Picture postcard perfect
Les Salines Beach, Martinique
is a dependent territory of France, where the Euro is the main
currency, but the accent remains on a lovely fusion of French and Caribbean culture.
Martinique's capital, Fort-de-France, is a wonderful blend of modern and picturesque, especially around the narrow streets of the old town, overseen by shuttered windows and wrought iron balconies.
Also don't miss the imposing Palais de Justice, and the towering splendor of St. Louis Cathedral, along with the colorful Bibliothèque Schoelcher with its turquoise tiles and hand carved columns.
A visit to the large central park, La Savane, is another "must see" if only for the headless statue of Martinique-born Josephine Bonaparte. Lopped off years ago, it remains unrepaired apparently due to islander's dislike for the French empress. It was Josephine who persuaded her husband to continue slavery on Martinique -- to preserve her family's plantation!
Elsewhere around the island, opportunities abound for outdoor adventure along northern coast rain forests, while more relaxing pleasures can be found on southern coast beaches, the most popular of which is picture perfect Les Salines.
DID YOU KNOW? Martinique Travel Fun Facts
Martinique for divers: Diamond Rock
• The inhabitants of Martinique are Martiniquais (pronounced mar-teen-ee-kay).
• Martinique was discovered by Columbus on his 4th voyage to the New World in 1502.
• Known as the Rum Capital of the World, the island has free tours and tastings available at 11 Martinique rum distilleries, the largest number in the Eastern Caribbean.
• A top diving spot in Martinique can be found at Diamond Rock, an offshore island with a deep undersea cavern.
More about Martinique tourist attractions around the Web:
Martinique Promotion Bureau - The official tourism site featuring a virtual guided tour of Fort de France and other outlying attractions including beaches, scuba diving, sailing, island cuisine, and more with practical travel tips, photos, event calendar.
Civilized Explorer - Martinique - A virtual treasure chest
of photos, information and personal travelogues covering top restaurants,
hotels, museums and parks, rum distillery tours, maps and related
travel guide - Good overview from Wikitravel with the accent on local cuisine, plus more on top attractions, how to get around by car or inter-island ferry service, weather facts, map and photos.