Fleur de Caraïbes
Located in the heart of the Caribbean archipelago, Martinique is one of the Windward islands in the Lesser Antilles group. Its eastern coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean while its western coast is flanked by the Caribbean Sea. The island is 4 350 miles away from France, 1 950 miles from New York and 275 miles from the closest South American coastline. The closest neighboring islands are to the north: Dominica, 16 miles away, Guadeloupe, 75 miles away, and to the south: Saint Lucia, 23 miles away. Martinique is equidistant from the coasts of Venezuela and Haiti/Dominican Republic (497 miles).
- Martinique’s eastern coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean while its western coast is flanked by the Caribbean Sea. The island is 4,350 miles away from France, 1,950 miles from New York, and 275 miles from the closest South American coastline.
- At its greatest points, Martinique measures 50 miles long and 24 miles wide, delivering 425 square miles of rugged mountainous landscape, dense forests, rivers, waterfalls, rolling hills, and – most importantly – many picturesque bays and coves.
Climate and Wildlife
- Thanks to an average temperature of 79°, Martinique is the island of the “never-ending summer.” Trade winds from the east and northeast provide a steady breeze that constantly refreshes the air. Due to these tropical climate conditions in Martinique, the island is lush with vegetation: lavish tropical forests, groves, savannas, countless species of trees, fruits, plants and flowers, not to mention the mangrove forests.
- Wildlife consists mainly of birds, fish and shellfish, as well as small lizards called “mabouyas” and “anolis”, iguanas and trigonocephalus snakes that are only found in Martinique. The “manicou”, a type of opossum, is one of the rare mammals to be found in the Antilles. The mongoose, however, was introduced by humans to control the snake population.
- Martinique is truly a land of tradition and culture, with a rich history of crafts and literature by renowned authors and famous poets, music and dance, lifestyle and gastronomy. Its multi-ethnic population stems from the cultural mixing of the island’s successive inhabitants: Amerindians, Europeans, Africans, Indians, Levantines and Asians.
- Approximately one quarter of the population resides in the administrative capital, Fort de France. Numerous religious denominations are present in Martinique. The official language is French, although everyone speaks Creole, a language that is a blend of Old French, English, and African languages, as well as surviving Amerindian terms.