The island of Martinique, also known as the Isle of Flowers, was discovered in 1502 by Christopher Columbus. After several months of sailing, he made landfall on Carbet Beach in the North of Martinique. Travelling to Martinique has significantly improved since the 16th century, unless you decide to make the crossing in a cargo ship!How to travel to Martinique?From mainland France:It all depends...
The island of Martinique, also known as the Isle of Flowers, was discovered in 1502 by Christopher Columbus. After several months of sailing, he made landfall on Carbet Beach in the North of Martinique. Travelling to Martinique has significantly improved since the 16th century, unless you decide to make the crossing in a cargo ship!
How to travel to Martinique?
From mainland France:
It all depends on where you start from! If you leave from mainland France, four airlines provide regular flights to Martinique. Air France (Orly Ouest), Air Caraïbes and Corsair (Orly Sud) departing from Paris from Orly Airport offer a number of weekly flights to Aimé Césaire Airport in Lamentin. It should be noted that XL Airways flights leave from Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport.
This airline has been operating since 2018 and for three months a year provides service to Fort-de-France from cities outside the Paris region. As a result, there are direct flights to Fort-de-France from Brest, Bordeaux, Lilles, Marseille, Nantes, Lyon and Toulouse. A nonstop flight lasts between 8 to 9 hours with a time difference of 5 hours in winter and 6 hours in summer.In the off-season or during sales promotions, a round-trip ticket can be purchased for €350!
Visit a flight comparison website such as Skyscanner to be sure to purchase the lowest priced ticket from one of the various airlines providing service to Martinique.
As indicated above, you can choose to travel on a cargo ship with CMA-CGM. You can depart from a number of ports in Europe. By leaving from Le Havre, you'll cross the Atlantic to reach the West Indies.
From the Lesser Antilles:
If you live on one of the islands in the Lesser Antilles, you can opt for a boat or a plane. Airline companies schedule regional flights, such as Air Antilles, which provide service to Martinique from a dozen islands in the Caribbean (Barbados, St. Martin, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, etc.). LIAT and Air Caraïbes also provide service to Martinique.
If you prefer arriving by boat, visit the Express des îles website. This transport company provides inter-island ferry service, including from the archipelago of the islands of Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Dominica to Martinique. You'll have the choice of arriving in Saint-Pierre or Fort-de-France.
During your stay in Martinique, you can also plan to visit more than one island by boat or plane. For your trip to Guadeloupe , don't hesitate to ask us about a package including the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe or Martinique and Marie Galante, as we also offer holiday rentals for these two destinations in the French West Indies.
From the US:
Two airlines provide service from the US: American Airlines and Norwegian Airlines. American Airlines provides year-round service with regular flights from Miami while Norwegian Airlinesonly schedules flights in the peak season but from more cities. They provide direct flights to Fort-de-France from New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale and Providence.
What's the best time of the year to travel to Martinique?
What's the weather like in Martinique?
Martinique is a destination with a tropical climate which is both hot and humid. The weather is wonderful all year long in the Caribbean, with average temperatures of around 25°C. The first part of the year is considered the dry season. From January to March, the weather is cooler and less humid due to trade winds. From June through December, the weather is warmer and rain more frequent.
Nevertheless, you'll still be able to see the sights! It might be raining in the North but the sun will be shining in the South, or vice versa. Don't be fooled by a little rainfall!
What's the best month to travel to Martinique?
That's not an easy question to answer! It all depends on what you want to do! If you want to immerse yourself in a festive West Indian atmosphere, February is the month to choose with its Carnival parties. During the Carnival period, time comes to a stop in Martinique,and everyone's heart beats to the rhythm of Carnival! The ambience is festive and friendly. This popular event is a must-see in Martinique, just like the week-long yole race (end of July/beginning of August). This sports event attracts a lot of spectators in Martinique.
If you want to discover West Indian cuisine, know that there is a fruit for every season in Martinique! As a result, you'll only be able to enjoy mangos and passion fruit from May to October, with guavas available from July to September.
The same is true for sea urchins. If you're looking forward to feasting on sea urchins, October is the best month to sample this exceptional dish! Their fishing season typically opens during this period. As regards matoutou de crabes (spicy crab stew) Easter is the best time to come! There's something delicious to discover all year round!
When does the hurricane season start in Martinique?
The year is divided into two seasons. From January through June, the weather is drier while from from June through December there is more rain and the weather is much hotter and more humid. These are the months most prone to hurricanes.
How much does it cost to travel to Martinique?
As previously indicated, the price of airline tickets to Martinique has significantly decreased. With the exception of the very high season, from Saturday to Saturday during school holidays, prices of around €500 are becoming easier and easier to find (and sometimes even €350 during discount periods). However, once you've purchased your tickets, you'll still have to consider your accommodations, meals, activities, etc. during your stay in Martinique.
Where to stay in Martinique?
There are many types of accommodations in Martinique: aparthotels, all-inclusive hotels, guest houses, charming cottages or waterfront seasonal rentals. While there are rentals in the North of the island, there's a wider selection to choose from in the South of the island on the Caribbean coast.
The most popular towns are Sainte-Anne on the island's southernmost tip with its famous Salines Beach; Sainte Luce, a town lined with many white sand beaches; Pointe du Bout, a lively resort and Anses d’Arlet, the place to be for snorkeling enthusiasts. Prices vary depending on the time of year. For example, for a three-bedroom villa with a swimming pool in the South of Martinique, prices range from €1200 to €2000 depending on the season and from €550 to €850 for a two-bedroom apartment in Trois-Ilets.
What to do in Martinique?
If you don't want to spend any money on activities during your stay in Martinique, you've come to the right place! All you have to do is visit the beaches orhike the many trails! The island has a wide choice of white sand and black sand beaches, one more idyllic than the last! For example, visit Anse Dufour Beach to discover the sea turtles, Diamant Beach with its view of Diamond Rock for bodyboarding enthusiasts, Anse Michel Beach for kitesurfing and Grande Anse Beach for tanning.
Hiking enthusiasts will be kept very busy. Plan to climb Mount Pelée from Morne Rouge, discover the tropical forest or the Caravelle peninsula or the challenging Trace des Caps between beaches and the mangrove. In addition,some tourist sights are accessible without having to walk for too long. That's the case for Cascade du Saut du Gendarme or the ruins of Saint-Pierre.
However, some activities are not free of charge but should be experienced during your holiday in Martinique. It would be a shame to miss the Jardins de Balata, a tropical garden on the heights of Fort-de-France (around €12) or a boat ride to the islets of Robert (around €50) or François to discover the famous Fonds Blancs (Josephine's Bathtub). You should also plan on visiting a distillery to buy a few bottles of rum at affordable prices and learn the art of the ti'punch!
Discover Creole-style cuisine in Martinique
By choosing a holiday rental in Martinique, you'll easily be able to do your own cooking. This format is often more economical than eating in a restaurant several times a day. Lunch in a restaurant costs around €15. It should be noted that supermarket prices are more expensive than in mainland France (dairy products, meat, coffee, etc.)
On the other hand, it's easy to find fresh fruits and vegetables sold along the side of the road at affordable prices. Similarly, many fishermen sell their catch of the day, for around €10/kilo. Some of them even have a Facebook page like the fisherman of Anse Mitan. And if you don't feel like cooking every day, it's easy to find prepared meals to go, including local specialities such as colombo, accras (cod fish fritters), ragoût (stew) and why not buy a poulet boucané (smoked chicken) from a roadside stand!