Martinique - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Martinique


Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean Archipelago and a member of the French West Indies, Martinique is one of the many islands to make up the group of Lesser Antilles, affectionately referred to as the 'Breezy Islands'. This vibrant island has all the charm of a small village in the south of France stirred together with a little Créole flavour and a lot of spice.

With such a rich and diverse history, culture lovers will enjoy the many historical sites including La Pagerie, where Napoléon's Empress Joséphine was born in 1763, Diamond Rock, a 600-foot (182m) pinnacle in the sea and St-Pierre, a somewhat modern day Pompeii, if you will. It was Martinique's principal city until 1902 when Mt. Pelée volcano erupted, wiping out the city and its 30,000 people in just three minutes.

Featuring two beautiful peaks, Carbet and Mont Pelée, the now dormant volcano that is the highest mountain on the island at 4,586 feet (1398 metres), this area is also home to Martinique's legendary tropical rainforest. The unspoiled beauty of this area will inspire visions of the lush Caribbean landscape from centuries ago, romancing visitors into believing the Garden of Eden still exists.

There is something for just about everybody on the beautiful island of Martinique, with plenty of water activities such as kitesurfing, yachting, diving, surfing and sailing as well as mountain biking, hiking and the adventure sport of 'canyoning', throwing yourself down waterfalls into pools below. For the less adventurous, warm sunny days can be spent lazing on the sandy white palm-fringed beaches, many of which are something to write home about. Salines Beach at the southernmost tip of Martinique is like something straight out of a picture perfect postcard.

Information & Facts


The average monthly temperatures in Martinique are surprisingly constant. This stability is due to the refreshing breezes that blow from the northeast, known as the trade winds (Les Alizés). The dry season is December through May, while June through November is the more humid season. However rain showers can occur at any time throughout the year. Average air temperatures in coastal regions range from 72ºF - 86ºF (22ºC - 30ºC) while the inland areas average from 66ºF - 81ºF (9ºC - 27º C). The rainforests are naturally slightly cooler and warmer coastal waters average between 68ºF and 74ºF (20ºC and 23ºC). Hurricanes may occur any time from June through November and are most common in September.


The international dialling code for Martinique is +596. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). As there are no coin phones, a Télécarte (phone card) makes local and international calls easier and less expensive. They are sold at Post Offices and other outlets marked Télécarte en Vente Iciand are used in special booths marked Télécomfound all over Martinique. Many phones now accept VISA, MasterCard or other credit cards for long distance calls. Instant Internet connection is not yet widely available in Martinique.


Unlike many tropical islands, Martinique has a thriving economy and is not solely dependent on tourism. Relaxed, informal clothing is acceptable around town, but scanty beach wear and short-shorts are considered improper in urban areas. The only officially designated clothing-optional beaches in the French islands are in Guadeloupe and St. Martin. At hotel pools and at beaches near hotels, topless swimming and sunbathing is common.

Duty Free

Those travelling to Martinique may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/250g tobacco, two litres of liquor, and perfume, gifts and film in amounts reasonable for personal use. Currency must be declared on arrival.

Electrical current in Martinique is 220 volts (50Hz). European round pin attachment plugs are in use.

Medical and health care facilities in Martinique are on a par with those of France and are considered to be some of the best in the French West Indies. Specialist treatment is also available. There are around 20 hospitals and clinics located on the island, the largest of them being Hospital Pierre Zobda Quikman, which has 24-hour emergency room. Travellers should be up to date on common vaccinations like Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles boosters before travelling to Martinique. Medical insurance is advised.

French is the official language of Martinique, but Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais) is mostly spoken amongst islanders. English is typically spoken only in the larger hotels and tourist areas.

The local currency is Euros but US Dollars, traveller's checks and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Passport Visa

Martinique is part of the French Antilles. All foreign passengers to Martinique must hold a return or onward ticket, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. Schengen visas are also valid for travel to Martinique, provided they are endorsed as such. Note that a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter Martinique, if arriving in the country within six days of leaving or transiting through an infected area. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


There is very little crime in Martinique but visitors should take sensible precautions and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark and not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should, where possible, be left in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.


As in France, tips are usually included in restaurant bills in Martinique and taxes and service charges are included in hotel rates.

A popular tourist area in Martinique, Le Diamant is a scenic resort area dominated by the 574-foot (175m) Diamond Rock, the remnants of a volcano destroyed by erosion. Le Diamant offers some of the best scuba diving in Martinique, including caves and coral reefs. The area has some beautiful beaches, including Grande Anse du Diamant, and there are a number of restaurants and a shopping centre.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Martinique, Sainte-Anne is a convenient access point for the beautiful white sand beaches of the south tip of the island. The town has a few good restaurants and nice hotels. The most popular beach in Sainte-Anne is Les Salines, only a five-minute drive from the city. Les Salines is stunning and has good facilities like snack stands, public restrooms, and showers. The only downside to Les Salines is that it can be very overcrowded in peak season.

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