If you’re looking to take advantage of Norwegian Airlines’s fare deals from New York to Martinique here are some tips and observations from my recent New Year’s Eve trip.
There’s no Uber or Lyft, taxis are expensive and buses are hard to figure out schedule wise.
Driving in Martinique is similar to the US. They have more traffic circles and the roads along the coast are buttery smooth. If you’re staying in Fort De France at Hotel Simon, they have a partnership with a rental car company and will bring the car to the hotel and just add it to your hotel bill.
Carbet at Sunset
Things I’m happy I packed
- Snorkel – If you’re planning to snorkel and have space its great to have your own setup.
- Flip flops – you don’t really need fancy shoes here.
- Travel Adapter – they use the two prong European sockets.
- BPA Free Water Bottle – great for taking your cocktails to the beach.
Things I wish I packed
- Hat – thought I would buy one there but the options were limited.
- Beach towels – they are a bit pricey to buy at the souvenir shops.
- Bug Spray – mosquitos are no joke.
Things to do besides chilling at the beach
If you’re looking to explore the island there are lots of things to get into and towns to visit. We were there for a week and couldn’t fit everything in.
- Rhum Distilleries
- Cooking Classes
- Snorkel and Scuba
- Balata Botanical Garden
- Le Mémorial de l’Anse Caffard
Where to Stay
I’d recommend staying in Anse Mitan if beach and restaurant options in walking distance are a priority. If staying in a boutique/posh hotel is the priority Hotel Simon in Fort De France is a great option. If you’re looking for a family friendly all inclusive Bambou in Anse Mitan and Club Med in Sainte-Anne are two options.
Rent a car, even for just a day or two, to explore the island.
If renting a car is not your thing check out the island with organized group tours. Viator is a great resource with lots of options from various tour operators.
You can get by on English near Fort De France, but download Google Translate if you’re planning to go outside of the capital. Do not assume everyone knows English and ask if they do before trying to ask questions or explain your request. The phrase is
Parlez Vous Anglais? (par-lay-vu-ang-lay)
The food is either French or local. French options are grilled steak, fish, fries, salad…Local is accras, fritters, Chicken Colombe, and Ti Punch.
One of our best meals was at Bodlanme at Anse Mitan beach. It’s part of the Bambou resort and it’s right on the beach.
Martinique can be enjoyed for a long weekend or longer. It caters to mostly French tourists but with Norwegian’s great fare deals I expect more and more Americans to visit this island paradise in the next few years.