I first heard about Martinique when I was a kid from that old Beach Boys song, Kokomo, and I thought it sounded so exotic and cool and I knew I always wanted to go there. It didn’t disappoint. Martinique is really everything you would want in an affluent island as you cannot compare it to other places in the Caribbean except for perhaps Bermuda from the places I’ve been so far. It is gorgeous, pleasant, no hassles from people, has great architecture, great beaches, golf course, great food, a bustling little capital city of Fort-de-France and even shockingly nice French people. Martinique has a really cool feeling of you don’t know where you are because it feels like the south of France; you could be in Nice or Cannes or even St. Tropez. But you’re in the Caribbean and Martinique is the quintessential way to see how the French do the Caribbean.
Martinique is a large lush island about a 15 minute flight from St. Lucia. It is set around two main landmarks, so to speak. The north is highlighted by the large tree covered mountains that oversee the goings ons around the island and the central part which revolves around a large bay highlighted on one side by Fort-de-France and on the other by the stunning and affluent suburbs of Trois Islets-which is where I am staying. I am staying at a cool little hotel called the the Karibea Camelia overlooking the marina where the multi-million dollar yachts stop to have lunch at the little cafes dotting the marina.
Trois Islets is a nice place to hole up on Martinique because it is very quiet and has the best restaurants on the island, beaches and certainly the views cannot be beat. Looking across the bay you see Fort-de-France with the mountains behind it, with shimmering water in front-really a sight to behold. Trois Islets is a series of little winding streets and neighborhoods, that are undeniably French and very pleasant to walk around-although there are some super steep hills. The people sit in cafes and smoke and chat much like they would in Nice while eating their pan au chocolat, crepes and quiches. There isn’t any nightlife on Martinique so to speak of but if you are looking for a quiet and beautiful place to visit, I highly recommend Martinique and certainly Trois Islets as opposed to staying in the capital.
I am wrapping it up here on Martinique now and heading over to Guadeloupe this afternoon, which I am super excited for. Check back with me tomorrow.