I just recently got back from one of my new favorite islands. That’s a big statement for a place I only spent about 2 and a half days in! So let me tell you a little bit about this little slice of heaven. Martinique is a French overseas region in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is between Guadeloupe and St Lucia. Its capital is Fort-De-France which happens to be its biggest city. The currency used is Euros and French is the main language.
Flights from Miami are usually $169 when on sale. This is how much it should have been for us, but after buying one way tickets due to not being sure how long we wanted to go for, we ended up paying $200 each. Not a huge difference but just know it can be cheaper than that. The price definitely makes it super affordable even for a weekend trip. We flew Norwegian Air which allows one free carry on and personal item.
Always start your search with Google Flights, play around with the dates to see when’s the best time to visit based on the flight. Remember, having flexibility with your travel dates could save you money. I teach you how to use this and other sites in a previous post.
Before heading to Martinique, I had spent hours researching how to get to our Airbnb from the airport. I always recommend public transportation as it is always cheaper, plus you sort of get a tour for the same price of your bus ride. When we arrived at Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport, I asked a teller at the exchange kiosk if we could take the bus to the address shown in our print out Airbnb reservation. The lady politely said that there was no way we would be able to, as buses are not allowed in the airport. I found this to be the same in Nassau, but there is a way around it.
A taxi from the airport to our place in Le Marin was about 60-80 euros depending on the meter. That is way too much, in my opinion, for the 45 minute ride. Instead, we took a taxi from the airport to Ducos, which is the closest bus station according to the Rome2Rio app. We were quoted around 10 euros, but at drop off the meter read 14.68 euros. Whatever, better than 60. From there we took a direct bus to Le Marin, which makes a few drop off/pick ups along the way. The bus ride costs 2.10 euros per person. In the end, we ended up paying 18.88 to get from the airport to our place for savings of 40-60 euros.
I recommend the Rome2Rio app, or even Google Maps for suggestions on how you can get from point A to point B basically anywhere in the world.
Airbnb’s in the island are very common and there are a wide variety of options. The price range is wide enough that you can book a basic studio, a room inside someone’s home or your own private villa. We went with an entire apartment which had a full bathroom, a bedroom area, living room/kitchen and even a balcony.
Our host had even left us 3 different bottles of rum from one of the island’s distillery, a mixer, a liter of water and a juice. How thoughtful! I also recommend staying in an Airbnb as opposed to a hotel because it gives you a chance to experience the area and live like a local. Not to mention, you can decide how much you want to pay for your accommodation. In our case, we payed $149 USD total for our three night stay from January 16-19, 2019.
One thing I noticed a lot, was everyday we saw locals going to the bakeries and buying 2-3 baguettes, then walking out and eating away as they headed to their destination. So, of course I had to do the same HAHA! (see picture below) Although, baguettes are a big thing there are also plenty of other fresh baked good to choose from. Side note, baguettes are pretty cheap costing about 1.30 euros.
I think my absolute favorite thing we ate was breakfast one of the mornings. We walked to a small local shop close to our Airbnb that had a sign with different meals. The lady did not speak English and we do not speak French, so we just pointed at a picture after roughly translating via Google Translate the items listed. There was fresh bread with butter, a fried egg, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and steak as well as freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee.
Also, highly recommend visiting Kokoarum Caribbean Grill Rhumerie for dinner. Not only do they serve really great food and drinks, but they also have live music at night. We had Tapas Decouverte for the appetizer which brought brie cheese, watermelon, cod fritter, salami, olives, salad and bread all for 12 euros. For our main dishes we ordered Colombo de Polet, which was a curry chicken with rice,sliced potatoes baked in cream and a side salad. I had the Fricassee de Chateau Bokay which consisted of octopus in sauce with rice and sliced potatoes in cream as well. The Colombo Polet was around 14.50 Euros and the Fricasse about 16.50 euros.
Did I forget my favorite part about this dinner? We ordered a Giraffe Lorraine which is basically a 3 liter. This costs us about 28 euros which was well worth it. Picture below for reference!
Overall, I would say that Martinique is a very relaxed and quiet island. It gave me more of a family or couples getaway vibe. There was not much of a nightlife other than live music at a local restaurant. At night, the area we stayed in (Le Marin) was very quiet however, you could see people walking around possibly heading out for dinner or home for the night. Regardless, I recommend visiting this island as it is a true beauty, nice locals and great drinks. Also, brush off on your French as not everyone speaks English.