Martinique: Shipwrecks & French Chic

Politically and culturally, Martinique in the Windward Islands is more French than Carribean and is famed for its hiking and wreck diving in the clear, turquoise waters teeming with marine life. In the bay of Saint-Pierre many ships were sunk by the eruption of the Mont Pelée volcano in 1902 and the wrecks are intriguing and eerie. Another popular spot for divers is Nahoon, a three-mast boat lying off the coast under only 36metres of water: you may even be able to see it from aboard your yacht.

Martinique’s twin ports have very different personalities, as do the north and south areas of the island. In the south it is relatively dry with beautiful beaches and rolling hill covered in sugarcane, while in the north the rainforests have their own microclimate and the volcano Mont Pelée looms. Choose your slice of Martinique: secluded beaches or gorgeous waterfalls, or explore both by circumnavigating the island. At the island’s capital Fort-de-France you’ll find excellent restaurants and chic boutiques, great bars and exclusive nightclubs all with French chic and Caribbean charm. Gastonomes should head to Le Marin Harbour is renown for its fine dining as well as having an excellent marina.


When to go:

The whole year round

High season

October-March

Highlights

1

Sample some fresh Ecrivesses (known locally as ouassous or z'habitants): incredible freshwater crayfish, which are a staple

2

Botanist shouldn’t miss the exotic Jardin de Balata, which has a well-sinposted walk and tree walks for children

3

Visit Distillerie Depaz and see how rhum vieux (vintage rum) is made: connoisseurs claim that it rivals cognac

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