Martinique – European paradise in the Caribbean

Most of the people in our country think, that you have to become a milionnaire to travel to the Caribbean. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like that.. we are not milionnaires and we don’t own a profitable company.. We are just students and we were able to afford a trip to the Caribbean at the age of 23. Well, going to Martinique was actually cheaper than buying a package tour to Croatia.

BASIC INFORMATION

Martinique is an overseas region of France = it is a part of the European Union.

It means three things:

  • As a citizen of EU you can travel there with your ID (you don’t need a passport).
  • The official currency is EURO – If you live in the Eurozone you won’t have to exchange money.
  • You can use internet or call your family for the same prices like home. This was a huuge plus for us, because we use Google Maps a lot on our trips.

From geographical point of view, Martinique belongs to North America and is a part of Lesser Antilles. Island’s nearest neighbours are Saint Lucia and Dominica. You can travel there from Fort-de-France by a ferry – Unfortunately we din’t have time for that… sooo next time 🙂

Time difference for us (the Czech Republic) was minus 6 hours – It may be different for your country 🙂

COMPULSORY VACCINATIONS

During our visit in September 2019 there were no compulsory vaccinations for visiting Martinique. We have vaccination against hepatitis A+B and tyfus (because of our trip to Thailand 3 years ago.)

WHEN (NOT) TO GO TO THE CARIBBEAN?

Well.. we probably shoudn’t give you advice about this topic. We actually chose the worst month to go there – September – the hurricane season. Perfect! Most of the people around us were terrified and thought that we were crazy.

But fortunately we were sooo lucky with the weather! Do you remember the hurricane Dorian? It hit Martinique and the Caribbean about 5 days before our arrival. The electricity was turned on the day before our arrival.

The best thing about Semptember was, that there were zero tourists and we could enjoy the beaches for ourselves. Some shops and restaurants were closed but we didn’t mind – we came there to explore!

Best time to visit Martinique is between december and may .

PRICES AND LOCAL FOOD

None of us actually did research about the prices in Martinique and how much “living” there costs. So our first visit of a grocery shop nearly caused us a heart attack… cheap accommodation, cheap flights,… there had to be someting right? (Nothing is perfect)

For you the prices may be normal, but for us?! I felt like in Norway or Scandinavia. The prices were 3 times higher than in Paris. If you want to buy “cheaper” groceries go to shop called “Caribbean Price”.

To be honest, we didn’t like Martinique’s cuisine. Main course in restaurant costs around 17 EUR (in high season even more) and it wasn’t anything special. We still prefer asian food :-). I wanted to buy a coconut the whole trip, because in Thailand we had one every day for less than 0.50 EUR. We found a street food that offered coconuts on Les Salines (beach) for 2.5 Euros.. and we had to wait for aroun 45 minutes to get it, because the waitress was busy all the time (the restaurant was actually almost empty..).

LOCAL PEOPLE

The official language is French, but the locals use creole language to speak to each other. We didn’t meet anyone that could speak English! So if you don’t speak French.. good luck, it will be fun 😀

Local people are very friendly and try to speak to you even if they know that you don’t understand. The most common question from the locals was “Where are you from?” (in French obviously) .. “The Czech Republic – République Tchéque” .. noone knows about our country… so we tried “Europe” . Some pople even couldn’t understand that Czech Republic actually have its own language.

On Saturday we finally got to know the perfect Carribean atmosphere ! Loud music, many many easy-going people, 3 birthday parties and everything on the same beach! It was perfect 🙂

POTENTIAL DANGER

If you put “Martinique” to Google, one of the first things that will pop up is “The most dangerous tree in the world – Hippomane mancinella “. Well, you definitely don’t want to relax on the beach under this tree. It’s actually very dangerous when it rains – its fruit is poisonous and can cause a very bad skin rash. Luckily most of them are marked with a red line.

We don’t know about you, but everywhere we travel… we are under attack of mosquitos! (God, I hate them). The flying enemies were everywhere !! Don’t go out after the sun goes down haha 😀

The first thing that we saw after our arrival was a cockroach (GIANT!).. and when our host used a broom – we saw that this monster can fly!! Whaaat?! When looking for an accommodation – make sure that you have a mosquito net. We saw a of couple spiders, lizzard and a toad. In Martinique you can meet a special tarantula. We were so glad that we didn’t see it.

CAR RENTAL

If you want to travel around the island it is neccessary to rent a car! We honestly didn’t see any public buses or public transport at all. Well. we saw only one bus in the capital – Fort- de France and that was it. The roads are very well maintained but sometimes they are really narrow and steep. You have to drive carefully – we felt like on a roller coaster 🙂

Our Martinique adventure 🙂

And what about you? Have you been to Martinique? What would you recommend ? 🙂 Leave a comment below.

Backpack Yourself
read more

Martinique – 11 Places to visit!

Best beaches in Martinique

Last Updated on March 1, 2021 by Míša & Radek

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments