Martinique is so much more than sun and sea. The island bears a complex colonial history and is home to a selection of magnificent heritage sites. Immerse yourself in the history of the island and learn more about the culture and tradition of the language, Creole. In Fort-de-France, you must pay a visit to Saint-Louis, the famous cathedral, and the Schoelcher library, where you can delve deeper into discovering more about the history of the island.
With tropical forests, volcanic coastlines and astounding beaches, the island will take your breath away. Simply being immersed in these spectacular environments will enable you to get closer to nature and to relax and disconnect from the fast paces of urban city life. Can you honestly think of anything more relaxing than watching the sun set from your sailboat charter in Martinique against the striking backdrop of rugged mountainous cliffs?
Excellent sheltered anchorages, coral reefs, steady comfortable winds to keep you cool, and of course, consistent sunshine– what more could you wish for? Wind blows at an average of 15 knots and the temperature averages at 30 degrees throughout the year; and even in the coldest months, the temperature never drops below 22 degrees. The water temperatures, which average between 25 and 28 degrees annually, mean that a dip in the sea is feasible even in winter!
Rum is the local drink of the island, so it would be rude not to try it! There are 11 distilleries on the island; in the extremely unlikely event that you can visit all 11, 1 will have to do! A tour around the distillery will enable you to understand how this dark and sweet liquid is produced and conserved, and you will also be able to discover the tropical gardens which surround the distilleries.
Port du Marina is the main marina on the island and is also one of the most important and largest marinas in the whole of the Caribbean. Tucked into the sheltered surrounding bay, the marina has served as a secure spot for sailors during colonial times and now facilitates leisure facilities for tourists today. 50km in length, the marina is a vast and accommodating space from which you can easily access gorgeous beaches where you can sail, swim, sunbathe, snorkel to your heart’s content.
Festivals, music, dance and carnivals all play a huge role in the local culture. Numerous festivals take place throughout the year; try and time your sailboat charter in Martinique with one of these exciting annual events and get a real taste for local life on the island. From religious to secular, the festivals mark a variety of significant occasions in the calendar year of the island and will provide you with valuable insight into the history and tradition of Martinique.
The most important event during the calendar year takes place during January – March. Preparations and rehearsals start in January and continue into March. Following Ash Wednesday, there are 4 days of celebration and festivities. The festival changes location from year to year, but normally takes place in the south of the island, in Fort-de-France. Other religious festivals include Halloween and Easter.
This festival takes place during the first weekend of July in Le Lorrain, in the north of the island. The festivals include dance, concerts and a lot of banana-eating! The ‘Marathon de la banane’ take places one month earlier and fuses running with tours of banana and sugar cane plantations. You can combine your passion for running and adventure with learning more about the production and consumption of this yellow fruit. There is also a banana museum you can visit in the north of island, and it is open all year around.
This unique festival was set up in 2001 and celebrates traditional jazz and Caribbean music. A series of thrilling concerts take place in different communities and spaces throughout the month of August. There is another music themed festival in December, ‘Jazz en Martinique’ where all the most well-known musicians in Martinique gather together for a series of concerts throughout the island.
There are also many festivals which mark important historical moments in Martinique’s past. For instance, during the month of May there are various converts, talks, hikes and exhibitions organised to commemorate the eruption of the Pelée mountain in May 1902. The island also commemorates the 1848 abolition of slavery on the 22nd May with cultural demonstrations, parades and recitals.
You can catch direct flights from the Caribbean, US and Europe to Martinique’s main international airport, Aimé-Césaire. The airport is central and easy to get to from most parts of the island, only a few miles from the capital Fort-de-France. Transfer easily via bus or taxi to Port du Marin, the principal marina on the island which is only 30km away. Port du Marin contains all the services you will need during your boat rental, there are restaurants, bars and supermarkets where you can do provisioning. Positioned on the south of the island, the marina plants you in the perfect position for setting sail to discover the surrounding islands and explore the sparkling, turquoise seas.
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