The pretty island of Martinique is a stunning combination of laid back tropical island and French sophistication. The stunning beaches, intense colours and rich culture of the Caribbean are laced with coquettish hints of the French heritage. Chic towns filled with excellent culinary offerings and an incredible arts scene make this island the perfect destination for the Bon Vivant. A Martinique yacht charter is the best way to experience everything that she has to offer. Sail around the volcanic north, where mountains shrouded in dense forest and beautiful flora rise from the sea, then drift south to discover white sand beaches fringed with palm trees, and quiet bays with tropical turquoise water. A number of reefs and wrecks make the area great for diving and snorkelling, while on land the hills and forests make for spectacular hiking.
Key Cruising Areas: Sailing south the Windward Islands are one of the best sailing destinations in the world. North leads you to the Leeward islands, with endless options for cruising itineraries.
Don’t Miss: For some local flavor head to the covered market at Grand Marche. Wander round the colorful stalls heaped with plantains and coconuts, aromatic spices and wooden carvings. Pick up a snack of Pâtés Créoles, and some of the local rum to take home.
Best Spots for Wining and Dining: The French influences ensure that there is no shortage of fine dining on Martinique and the south west offers some of the best. Try the famous gourmet restaurant Le Plein Soleil, where chef Réclair turns simple, fresh produce into something remarkable with refined French culinary techniques.
Local Culture: Martinique is a wonderful mixture of French sophistication and the Caribbean love of entertainment. The festivals and yacht races throughout the year are a great opportunity to soak up local culture and feel the buzzing atmosphere of the island at its best. The Yole Boat Race in August and Vaval in March/April are two of the biggest.
Best Beach: An easy walk from the marina, the beach at Pointe du Bout has the feeling of a tropical lagoon. The curved sandy beach, sprinkling of black volcanic rocks and palm tree studded peninsulas enclose shallow turquoise waters, making a perfect spot for snorkelling and swimming. Pick up a sandwich from the nearby bakery or stop in one of the waterfront bars for a ti punch.
IYC recommends: The story of St-Pierre is a remarkable and tragic tale of a city that rose from ashes. Visit the Musée Volcanologique to learn the incredible history of the city, then hike up Mont Pelée for an awe-inspiring experience of the volcano. Walk through felt-green hills sprinkled with passion flowers, wild banana trees and bushes of chili peppers to emerge at the top to stunning 360 views. On the descent pick up a well-deserved ice cream at the charming café.
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