Martinique, a slice of French paradise in the Caribbean. With the glimmering beaches around Sainte-Anne in the south, the imposing crags of Diamond Rock and the soaring peak of volcanoe Mount Pelee , Martinique is caribbean perfection.
If you love the caribbean but get tired of the beach, you’ll love spending some time in the rainforest with gushing waterfalls and walkable gorges, and for those of us that prefer a lounger & a cocktail, the powdery white sands of Les Salines will be everything you dream of. In Martinique there’s always something on the menu for the adventurous or relaxed traveller alike.
Luxury seekers will find gourmet French cuisine along the streets of Fort-de-France, whilst those wanting education & culture can witness a brother of Pompeii in Saint-Pierre, old sugar plantations, traditional homesteads, a fantastic choice of museums and the relaxing botanical gardens.
Surf enthusiasts can’t miss the surfing along the eastern coast, whilst there are numerous scuba diving sites. For leisurely swimming, stand up paddle & kayak, you’ll want to drop anchor off the west coast.
Jardin de Balata
The year is 1982, Jean-Philippe Thoze, horticulturist, landscape designer and poet comes back from travelling to his childhood home, the Creole house of his grandparents. Green fingered from birth, his passion for botanicals lead him worldwide.
The Garden built around this typical creole house is the result of a perfect alchemy of back-to-childhood experience and a one-of-a-kind artist.
The Garden is animated by the creativeness and visions of it’s creator who has been caring and healing the plants for more than 50 years and now shares this dream with everyone who walks through this magic world.
Saint-Pierre – Pompeii in the Caribbean
Saint-Pierre, the once capital of Martinique is “the town that was”.
Before the destructive lava flow that cascaded down from Mount Pelee in the early 1900s, it was the capital city of Martinique.
Unfortunately she suffered the same fate as Pompeii. Whilst the traditional heart of the city still stands; Travelers can come and meander the traditional cobbled streets, see the jail cell where one of the few survivors escaped the disaster, and learn all about the destruction brought upon the island those many decades ago.
Gorges de la Falaise
Near the village of Ajoupa-Bouillon, the “gorges de la Falaise” are easily one of the most spectacular landscapes of the north of Martinique, with their natural pool cut out of the rock. For the adventurous, treks are available with local guides, as you scramble in & out of the water through the ravines.
With its historic fort and superb location beneath the towering Pitons du Carbet on the Baie des Flamands, Martinique’s capital—home to about one-quarter of the island’s 400,000 inhabitants – fort-de-france is an impressive place. It wasn’t for decades, but it’s now coming up fast. The bay has received the designation One of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World. An ambitious redevelopment project, still ongoing, hopes to make it one of the most attractive cities in the Caribbean.
For guests hunting the finest cuisines, there’s the belly rumbling olours of Rue Victor Hugo, where pastries to match the finest of Paris beckon from the store fronts, between the occasional local farmer selling his daily fruits
For the culture vulters there is also the Roman cathedral Saint-Louis, and the palm-shaded plaza Place de la Savane, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll amongst the statues of Empress Josephine and others.
Not to be missed are the scenic domes of Sacré-Coeur de Balata – a replica of Paris’ famous basilica on the hill.
Les Salines Beach
Sand as soft as talcom powder leading to the edge of the warm caribbean sea.
Your captain places your hammock in the palm trees, whilst your chef passes you a cocktail & you listen to the calm sea lapping against the shore
The highlight of the southern coast of the island, the white sand beach of Les Salines is a great place to come and hang your hammock, relax, swim, snorkel and taste the local rum untill sunset.
You’ll find plenty of local cabanas to grab a refreshing cocktail, along with plenty of shaded spots to recline and unwind.
Dive Diamond Rock
For those that prefer below water, the Diamond Rock cavern, a deep triangular cave, is a popular attraction for scuba divers. The cave contains prolific quantities of beautiful sea fans and corals, though strong currents make diving around the island a risky venture, and only recommended for experienced divers.
One of the rock’s cannons that the French had toppled from the summit can be found, amongst the many fish & coral.
Eat at resturant 1643
For those of you wanting to taste typical, local Creole cuisine, restaurant 1643 is a must see. Located in a rustic Caribbean-style cabana with Tiki overtones close to the Martinique Zoo, the acclaimed restaurant of 1643 is the go-to place for eating authentic, fresh and creative Creole cuisine.
The menu boasts some of the best flavors of the region: Polynesian fish cuts in coconut milk, cod fritters, bass fillets in Carib spices amongst others. Being a French island, it’s not uncommon to find crème brulee on the menu along with Spanish pork & filo pastry parcels.
With regular jazz & folk performances, it’s normal to get entertainment with your dinner.
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