With a population of 400,000 inhabitants, a cuisine that represents the best of French and Creole flavors, a slew of outdoor activities, natural beauty, comfortable and high-end accommodations, and temperatures averaging about 79 degrees, it’s no wonder the picturesque island of Martinique is a Caribbean island with French savoir-faire and considered the Fleur des Caraibes.
Last week in South Florida, the Martinique Tourism Authority introduced (or reintroduced) the travel and media community to the island of Martinique where the languages of French, Creole and English are spoken and where travel to the island, considered to be a “little bit of France in the Caribbean,” just got a tad easier to visit from Miami.
“This is an amazing time right now because we are happy to share news with you about new airlift,” says Valerie Vulcain, marketing manager for Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA. “Last April, American Airlines began direct fights to Martinique on Saturdays and we are very excited to announce they are adding a second weekly flight on Wednesdays that will go through the winter until the end of March.”
The new flight schedule will be available for travelers from Nov. 27 to March 26, and with new hotel renovations, culturally rich events, and Michelin-starred restaurants, Martinique is ready to welcome visitors arriving by air and sea—the island was chosen as a port-of-call for the 2014 season of Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, which is expected to drop about 170,000 passengers onto the island next year. If you or your clients have yet to visit Martinique, the tourism board shared with us 10 reasons why visiting the island is a must:
1. Martinique is a region of France—that means it is saturated with French influences, architecture and history, while also emitting a Caribbean identity.
2. The island’s cuisine and rum—French and Creole influenced and there are 10 rum distilleries on the island. Martinique’s rum is world-renowned and made from fresh sugar cane juice only six months out of the year.
3. Martinique is rich in history—a notable date: 1635, when the French claimed the island. Also, Martinique features over 25 museums and is the birthplace of Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s bride.
4. Martinique’s unique architecture—stunning buildings like the Saint-Louis Cathedral and the Schoelcher Library, built in France during the same time of the Eiffel Tower, which was dismantled and shipped to Martinique by boat where it was reconstructed.
5. The island’s natural diversity—in the north, Martinique boasts a nature park, rainforests, tropical gardens and waterfalls, while in the south white-sand beaches are laid out for miles and miles.
6. Martinique’s landmarks—Oscar Island, a well-known retreat located off the coast of Martinique, and Diamond Rock, which protrudes 600 ft. above the sea with a deep underwater cavern perfect for divers to explore.
7. Martinique is safe—tourism officials suggest visitors rent a car and explore the island.
8. Shopping—La Galleria Mall features more than 100 boutiques and the island presents the best of Parisian designs, jewelry and arts & crafts.
9. Accommodations—Martinique offers diverse accommodations from five-star chateaux to boutique and family resorts.
10. Martinique’s cultural calendar—jazz festivals, Christmas celebrations, and Carnival (March 1-5, 2014).
For more information on Martinique, visit martinique.org.