Christmas in Martinique
Christmas means different things to different people… well, it kinda means the same thing to everyone but the way we observe it differs. Nice save, right? Some people do the entire traditional thing of inviting the family over, apologizing to the attending officers later, putting out the flames on the Christmas tree, and then having a nice lunch. Ahem. Maybe some traditions could do with a little tweaking.
After the traditional Christmas, whether that involves meat or meat substitute and the assortment of vegetables and sides, there is usually the obligatory Christmas movie and that means Bruce Willis, Nakatomi Tower, and the late, great Alan Rickman. And yes, it is a Christmas movie!
While all of the above (well, parts of it) are the ideal for most families, what comes next, sledding? Snowball fights? They are fun, but if you do it every single year, doesn’t it get a little stale and boring?
Have you ever spent the Christmas holidays sailing through the Caribbean? The French Caribbean island of Martinique may not be the obvious choice for a Christmas vacation, but a magical, sunny, Christmas experience here is one that you will never forget.
Spending your Christmas in the jewel of the Caribbean means experiencing the cultures and warm moments that go with it – and that is not even taking into account the wonderful weather. Christmas comes with food as well as family and the food that can be found on Martinique is simply amazing
Instead of your dry turkey (sorry, but you know it’s true) this year, why not head to Martinique and try something a little different? A staggeringly good pork stew is available here, with pois d’Angole (peas) prepared with Bois d’Inde leaves and yams – sound amazing? It tastes even better!
Food buffs are going to fall in love with Martinique salted pâtés, the specially prepared Christmas ham, spicy black pudding (absolutely delicious if you don’t think about it too much), and, naturally, an incredible array of chocolates, fruits, and pastries.
Martinique offers a whole wealth of, what the French would call, joie de vivre authenticity and tradition for Christmas. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, and why on earth wouldn’t you, then why aren’t you making a booking?
December in Martinique sees the opening of two festivals that you really do not want to miss, and they are a great reason to jump on a boat all on their own:
- Martinique Jazz Festival
- Rum Festival
Oh yeah, a rum festival! Held every December at the Saint-James Distillerie. The world-famous Saint-James distillery, which was founded in 1765, opens its doors every year to the general public. Why? The Rum Festival! This happens on December 14th which, technically, isn’t Christmas but there will be Christmas carols aplenty, as well as:
- Visit the Craft Village
- Visit the Rum Museum
Why not jump ship, leave the keys with the designated captain, and head off to the festival? The rum is amazing and is an excellent reason on its own to start the Christmas celebrations a little early.
We skipped ahead a little there, to leave to the end what is, without doubt, the world’s coolest festival – the Martinique Jazz Festival. Martinique is home to the Caribbean’s oldest jazz festival and the Martinique Jazz Festival has, for quite some time, provided a platform for local as well as international artists. This offers an ideal way for them to share their musical talents with a wide, lively, and appreciative crowd of jazz lovers from all over the world.
As something of a slight oddity, the festival is held every two years and only on even-numbered years.
Right through the whole of December, until Christmas Eve, you will find yourself invited to sing carols with the locals and other visitors at the Caribbean famed Chanté Nwel. This event is well known in the region where large numbers of people will gather at either public spaces or friend’s homes to sing Christmas carols.
While there, whether you are thirsty or not, you can relax a little more with some homemade liquor like the rather delicious Shrubb – this is made with Martinique rum and orange peel. There’s a nice citrus twang a little sweetness.
The French are well known for their culinary expertise, and being a French island Martinique is well known for its food. Located right on the gorgeous beach of Grande Anse d’Arlets, famed for its clear turquoise waters and tall coconut trees, there is the Ti-Sable restaurant.
You will be able to enjoy an amazing meal here, while you sip cocktails with your toes buried in the sand. Being Martinique, there are French and Creole meals on the menu, as well as an impressively wide range of ice creams.
If you enjoy music, and who doesn’t, the restaurant hosts concerts every Sunday and there are of carols to enjoy at Christmas too.
Should you require something with a little more glitz at Christmas, then why not inject a little James Bond into your life and off to Casino Batelière Plazza. Found right on the coast, this impressive Casino has everything for everyone and it is also family-friendly. Restaurants, bars, and entertainment in the shape of the annual Christmas Showcase which is fun for the entire family.
When you are done partying, the daytime is tonnes of fun too – especially for topping up your tan and going snorkeling. The usual beach-based, sun-drenched activities are available, if you want a little break from all the tinsel draped frivolities. A cool drink by, or even on, the sea is an internationally recognized cure for hangovers. Now you know, and you are welcome.
Martinique is an excellent sailing vacation destination any time of the year, making the trip at Christmas just makes the whole thing a little more magical… It may even break the traditional habit of the big family fight.
For information on this or any other destination, contact Yacht Vacation Company