Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Martinique is drenched in sunshine all year long. However, the best time to enjoy a maximum of outdoor activities is the dry season from January to April. The temperatures are pleasant thanks to the trade winds and the sun shines all day long. The tourists, numerous at this time of year, can enjoy the carnival festivities that take place throughout the island from January until Ash Wednesday.
In the mid-season, in May, head to the Bay of St Anne for the Martinique Yole Festival. This regatta of traditional round-hulled sailing yoles takes place on one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Colourful and authentic!
During the wet season, from June to December, rain is frequent and the temperatures rise. Hurricanes can occur in October. This is also the low season and the hotels often offer more attractive rates.
Formalities and useful addresses
French Embassy in London – 58 Knightsbridge - London SW1X 7JT - [TEL] +44-207-0731000 - www.ambafrance-uk.org
French Embassy in Washington – 4101 Reservoir Road - Washington DC 20007 - [TEL] +1-202-9446000 - www.ambafrance-us.org
Martinique Tourism Board – http://us.martinique.org
British Honorary Consulate in Fort-de-France – Route du Phare - 97200 Fort-de-France - [TEL] (+596) 618892
U.S. Embassy in Fort-de-France – 35 Rue Moreau De Jonnes - 97200 Fort-De-France - [TEL] (+596) 60-00-07
Money and budget
Banks are open Mon-Fri from 8-12pm and 2-4pm. They close at 3pm during the summer and midday on the day before a national holiday. Enquire during the carnival period.
Credit cards are accepted in most shops, unlike travellers cheques. Be careful however: small restaurants, private renters, B&Bs or local craftsmen often only accept cash.
Many available ATMs, though they often empty quickly during national holidays or long week-ends.
Car rental for 1 week (category A): £220-350/€250-400.
Bicycle rental for 1 day: £13/€15.
1 night in a hotel: £50-170/€60-200.
Half-day boat trip: £22-35/€25-40.
1 meal in a good restaurant: £13-25/€15-30.
1 coffee: £1.35/€1.50.
Health and safety
Current is 220V so American travellers will need an AC adapter.
In addition to regular French public holidays, May 22 – Abolition of slavery.
Hotels – Many of the old luxury hotels are no longer quite so luxurious, but the newer family hotels, comfortable and equipped with a pool, are generally very satisfactory.
Residential hotel – A good option for families.
Holiday rentals – Mostly in the north of the island; staying with locals is becoming more and more common and it is definitely the warmest and most authentic way to discover Martinique.
Holiday cottages and B&Bs – Not common, despite locals sometimes calling very sparsely furnished rooms B&Bs.
Campsites – Practically nonexistent. Camping rough is forbidden on the island.
Post offices are generally open Mon-Fri 8am-12pm and 2-4pm, and from 8am-12pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Aimé-Césaire International Airport – www.martinique.aeroport.fr (French)