What if I told you there was a colorful island with pristine beaches, green-clad mountains, lush rainforests, wetlands, rum distilleries, and some of the best food in the entire Caribbean…that’s completely unspoiled? I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong to assume you’d flock there as I’m planning to do pretty soon! This magical place I’m referring to is the French island of Martinique, located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
Every year I take an annual girls trip with my friends Jannae and Coribbia—you may remember them from my Bali posts or perhaps from my Peru travel video series. Well, last year they took a trip to Martinique—without me—can you picture the side eye I’m giving right now? Not trying to throw any shade though. While I was freezing my ass off during a business trip in New York City, I lived vicariously through the Facebook photos my girls were posting of what they describe as one of the best places they’ve ever visited.
I’ve honestly never heard them rave about a place so much before—and these are seasoned travelers! I was so curious about what made this place so special. So I told them I wanted to share with my readers why they thought Martinique was so incredible. Without hesitation, they nostalgically launched into what they loved most about this little slice of paradise.
(…oh and don’t forget to scroll down to see how you can enter to win a trip to Martinique!)
TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT MARTINIQUE NOW
1. THE LUSH LANDSCAPES
I still remember dropping my jaw at some of the photos I saw of Martinique when I looked it up. Jannae and Cori just wouldn’t shut up about how gorgeous the island was so it wasn’t long before I found myself turning to Google to show me what I had missed out on. I’m just sitting here staring at my computer thinking…I’ve never seen so much green and blue in my life. And wait, is that a volcano? Yes. Yes, it is. Side eye.
Jannae vividly recalls every crystal clear detail of Martinique’s heavenly terrain.
“Martinique has the enticing tropical appeal that many of the Caribbean islands have. It is incredibly green and you drive through acres of banana plantations as you cross through the country to visit the various beaches. I can’t remember a day trip that we took where we didn’t at some point end up driving along the coast against a backdrop of forest perched along the mountainsides.”
In fact, these landscapes are such a focal point in Martinique tourism, that in this post 15 Best Things to Do in Martinique, several of the suggested activities to try out involve nature.
2. THE EURO-CARIBBEAN CHARM
According to Coribbia, Martinique has a mix of French charm with a Caribbean flair that she fell in love with.
“We walked to a French bakery every morning for baguettes and right down the street was also a market where we could purchase fresh mangos, avocados, bananas and other tropical fruits.”
I have to admit, that is one mix that’s bound to be flawless. A French setting with tropical Caribbean views—I mean really, what about that doesn’t sound amazing? It’s that endearing combination that gives Martinique its own unique charm.
3. THE ISLAND IS CLEAN
One other thing that stood out to her was how clean the island was.
“There was barely a scrap of trash in sight. Even in the more inhabited areas. It was wonderful to see that they cared about their environment.”
4. THE AMAZING FOOD
This comes as no surprise to me since Jannae and Coribbia are both lovers of fine cuisine! Remember my “Lima is for Foodies” video? Yeah, exactly. These two know good food when they taste it.
Since Martinique is a fusion of French and Caribbean influence, the cuisine delightfully reflects that. You’ll find food that is a blend of French, African and Creole cultures. YUM.
My fellow vegans out there will fall in love with the colorful tropical fruits and fresh spices. For the non-vegans, you can look forward to seafood dishes like accra, chatrou, lambis, le matautou de crabe, and dorade grilée, as recommended by The Culture Trip.
5. GREAT FOR ADVENTURE-LOVERS
Jannae loves a good adventure, so one of her favorite aspects of traveling to Martinique was the abundance of water activities. She mentioned that unlike other places she’s visited, there isn’t even a need to sail off into the ocean to experience the marine life.
“It’s not like you get on a boat and then go 20 minutes from the coast. People are hanging out on the beach and you just put on your mask and start floating because the water is really buoyant. All of a sudden you see huge schools of fish and even turtles! It’s also a great place for surfing. I was able to get up and go on so many little adventures—one of my favorites being hiking up a waterfall that ended up being a 3 hour journey to get to.”
WIN A TRIP TO MARTINIQUE
I saved this best bit of info for last, so hopefully you’re still with me! There’s a sweepstakes you can enter to win a trip to Martinique. Try your luck! Because…why not? You just might be the one to score two round-trip flights to paradise with Norwegian Air. If not though, no biggie. Norwegian has non-stop service to Fort-de-france out of New York, Boston, Baltimore/Washington DC starting at $79. Whelp. That costs less than my haircut!
I don’t know about you, but my friends have completely sold me on visiting Martinique. They’re even planning a second trip by the end of 2017, which is shocking to me since they rarely ever visit somewhere more than once. This time around, they plan to learn some more French before heading over, which is also one of their best tips they insisted I share with you guys. So go ahead and bust out that Rosetta Stone and start practicing—Martinique is calling your name.
Are you thinking about traveling to Martinique? Let me know in the comment section below.
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Special thanks to Martinique Tourism Authority for sponsoring today’s post.