Top 5 Must Do's in Martinique

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The French island of Martinique is a little bit of France in the Caribbean. This small island best known for its beautiful beaches has many nice day trips and activities to keep you busy and active throughout your stay. The island is French-speaking, but many tourism offices and tours offer services in English for your convenience. Here are the top 5 must-dos when visiting Martinique:

1: Taking a Walking Tour of Fort-de-France

Great to explore on foot, the city’s best sightseeing attraction includes the Bibliotheque Schoecher, a 100+-year old Romanesque-Byzantine library built for the Paris Exposition in 1889 and then dismantled and sent to Martinique. Named after the French abolitionist who helped to end slavery on Martinique in 1848, the library is located off La Savane or the central park. Check out La Savane’s gardens while you are there as well for some great picture taking and strolling.

2:  Take a Tour by Car Around the Island

Rent a car and travel north along the coast to St. Pierre, which was once considered the Paris of the West Indies before Mont Pelee Volcano erupted in 1902 and made the city into the modern day Pompeii. Visit the museum documenting the event and continue on, stopping in fishing villages Case-Pilote, Bellefontaine and Carbot.

3: Visit Craft Centers

Get a first-hand look into the traditional crafts of the island’s original inhabitants, the Carib Indians. Using the same materials and techniques as the early inhabitants of the islands, learn how baskets, hats and pottery are created in a traditional craft workshop.  

4: Sample the Rum

An island rich with sugar cane, its rum is considered some of the best in the world with its own prestigious label “appellation d’origine controlee, a designation previously used only for French wine and cheese. There are many distilleries throughout the island that you can visit, tour and sample their products, including the St. James Distillery, Rhum Clement, Domaine Acajou and Maison de la Canne.  

5: Explore the Museums

For a small island, Martinique is packed with numerous museums to satisfy just about anyone’s tastes. Explore the Musee de la Pagerie to recount the stories of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine, check out the Centre d’Art Musee Paul Gaugin to view the French painter’s work and home, or take in some of the island’s history at the Musee Departemental de la Martinique in Fort-de-France where you can explore some of the archeological finds from the Arawak and Carib civilizations.  

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