North American Countries

Martinique Travel Guide

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Overview

Like France, plus:

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

  1. France. The same regulations apply as for imports from non-EU countries.

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Clothing: Light suits and safari suits are appropriate. Business trips should be made in the months of January to March and June to September. Main business relations with France.

Business hours:
Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

Economy

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Martinique
(Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
50 Rue Ernest Deproge, BP 478, 97200 Fort-de-France
Tel: 55 28 00.
Internet: www.martinique.cci.fr

Business contacts

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Martinique
(Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
50 Rue Ernest Deproge, BP 478, 97200 Fort-de-France
Tel: 55 28 00.
Internet: www.martinique.cci.fr

Martinique Travel Guide

SHOP

Overview

The most sought-after souvenirs include spirits, jewelery, shell necklaces, Lalique crystal and wall hangings, but also straw and bast ware and bamboo hats. A special souvenir are the Poupées Martiniquaises (black dolls in traditional Creole clothing made from madras cloth). The local rum is one of the best in the world. The spiced vanilla (bourbon vanilla) produced in Martinique is also popular. French imported goods such as perfume, fashion, wine and liqueurs are particularly inexpensive. Some shops offer a 20% discount when paying by credit card or travelers checks, although not all shops accept the latter. According to holidaysort, Martinique is a country in Central America.

It is worth strolling through Rue Victor Hugo, the main shopping street in Fort-de-France, where there are numerous boutiques, fruit and florists. There are also some shopping centers in Fort-de-France, but they are hardly worth visiting. The largest shopping center on the island is the Galleria in Lamentin near the airport; Here you can also find European brand stores. The greatest shopping experience, however, is offered by the numerous street stalls that are everywhere.

Weekly markets take place regularly in all larger towns. You should definitely visit the Gran Marché in Fort-de-France, where traders in traditional, colorful Madras costumes offer tasty vegetables, tropical fruits and exotic flowers as well as numerous spices and aromatic resins. Other well-known markets are the market in Saint-Joseph and the market in Trois-Ilets and Pointe du Bout.

Opening hours

Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

NIGHTLIFE

Introduction

Martinique has a diverse nightlife to offer. There are numerous restaurants, bars, nightclubs and discos in all major cities. Especially in the towns of Les Trois Illets, Le Marin, Ste Anne, Le Vauclin and Le Francois, which are all in the south of the island, you can turn night into day. In many hotels there are regular regional dance and music events such as demonstrations by limbo dancers or steel bands. Those who like to spend the evening a little quieter can enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in one of the many beach bars.

Fort-de-France has the most varied nightlife to offer. There are also some theaters here. The town hall of Fort-de-France now houses the SERMAC (Service Municipal d’Action Culturelle) cultural center, which regularly hosts concerts and theater performances. There is also a theater in Schoelcher.

The Martinicans are very proud of their music. Zouk sounds can be heard everywhere, lively music in four-four time similar to merengue, which is unique on the French West Indies.

The Ballet Martiniquais is the largest ballet in the Caribbean and one of the most famous ballet companies in the world. Another well-known dance group is Les Balisiers. Performances by both ensembles take place regularly at different locations on the island.

The local newspaper Choubouloute contains information on evening events and is available in all newsagents.

CULINARY

Regional specialities

  • Soudins(mussels with pepper and lime juice).
  • Blaff(fish stew with many different herbs).
  • Filled cancer.
  • Sea snail soup.
  • Roast wild goat or pigeon.
  • Colombo(chicken, goat, pork or lamb, in a thick, spicy curry sauce).
  • Paté en Pot(vegetable soup with bacon and lamb, seasoned with bay leaves and cloves).
  • Les accras(fish, lobster and crayfish dumplings fried in oil, seasoned with garlic, thyme, allspice and chives).
  • Les crabes farcis(land crabs with coconut milk and pureed avocado flavored with garlic and allspice).
  • Chicken Creole(grilled chicken with a spicy sauce).
  • Blanc-Manger(dessert made from coconut and vanilla milk, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg).

useful information

Lambi (fencing snails) are often offered in restaurants. Since the species are critically endangered, it is better to avoid this dish.

Tip

A tip of 10% is common.

Regional drinks

The range of French wines, sparkling wine and spirits as well as local rum is very large. Rum punch (‘ti punch) is a Caribbean specialty made from rum, lime juice, bitter liquor and syrup. Every bartender has his own recipe for Planteur (Planter’s Punch), a long drink made from rum and fruit juices. Shrub is a Christmas liqueur made from rum and orange peel. Delicious juices are freshly prepared from local fruits such as guavas, prickly peas, passion fruits, mandarins and sugar cane.

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In Martinique you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

Martinique has a good range of hotels. A 10% service charge and other taxes are added to the bills. The Relais de la Martinique, an association of small hotels and guest houses, offers special booking and excursion options.

Categories:
There are hotels of the luxury class, the middle and lower price class. For more information, contact: Centrale de Reservation Martinique, BP 823, 97200 Fort-de-France. Tel: 61 61 77. (Internet: www.touristmartinique.com). Information is also available from Maison de la France (see addresses).