Those looking for a one-of-a-kind beachside holiday offering more than the typical turquoise waters and powdery sands should seriously think about spending their holidays on the Martinique capital, Forte de France. Saying this ancient city is picturesque is quite the understatement; the views from its three forts, its beaches as well as its monument-lined streets are simply astounding. Visitors travelling with their families have the luxury of choosing from spacious villas with lush green lawns, and quiet bungalows surrounded with palm trees. Backpackers or those on a smaller budget can stay in well-furnished one-bedroom apartments or comfortable studios with immaculate decor.
With its many varied and enticing beaches, this locale offers sunbathers unparalleled conditions for getting that perfect tan while doing the same for water sport lovers. Visitors looking for quiet repose need to head to the tiny fishing village of Anse Dufour. Apart from the fishing boats parked on the sand and a smattering of locals, you will practically have the soft sands, endless waters and shade of the palm trees all to yourself. For those who can’t live without a promenade along the shoreline with the ocean breeze blowing across their face, Anse Diamant’s 3km of palm tree-bordered shores beckon. A small distance away, jutting out of the waters like an iceberg is the Rock of Diamond from which the area derives its name. The place is also ideal for picnicking, especially underneath the shade of the palm trees. The more energetic can indulge in underwater exploration by scuba diving off Forte de France’s coast or enjoy surfing on its delicious breaks. The consistent breeze is also conducive for wind and kite surfing.
The St. Louis Cathedral is not only aesthetically appealing, it has a compelling amount of history behind it that will no doubt interest tourists. It was originally put up in 1671 and since then it has endured attacks by soldiers and natural disasters, necessitating its almost complete restoration in 1978. One of the city’s three forts, Fort St. Louis, was built as a defence mechanism in 1638 to help repel attacks by Ruyter’s forces in 1674 and those by Admiral Rodney almost a century later. To learn more about this magnificent structure and the history it embodies, visitors should ask for a guided tour.
September is the hottest month on the Martinique calendar with highs of over 30°C being routinely recorded. This same month has the second highest amount of rainfall, with precipitation levels averaging 24cm. But visitors to these parts should generally expect temperatures between 20 and 30°C and not worry too much about rain.
The Lamentin Airport is this city’s and indeed the nation’s gateway to the world and it sits a mere 10 minutes from Forte de France. Air France, Air Canada and American Eagle Airlines are some of the international carriers that ferry passengers here. From there visitors can conveniently access taxis and vehicles from car rental firms.