Martinique is for the more sophisticated traveller, who may want geography, cuisine, culture and history as well as just a beach. There are some fine white-sand, ones as well as lush tropical forests. It’s French speaking, the currency is the euro – and it has the greatest wine consumption of any French region! There is also plenty of sugar cane so expect rum, too. Indeed, the island has no fewer than 11 rum distilleries. The island was annexed in 1674 by France, and its Creole traditions still have a very Gallic f eel, especially when it comes to food, music and fashion.

Martinique is also home to a live volcano. The harbour settlement of Saint-Pierre was rebuilt after the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée, which killed almost all of the 30,000 people in the town.

Emerald Estates is a natural regional conservation park, while you can also visit the working military fort of Fort St Louis, originally built in the 17th century and complete with hundreds of iguanas!

At the Clement, one of the 11 rum distilleries mentioned earlier, you can stroll through exhibitions, homesteads and functioning machinery as you smell thousands of rum barrels.

Dine on small cod fritter appetizers, octopus and perhaps a French-style patisserie for dessert.

You’ll also want to sample the inviting water, either by kayak, yacht or even ferry. Martinique is surrounded by both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic.

High season generally runs from the middle of December until mid-April, with the island often quiet during other parts of the year, and you’ll have the pick of a great variety of accommodation.

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