A June 2007 trip
to Martinique by cr008k
Quote: Romantic Week in Martinique.
Visiting the Caribbean is one of my favorite things to do, and I would simply love it if I could visit every single island one time before I die (which I know is a somewhat unrealistic dream, but hey, it can't hurt to dream, right?). That is why I was absolutely delighted when my significant other surprised me with two tickets to Martinique in June (I know, he is simply wonderful right). I didn't know very much about it so I immediately began researching what there was to do there and what made Martinique special and distinguishable from the other islands.
I found a lot of information about how it was more than just a mere Caribbean Island, more than just beautiful sandy beaches. People described it as the Paris of the Caribbean, as an enchanted Island with fantastic food and great culture and beautiful weather. My expectations were thus quite high when I boarded the plane and headed off to this fantastic island.
And did it live up to my expectations? Oh you had better believe that it did. Even from the air was, we approached the island, I was stunned and impressed by the beautiful color of the water. It looked so blue and pure, I almost wanted to dive right in from my seat on the airplane.
We got there and took the short journey from the airport (a typical Caribbean airport) to our hotel- a romantic oasis right on the beach. The whole island was beautiful, lush, green, and magical. I couldn't wait to get out of the taxi and start enjoying the balmy ocean breezes and take a dive right into the ocean.
The water was pristine, just the right temperature, and delightful. The beaches were beautiful white sand beaches. The hotel was romantic and absolutely delightful. We ventured off the hotel and explored the city and found the town quaint, charming, like a Parisian Village. We dined delicious French food and took some of the guided tours of the island itself. We went horseback riding on the beach. Was it a paradise? you bet it was. Was it exceptionally different from other Caribbean islands? Perhaps not exceptionally so, but more of a French and cultural feel than some.
Overall, my expectations were met by Martinique. It was a romantic paradise with great beaches, great food, and great weather!
This is not really a place that you want to take children to, unless you do a lot of research and find a very specific resort. I mean, it might be OK, but it is definitely a more romantic and more adults-only kind of feel to the whole island. There are plenty of nude beaches, if you are in to that sort of thing, and that can be really fun and give you a nice opportunity to experience the European attitudes toward body image, and all the freedom that comes along with those more open attitudes (it is very freeing). Yet, those kinds of things are not really the kind of place that I would want to take my kids too.
Plus, the whole Island (at least where we stayed and the stuff we did) seems more geared towards romance and adults than family fun. There are plenty of beautiful, wonderful, and elegant French restaurants to eat in, and we tried out several of them. I highly recommend asking at your hotel to find one that is close to where you are staying. The people who worked at our resort were very familiar with the local eateries and had some great recommendations for us on places that provided great French cooking and great atmospheres (ocean views, candles on the tables, music softly playing in the background, all the good stuff you want in a great romantic restaurant).
There were a few gambling places, some great shopping (jewelry stores, clothing stores, boutiques, and of course your typical souvenir shops and all that kind of stuff). Of course, the thing you will probably spend most of your time doing is enjoying the white sand beaches, laying in the perfect sun, and swimming in the perfect deep blue green water. You can do watersports or take out a boat or go snorkeling if you'd like, but the waves weren't that big when we went and the snorkeling was nothing spectacular, just your typical tropical fish and a few small coral patches, not the coral reefs that you'll get in the Caymans. But, overall, the beaches and the swimming are great if you just want a nice relaxing time.
If you plan to visit, plan to relax, to soak in the sun and the laid back culture, and to enjoy the delicious French food.
You can take taxis and that is not too expensive. There is not much by way of public transportation, but there may be a bus or two. I probably would not recommend that unless you are really good with knowing where you are going and how to figure out bus systems.
You can also walk around, although the island is big enough that you can't necessarily walk everywhere that you want to go. If you are going to walk, be careful about walking late and night and try to make sure you don't walk alone and that you have a pretty good idea of where you are going.
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