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Practical info

 

Time difference
5 hours behind Mainland France in winter, and 6 hours behind in summer.
Flight time
11 h  
Currency
Euro


Area size
1 128 km²
Distance
6 789 km
(from Paris)

Population
386 486 inhabitants
Languages
English
French

Capital 
Fort-de-France
 

Formalities :

Before going, you must be sure to have a valid ID card or passport.

Information on customs and security formalities is provided as a guide.
Under no circumstances may Corsair be held responsible if your official documentation is not in order.

To prepare your trip, we suggest you contact the island’s tourist office:

76, rue Lazare Carnot
+596 596 60 27 73 / Fax 05 96 60 27 95

Worth knowing

There are no obligatory vaccinations. However, remember to take sun cream, sunglasses and mosquito repellents.

Shopping hours

Shops are open between 08:00 and 18:00, with a break between 12:00 and 14:00.

Transport

There is just one bus company that serves the Fort-de-France region, so it is practically essential to hire a car locally. Failing that, the locals get around by shuttle taxi, which remains the most common way to travel. Lastly, you can get to the neighbouring islands easily with regular boat connections.

Security

Before swimming, do watch out for certain fish and marine animals: seek advice beforehand.

Services

The post offices are open until 16:00 during the week, and on Saturday morning. Banks are open from 08:00 to 16:00, with a break between 12:00 and 14:00. Some also close on Monday and Wednesday.

Holidays and celebrations

  • New Year’s Day: 1st January
  • Easter Monday: between 22nd March and 25th April
  • Labour Day: 1st May
  • VE Day: 8th May
  • Ascension: 20th May
  • Pentecost Monday: 30th May
  • National holiday: 14th July
  • Assumption: 15th August
  • All Saints’ Day: 1st November
  • Armistice Day: 11th November
  • Christmas: 25th December

Going to / Leaving the airport

See detail

The essentials

Exploring the island (by 4x4, on foot or horseback) and seaside activities will be features of your stay. You should also check out the wildernesses, waterfalls, torrents, virgin forests, volcanic landscapes and superb Caribbean beaches with their lagoons and coral reefs.

 

The “island of flowers” also has unmissable golden sandy beaches, sugar cane fields, the city of Fort-de-France with its markets, and the volcanic relief of Mount Pelée.

 

There is a wide choice of walking in some places with abundant tropical forests, such as the loop from Absalon, Fond Baron, Absalon Fontaine to Plateau Michel. Lastly, there are many places to go scuba diving.


Gastronomy

Martinican cuisine is simple and generous. The result of the hybridisation of f all the peoples who have passed through, it is varied and hot. With spicy grilled fish and influences from Africa, France and India (Colombo), this cuisine has a really wide gastronomic range.

 

Mainly based on seafood, Martinican dishes share the feature of often marinating meat and fish in a seasoning (usually based on West Indian chilli peppers) to enhance the taste. We can also mention the abundant use of manioc flour.

 

Blood pudding, accras, Ti punch and rum are of course the main West Indian and Martinican specialities.


Culture

Martinique has a colourful cultural and artistic heritage. As throughout the West Indies, dance and music (biguine, zouk) are an integral part of Martinican life – painting also plays a major role. Figurative, naive or contemporary, there are several styles depicted by painters, and you can check out all these works of art at the many exhibitions.

 

Martinique is also a part of France packed with colour and high spirits, a land where festivals feature all year round, whether in the form of the many Patron saints’ days or the famous Carnival.

 

Finally, Martinique is also a French department with a mix of beliefs and religions. Although the Martinicans are mainly devout Catholics, witchcraft remains an integral part of local culture.


Climate

The temperatures in the Caribbean are pleasant all year round, with an average of 25° C.

 

There are two distinct seasons in this wet tropical climate: the more pleasant dry season, from February to April, and the wet season, from July to October. The cyclone season runs from August to October.


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