If you want to spend your dream vacation on an island with French influences, a trip to Martinique is highly recommended. Here you can expect beautiful white sandy beaches, interesting sights, first-class opportunities for sailing, mountainous landscapes for hiking, delicious food and unique rum.
According to Weddinginfashion, the west coast of Martinique faces the Caribbean Sea and the east coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. It belongs to the Leeward Islands and is part of the Lesser Antilles. The neighboring islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia are only a few kilometers away.
Breathtaking beaches border on tropical rainforests and cathedrals share the skyline with an imposing volcano. Tourists and local residents crowd the streets of Fort-de-France lined with shops and restaurants. If you want to go on a beach vacation one day and are looking for the adrenaline rush the next, you’ll find that this island offers both – and does both well.
Of course there is a catch. The good food, luxury resorts, and pristine sand don’t come cheap. Holidays in the region are quite expensive, especially in winter. Nevertheless, this island has a history steeped in history, a French-influenced culture and a varied landscape that cannot be found anywhere else in the Caribbean.
Best travel time
The best time to travel is in April and May . Then the main tourist season ends and the prices are no longer that high. Hotels then often only cost half the prices in the high season. During the rainy season, many hotels close and the risk of hurricanes (July to September) increases significantly. From October the island wakes up again from its hibernation and only a few tourists can be found. To get the best prices, you should book at least three months before departure.
With an average temperature of 26 ° C, Martinique is a year-round destination . Trade winds bring a steady breeze from the east and northeast. There is a rainy season from July to October and the humidity is then very high. The north of the island is more humid, the south rather dry. Due to the tropical climate, Martinique has a lush vegetation with tropical forests, savannas, countless types of trees, fruits, plants and flowers – not to mention its mangrove forests and many picturesque bays. The wildlife consists mainly of birds, fish, shellfish and lizards. The opossum is one of the few mammals that can be found in Martinique.
Optimal travel time after months
December – March
The carnival season in Martinique and the generally cool winters in Europe and the USA drive up prices thanks to many tourists. The noble hotels also demand high prices and the temperatures are around 29 ° C. If you want to celebrate a Carnival in Martinique, you should look for a hotel three to four months in advance.
The island is relatively quiet in late spring and there are more hotels open than in the stormy summer. Temperatures rise to just over 30 ° C and hotels in Martinique often have offers at lower prices (compared to the season from December to March). For the best bargain, look for a winter vacation deal.
June – November
Now it is the rainy season on the island, which is why many hotels close in summer and autumn. Hotels that stay open during this season, however, don’t lower their room rates as much as you might expect. The Atlantic hurricane season is officially over at the end of November, so the island wakes up from hibernation in late autumn to prepare for the main season.
Climate in Fort-de-France
The maximum temperature in Martinique is 31 ° C. In January the thermometer rises to a maximum of 28 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 31 ° C hot . In the winter months it is around 29 ° C very warm . During the day, the average annual temperature in Martinique is a warm 29.9 ° C.
At night it gets coldest with 21 ° C. While the nights in summer are averages of pleasantly warm 23 ° C, the thermometer drops to a pleasantly warm 21 ° C between November and March. The temperature at night is on average a pleasant 22.2 ° C throughout the year.
The water temperature is up to 28 ° C, in February the sea has a maximum of 25 ° C. In the summer months from June to September the water is very warm with an average of 28 ° C. Between November and March the values are a very warm 26 ° C. Over the year, the sea has an average temperature of 26.9 ° C.
With 29 rainy days, September is the rainiest month of the year. The April is the driest month of the year . From June to September Martinique is wet with an average of around 24 rainy days, the winter (November to March) is humid with 18 rainy days. Every month there is an annual average of 19.3 days of rain.
Food and drink
If you are staying in one of the all-inclusive resorts, you do not have to worry about finding a restaurant, as most of the restaurants in the hotels are of very high quality and good. If you do want to eat outside, the best restaurants can be found in Fort-de-France. Martinique food is considered some of the best in the Caribbean, but it can be very expensive. Many restaurants offer a fixed tourist menu, which often includes several courses and a drink.
Martinique cuisine blends French, African and Creole flavors with seafood. Fish specialties like mussels, crabs and lobsters have a French twist with creamy sauces and crispy gratins, accompanied by local sweet potatoes and plantain-like tubers. If you like it spicy, you should try a pinch of chien sauce made from onions, peppers, shallots, oil and vinegar.
Martinique falls under the French monetary system and has the euro as the island’s official currency. Money can be exchanged at Change Caraïbes Bank, which is located either at Aimé Césaire International Airport or in the island’s capital, Fort-de-France. The Caraïbes banks offer better exchange rates than hotels.
Since Martinique is only a relatively small island, classic sights are rather rare. Nevertheless, there is a lot to discover and even more to enjoy here. Iwanowski’s travel guide “Caribbean / Lesser Antilles” is particularly recommended . It has a good deal on Martinique and is very extensive. But Marco Polo’s travel guide is also helpful and contains useful tips.
Martinique’s official language is French, but many islanders also speak Creole. Although it is possible to find English speakers in the tourist areas, it is beneficial if you speak French or at least bring a French dictionary with you. If you try to speak their language, you will be welcomed more warmly by the residents.
In all restaurants in Martinique, a service fee of 15% is already included on the bill. However, it is welcomed to add a little more if the service has been particularly good.