibe. There are many excellent bistros, coffee shops and cafes dotted along the island, as well as a number of chic stores, many of which stock French and international brands. Because of the excellent dining and shopping facilities, Martinique is a popular stop on the busy Caribbean cruise route, and most of the ships stop off in the main dock Pointe Simon, which is in the islands capital town, Fort-de-France.
See on the Caribbean Vacations in Martinique map its most attractive sites
Dining out in Martinique is a real treat, as the classic French and Creole cuisines combine with the excellent fresh local produce (try some of the superb seafood such as lobster, red snapper and crab), to create impressive and delicious dishes, and also the traditional Caribbean cuisine is well represented with many excellent spicy treats on offer.
The climate in Martinique is of course tropical, but the year round sunshine is marred slightly by the rainy season from June to September, which can make even the fine days seem a bit damp and humid at times. The best time to go if you want to enjoy fine dry weather is the peak season between December and April, but this is also the busiest and most expensive time, and popular hotel prices can be as much as double compared to the off peak season.
Martinique is very popular with European visitors, and this can be attributed to its continental atmosphere, combined with excellent weather and coastline. Another bonus is that the currency is Euros here, which saves European travelers from having to worry about currency exchanges rates. Getting around Martinique is easy by taxi, as they are run by the government to a high standard and charges are at a reasonable fixed rate. The bus system is very limited so not very useful for visitors, but the island does have good car hire facilities (standard national drivers license needed), and the roads are well maintained and easy to drive on.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Martinique, and remember it is only a short boat trip away from some of the other east Caribbean treasures, such as St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua.
Here are a few of things to see and do in Martinique: * Jardin de Balata
Jardin de Balata offers many endangered species of tropical plants
This beautiful botanical garden is privately owned, but open to the public and contains a amazing variety of tropical plants, and excellent collections of begonias, bromeliads, and bamboo (Dendrocalamus). It is just a short drive outside of the Martinique’s capital Fort-de-France. * Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Fort-de-France
Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Fort-de-France is a masterpiece of architecture
This is a lovely Roman Catholic cathedral and was designed by Parisian Pierre-Henri Picq. Seven churches have stood on this site previously, having fallen victim to Caribbean’s extreme hurricanes and earthquakes. The current cathedral is built out of wood and was designed to withstand extreme weather. * Pointe du Bout – this is in the south of the island and has some of Martinique’s best hotels and resorts. The beaches at Le Diamant and Les Anses d’Arlets are lovely, and the waters here are clear and calm, perfect for bathing and diving.
Les Anses d’Arlet is a little town with excellent beaches