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Martinique – Blessed with Amazing Natural Beauty

Martinique, one of France’s overseas departments located in the Caribbean, is blessed with great charm, fantastic beaches and enthralling natural beauty.

History
The discovery of Martinique was done by Christopher Columbus in 1502. The Caribbeans and the Arawaks are the native inhabitants of the island. It was conquered by the French in 1632 and started building fortifications at the north-western part of the island, called Saint-Pierre along with the slave trade. The volcanic eruption of Mount Pelee completely annihilated Saint-Pierre and its inhabitants in 1902. Till the mid-19th century, the island was on and off conquered by Dutch, English and French. Slavery was abolished in 1848.

Popular Places and Attractions
Martinique is blessed with a superb coastline. Its beaches are differentiated on the basis of their locations. Atlantic beaches have picturesque beaches and towering cliffs whereas the southern shores have white-sand beaches such as Plage de Salines and Cap Chevalier.

The capital, Fort-de-France, is popular for its attractions such as Schoelcher Library, statues of La Savane, Archaeological Museum, Palais de Justice, Cathedral of Saint-Louis and the fish markets of Riviera Madame.

H.M.S Martinique located in southern Martinique rises over 600 feet. The church and Marina of Le Marin, museum of La Pagerie, Potter’s centre and Botanical Park are some other attractions in Southern Martinique. The floral gardens at Jardin de Balata, Saint-Marie’s Musee du Rhum, hot springs of Le Precheur, Carbet’s Gauguin Museum are some of the major attractions in Northern Martinique. Carbet also has the impressive Botanical Gardens amongst the “Valley of Butterflies” and Zoo du Carbet. Martinique’s estates and villages are also highly regarded for their natural beauty.

Getting Around
Planes, boats, shuttle boats, taxis and buses are the usual modes of public transport in Martinique. But, the scarcity of their availability makes rented cars the most preferred option for getting around Martinique, a good guide to smooth travel is to keep some change handy to pay for your travel.

Places for Entertainment
Restaurants, bars, cafes, musical festivals, jazz concerts and nightclubs are the usual places for entertainment in Martinique. Most of these places as well as hotels arrange for live entertainment during nights. This includes live music, dances and 80s sessions, world music, techno and karaoke sessions. The world renowned distilleries of Martinique can be explored for learning about its rum production methods which use fresh juices as compared to the usually used molasses elsewhere.

Martinique has legalized gambling and hence, many of the island’s casinos provide adult gaming facilities during night time. Slot machines, French and American Roulette and Blackjack are the most popular casino games.

Accommodation
Beach and mountain camps, budget hotels, villas, gites (bed and breakfasts), guesthouse, youth hostels, holiday resorts, studios and apartments are available for tourist accommodation in Martinique.

Currency
As Martinique is a French department, it naturally becomes a part of the European Union. Hence, the currency employed here is the Euro, check the news and internet for the latest exchange rates. Most of the shops do not accept U.S Dollars, American Express and traveller’s cheques but many hotels and restaurants do accept credit cards, MasterCard and Visa.

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FORT DE FRANCE  in 0 hostels
LE LAMENTIN  in 0 hostels
LE ROBERT  in 0 hostels
SAINTE MAIRE  in 0 hostels

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