The island of Martinique in the Caribbean is a somewhat small land mass only fifty miles long and less than 25 miles wide. It distinguishes itself with its noticeable fusion of heavy French customs and influences coupled with the longstanding culture and customs of the West Indies. The former “Island of Flowers” is also famous for its white sand beaches and large mountainous terrain full of unspoiled rainforests.
The Carib tribes originally dwelled on Martinique and referred to it as Island Madinina until French settler Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc landed on the island in the mid 1600s and subsequently established Martinique’s first capital known as Saint-Pierre. As Martinique continued to develop throughout the 1600s, the Caribs were driven out and the British eventually took interest and managed to briefly assume control of the island for two decades which actually worked in Martinique’s favor as it continued to prosper while avoiding the violent repercussions of the French Revolution.
Martinique experienced a major disaster in the early 1900s after the volcano of Mont Pelée erupted and wiped out practically the entire island’s population which brought about a rebirth of sorts after the island recovered from its former devastation. The Martinique of today proudly carries the original nickname given to it by the former Carib tribes that once called it home.
True to its moniker, Martinique blooms with a number of flowers, giving it a lush appearance that almost gives Saba and Dominica a run for their money. The land is incredibly fertile which strongly facilitates growing just about any type of fruit imaginable on the island. Martinique is also famed for its impressive natural landscapes which consist of large rainforests standing on mountains of varying sizes and a unique coastline full of small coves, a handful of bays and several miles of beaches. The most striking features are the towering Mont Pelée volcano and Carbet Peak.
Most of the residents of Martinique live in the city of Fort-de-France. As expected, French is the official language but many Martinicans also speak a Creole dialect similar to that of Dominica and Saint Lucia. The French influence also means the people practice French customs such as closing shop during midday and then reopening in the afternoon. Speaking of shops, Martinique is known for its unusually high living standards and it’s not uncommon to see world renowned high end retailers like Chanel open for business on the island. Despite this high standard, Martinique continues to draw all types of vacationers.
Martinique is also famed for its various wildlife, birdwatchers in particular tend to appreciate the island’s diverse aviary. Animal and insect lovers will however find creatures both large and small throughout Martinique’s rainforests. The music of Martinique consists of two unique genres called zouk (a mix of Caribbean and American styles) and bélè which involves group dancing although traditional Caribbean styles like calypso are celebrated during the Carnival festival.
Of the many islands in the Caribbean few rival the natural beauty of Martinique. With its incredible scenery produced by clear blue waters and lush vegetation on its mountainous ranges Martinique is primed for quality Caribbean property. It's not uncommon to find hilltop vacation villas with swimming pools, wraparound terraces, spacious master bedrooms and bathrooms available all over the island.
Another quality Martinique real estate brings to the table is the availability of vacant land. Martinique's relatively large size allows it to have its share of Caribbean land for sale. The large plots of land also make it possible to have large homes as well. Two-story, four bedroom homes with nearly 3,000 square feet of space breaks the Caribbean real estate mold of small vacation villas.
Martinique rental property is growing in popularity among island visitors. From Martinique homes to resort-style condos, real estate rental options are extremely viable. Property like townhomes in resort communities or Martinique vacation villas on the water has made renting in Martinique a popular option. Acclaimed Caribbean resort-hotels like Cap Est Lagoon and Habitation LaGrange offer amenities like in-house restaurants, bars, pools, tennis courts, health clubs, spas, decks and even private yachts and sailboats.
The volcano eruption in Martinique in the early twentieth century that destroyed a majority of the island may have been a blessing in disguise for their real estate market. Martinique's scenic vistas appear relatively untouched while all development is more modern than most Caribbean islands. Martinique's real estate is seen as a sound investment as well preserved beaches and forested areas draw thousands of visitors annually and fuels its impressive tourist industry.
Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa
Club Med Buccaneer's Creek
The official currency of Martinique is the Euro (EUR).
Calling Code: 1 (596)
Top Level Domain: (.fr)
Martinique is an overseas department of France and operates under all rights and regulations of the French government.
Valid Travel Documents: Required upon Exit and Entry
Government Issued Photo ID: Required
Climate: Martinique enjoys warm, sunny weather, averaging temperatures between 21°C (70°F) and 28°C (83°F).
Language: Antillean Creole
Tips when you get there:
Martinique has one international airport (Lamentin International Airport), which is a ten minute drive from Martinique's capital city, Fort-de-France. The best option for getting around the island is to rent a car. Public transportation does exist but routes don't run frequently enough to be reliable and buses and taxis aren't as efficient because of the island's rather large size. However there is convenient daily public transportation between the islands two most popular cities Fort-de-France and Saint Pierre.
What to do
Martinique is bustling with activities and interesting locations to visit. While their beaches and beautiful property provide the main spectacle Martinique also boasts several natural conservatories in the form of gardens and national parks.
One particular park in Martinique, La Savane, is unique for a Caribbean park because it serves as a center for community gatherings and events in Martinique. Its natural beauty, park benches and statues honor Martinique's history and culture drawing thousands of locals and visitors to spend time in the park annually. Festivals like Carnival, Christmas festival and the International Guitar Festival all utilize this park space to gather the community and enjoy the Martinique culture.