The thriving city of Fort-de-France hosts Martinique's major public airport, Martinique Aimé Césaire International, and three other private landing areas are available for those arriving by helicopter. Although the island sees warm tropical weather all year, an off-season holiday between May and November is often the most economical. Prices dramatically increase during the dry season (December to April), when vacationers seek an escape from chilly European winters. For accommodations, consider the small resort town of Les Trois-Îlets, the birthplace of Napoleon's first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais. Its idyllic white sand beaches attract visitors year round, and it's just 19km from the airport. Head to the charming town of Les Anses-d'Arlet for a break from city crowds. The coastal corner is broken up into a series of small villages named after the hidden coves lining the water's edge.
Martinique is a water lover's paradise, with volcanic black sand on its northern beaches and striking stretches of white sands in the south. Sailing, fishing, and scuba diving are easily accessible when you rent a car on Martinique. Head to the beaches of Anse Dufour for an excursion along the cove's edge surrounded by a sea of palm trees, grab a cocktail at one of the nearby restaurants, or snorkel and watch turtles make their way through the waves. Adventurous scuba divers can boat out to Le Rocher du Diamant, a towering rock formation jutting out from the Caribbean. Once used as an armed fort by the British, the peak makes an epic backdrop for a vacation photo and a daring scuba-diving area amid rocky waters. Join a catamaran cruise and set sail with tour guides who can ensure a safe journey.
With an astounding 43% of land covered in lush green forest, Martinique is truly an oasis. The highest summit of the island is Mount Pelée, an active volcano that last erupted over a century ago. It's now a premier destination for hiking and scuba diving in its surrounding waters. As the island was formed due to years of volcanic eruptions, most of its beaches feature striking black sands waiting for exploration. Head to the northern part of the island to hike the trails winding by tropical waterfalls and rainforests, or to the south to lounge on the white sandy beaches. Aptly nicknamed 'the Island of Flowers', Martinique offers lively natural bouquets of orchids, hibiscus, bamboo, and cactus. Hit the open road on a winding route paved by the Jesuits in the 17th century and discover the island's less-travelled districts on the eastern coast.
|Time-Zones||Atlantic Time (GMT-4)|
When you rent a car on Martinique, you'll find that the rules are similar to those at home. Drivers must be over 21 years old and have a valid driver's license or international driver's license to rent an automobile. Driving is on the right side of the road, and passing is on the left. Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers, and driving while using a mobile phone is forbidden unless you're using a hands-free function. There are many security cameras on the island tracking the speed limits of each vehicle, so be sure to follow the posted signs to avoid being fined. It's recommended to abstain from alcohol while operating a motor vehicle on Martinique, as the legal blood-alcohol limit is lower than in many European countries, at 50mg/100ml. Ferry boats are available to some of the smaller islands off the coastline.