The town known as Le François can be found on Martinique’s Atlantic coast. A truly agricultural landscape, the roads are lined with banana trees and sugarcane. During the harvesting season, trucks full of cane sugar unload their precious cargo at the Simon factory where the extracted juice will go towards the creation of the Clément rum. The Clément factory, in the same town, is a major historical site in Martinique. Right in the center of 160 hectares of agricultural land, the plantation allows visitors to learn about the rum industry, including opportunities to visit the old distillery and the aging cellars. You can also dive into the Créole culture with a visit to the plantation tucked away in the heart of the botanical garden, where Francois Mitterand shared a meal with George W. Bush in 1991. Or, even, take the time to explore the Clément Foundation’s gallery, often filled with contemporary art exhibits.
The commune of François is also known for its sand bars (high sand banks found in the middle of the ocean). Since the construction of the François Marina, you can easily find a yole (traditional Martiniquian sailboat) to bring you to explore Josephines’s famous bath (la baignoire de Joséphine) for a traditional rum christening before heading back to one of the surrounding islands to have a local lunch.
Finally, water-sport lovers can adventure to their hearts’ content. The François bay, especially the point of Cap Est, provide amazing kite-surfing spots. A base of nautical understanding is suggested there, especially for the beginners classes and those perfecting their skills; the most wary will head straight back to the crystal-clear shallows to explore.
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