What a joy to visit Martinique! Only 5 hours away from Montreal, we arrived to this paradisiac french island in the heart of the Caribbean, where pastries are french, the plantains are creole and the Martiniquais are pure soul.
This colourful guide to Martinique will show you what you can do in 48 hours, including the best eats, beaches, and useful information to plan your next trip.
In partnership with Air Transat, we escaped our cold winter days in the city, and met a group of girls who I shared all the sunshine, blue crystal waters and the french planteurs we loved so much.
Did you know Martinique’s predominant culture is one of the purest expressions of Creole in the Caribbean? I found everything SO fascinating, so let me start with…
How to get there
From Montreal, Air Transat offers direct flights every week (Wednesday and Saturday), and if you can’t decide between Europe and the Caribbean this year, no worries! Martinique combines both with incredible French cuisine overlooking white-sand beaches, the absolute dream right?
Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles, sandwiched between St. Lucia and Dominica and bordered on one side by the Caribbean Sea and on the other by the Atlantic Ocean.
What to pack in your suitcase
If you’re planning a short stay like mine or a week long, Martinique has the best tropical rainforest and Caribbean beaches options for you, so you need to pack your bathing suits, airy dresses, and sunscreen! The temperatures range between 28 to 35 degrees celsius, and lots of humidity!
Practical information about martinique
Currency is Euro (remember a french island?)
The official voltage is 230, so make sure you pack a A travel power adapter or European converter adapter.
Martinique is a worldwide scuba diving destination!
Taxis are available at hotels, airport and main touristic points in the island.
Rent a car! that’s your best bet to discover Martinique.
Merci en pile! The best way to thank in creole
Martinique’s greatest export? The island’s rhum agricole!
You can visit South and North Caribbean beaches (white sand and black volcanic sands) as well as South and North Atlantic beaches.
ti’ punch, made with lime juice, sugarcane syrup, and white rum, is the best cocktail in the island!
The fascinating Botanical Garden
is it safe to drink tap water?
YES! that was one of my first questions!
Where can I stay?
We stayed at the Hotel Bakoua, located on a peninsula along the Bay Fort-de-France, in the heart of Les Trois-Îlets. Our beach-front room was walking distance from the intimate, turquoise beach. The hotel offers breakfast, a infinite pool, live music at night and a restaurant with creole cuisine.
What camera and drone did you use for this trip?
(I got a lot of questions on Instagram on this one) and for this trip I shot all these pictures with a Fujifilm x100f and a fixed 23mm f2 focal length lens. All mobile photography was done with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, video with a DJI OSMO 3 gimbal and drone photography with a DJI Spark.
what to do, day one
If you want to discover Martinique’s history, you can’t miss La Savane des Esclaves. Gilbert Larose a Martinican man passionate about his island’s history, built this outdoor museum, where you can learn about over 400 years of Martinique’s history.
If you want to get lost in Martinique’s tropical forest, you need to pay a visit to the Jardin de Balata, this botanical garden was created by the creativeness and vision of his creator who has been caring and healing the plants for more than 50 years in the island.
If you want to have a real gastronomic experience, meet Guy Ferdinand, owner of Petibonum, a beach-front restaurant with fresh seafood, a rum bar, and friendly staff (Don’t miss the grilled tuna with Creole sauce).
what to do, day two
Learn all about the creole cuisine and the rum production at La Maison Mauny, after a visit to one of the oldest rum distilleries in the island, we participated in a creole cuisine workshop at the Kay Mimi restaurant, where we discovered (and cooked) a menu filled with local dishes such as “accras” (codfish fritters), rice, plantain, and local cocktails.
We also learned about all the local spices, as the Colombo (a blend of Indian spices similar to curry, and contains curcuma, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, cloves, and cumin, coriander, mustard and fennel seeds).
all the delicious creole dishes filled you right? head to the beach and rest! We visited Le Carbet, where the volcanic black sand colour is a distinct difference, thanks to volcanic Mount Pelée, which last erupted at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re driving (like we did) make sure to stop at the town of St-Pierre, Martinique’s first capital.
Explore Fort-de-France, its beautiful pastel colonial houses, the Schoelcher public library, a walk to St. Louis Cathedral, and some relaxed time at a five-hectare park La Savane where you can enjoy a picnic. Stop at the local markets and try the Cassava, chayote, plantains and all the planteurs.
The spices of Martinique (that are the exact same ones we use in my home country, Venezuela)