Martinique is a blend of Caribbean exoticism with a decidedly French savoir faire. Not only does the island boast unspoiled beaches and a lush interior, but it is also home to some of the Caribbean’s finest restaurants and museums. From its culture to its cuisine, the French-Caribbean combination is what makes Martinique so unique.
In the north the once-active Mont Pelee volcano is crowned by a swirling mist. The island’s pristine beaches range from the purest white in the south to the most saturated black in the north. Its low-lying countryside is unblemished and its towns are draped in frangipani and hibiscus. The capital, Fort-de-France, is arranged like an amphitheater overlooking a yacht-filled harbour. It’s a wonderful place to explore by foot. The city’s architectural masterpiece is the Schoelcher Library, a Romanesque-Byzantine structure built more than 100 years ago in Paris, then dismantled and shipped to Martinique mosaic by mosaic.
Just north of Fort de France are the magnificient Pitons du Carbet mountains. A drive through the mountains yields plenty of great views and a closeup look at luxuriant foliage, including fields of guava, mango, papaya, pineapple, banana, and sugarcane. Nestled below the mountains is a recreation of Paris’ Basilica du Sacre Coeur and a magnificent botanical garden brimming with the island’s hallmark anthurium.