Five Reasons Martinique Offers the Best of the Caribbean
Posted on June 30 2016
Everyone knows that the gals at VacayStyle are relentless travellers. We visit the most beautiful places around the globe seeking inspiration for the design of our next resort wear collection.
As repeat travellers to Martinique we can proudly claim to know this sexy Caribbean island intimately. So whether you’re in the trip planning stage or are packed and ready to go, we’ve got valuable insider travel tips to share.
Martinique is easily one of the most exotic---and over-looked---islands in the Caribbean. Imagine a tantalizing mix of postcard perfect beaches, towering volcanoes, French culture, and genuinely friendly locals. This is why we return again and again to this magical tropical island.
It was a hard job, but we managed to narrow it down to the five best reasons to visit to Martinique. Here goes ...
1. Beautiful Caribbean Beaches
Whether you prefer sugary white sand or black volcanic ash, Martinique delivers both ... and everything in between.
After extensive (!) research, we’ve determined that Les Saline is our current favorite. Sure it can get a little touristy in places. But the powdery soft sand mixed with super calm water makes this a perfect beach for families. This (literally) picture-perfect stretch is studded with swaying coconut palms and offers volcanic views. There are plenty of (non-aggressive) roving vendors selling fresh coconut ice cream and other homemade yummies.
Let’s just call Les Saline our “happy place”.
2. Inspired Local Cuisine
The cuisine in Martinique is a tasty mélange of African, French, and Caribbean influences. Imagine the discipline of French cooking + the exotic spices of Africa finished with an overlay of Caribbean flavor. Hungry yet?
Fresh seafood is inevitable ... and still abundant. This ensures fish, conch and crab can be found on most every menu. Being from California, our personal favorite Martinican specialty is the “féroce d’avocat, an avocado stuffed with salt fish! Think Cali meets Caribe.
Another can’t miss local tradition is ubiquitous Ti’ Punch. Most meals in Martinique begin and end with this refreshing adult beverage. If you can follow three easy steps you can make Ti'Punch. Simply blend local white rum, fresh lime juice and cane syrup. OK, you're done.
3. The French Language
Since Martinique is a region of France its official language French. Tres Bon!
Americans tend to overlook it in favor of more approachable Caribbean islands. This translates to fewer crowds and a more authentic cultural experience for the rest of us!
The islanders speak both French and Antillean Creole. It’s beautiful to listen to. But fear not, English is widely spoken ... should you need a fall back plan. We prefer the chance to brush up on our high school French without the hassle or expense of traveling all the way across the Atlantic.
4. Awe-Inspiring Volcanos
Who doesn’t benefit from the occasional reminder of Mother Nature’s power? Mount Pelee last erupted 115 years ago devastating the island and killing thousands. Fortunately for modern day travellers to Martinique, Pelee is in a blissfully “quiet phase”.
We recommend a hike to the summit via one of the three well-established routes. We’ve done them all, but the Aileron Route---at 3 hours round trip---is the most approachable for the average hiker.
Much of this route involves navigating though thick tropical vegetation. Imagine pushing up a steep, lush fern forest. You might even spot an elusive mongoose if you’re lucky. Your reward at the top of the caldera is breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean in all directions! Plus you’ve earned yourself a few rounds of Ti’Punch.
5. The Music of Martinique
Historically speaking, the island enjoys a rich and varied musical legacy. Most famously the genre known as Zouk has grabbed global attention. “Zouk” means “party” and this primarily electronic, Creole-inspired, genre certainly brings the party. Check out one of Kassav’s ten wonderful albums get yourself psyched up for trip!
Although the island hums with music year-round, every other December brings us Jazz a la Martinique. This can’t-miss-festival attracts music lovers from around the globe. Not only is it a wonderful showcase of local musicians, but it also spotlights established international talents.
There you have it … our very best Martinique travel advice. Curious about the clothing collection this island inspired us to design? We hope you love our Martinique Collection as much as we enjoyed researching it.
Now that we've talked you into a trip to Martinique be sure to maximize your vacation joy by exploring the island in Vacay's Martinique collection.