I don’t know who brought the “winter-cation” term and idea about, but let me just tell you that it is genius. There are times when you just need a little escape from the everyday life, and the snow!!! Martinique is just that. Although the weekend is not enough to explore the island, the many beaches, the food, and the hospitality is just what the doctor ordered. It is important to note that Martinique is a French spoken country and is a French territory so if are a strictly english-spoken traveler, you may need a guide although people are very friendly. This was not a problem for me since I also speak French fluently, and should not deter anybody from visiting the beautiful island.
Where to stay: La Valmeniere is a nice hotel situated in For-de-France the capital and fifteen minutes from the Aime Cesaire airport. It has beautiful view of the city and near shopping centers. Although this is not a five-star hotel, it is very decent and the staff is very accommodating and friendly.
Transportation: Renting a car can be beneficial depending on the destination but it is very helpful to move around in the city. The roads are very narrow and mountainous and require a lot of patience to get around. With this being said, the tramway is also an option and runs fairly quickly. The only caveat is that it stops working at 8:00 pm, so beware.
Food: Given the fact that Martinique is a French territory, the currency used is the Euro and a lot of the items are imported, and a little expensive when eating out. The local food is excellent for the most part (accras de morue are my fave), but there are also so American favorites like McDonald, KFC, etc.
Places to visit: Since my trip was a short one, I’ve decided to focus on the beaches and will hopefully visit again for a better tour of the island. I spent the first day visiting the city via the tramway and the colorful architecture blended with some old colonial building makes the city an interesting one. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take lots of pictures like I normally do because I somehow forgot my camera charger and had some technical difficulties with the one I ended up buying. Nonetheless, I managed to squeeze in a few pictures before my camera died.
Day 1: Fort-de-France, Open air market, mall
Day 2: Anse Mitan (beach). To get to Anse Mitan, it’s easier to take the tramway to Fort-de-France, and take one of the many taxi boats to the beaches. I selected Anse Mitan because it was one the most popular beaches and has nice bars and restaurants. From my experience, it’s better to eat at local restaurants than the fancier places.
Day 3: It was the highlight of the trip. I was referred to le roi mongin excursion company by the staff at the hotel and I would definitely recommend them. Margaret who is the owner is really sweet and accommodating. She speaks both English and French during the excursion. The trip at sea included a complimentary breakfast before the trip, a stop at baignoire de Josephine which is a sand bank in the middle of the sea, a lunch break with zouk, and pareo demonstration. This was a nice outing since it gives the opportunity to truly interact with the locals.
I would definitely recommend Martinique if you’re looking for a sweet trip to the Caribbean.
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