The reason is obvious: Sometimes we all need a break from the daily grind. But! Completely switching your brain off is hard, am I right? When I’m planning a vacation, I try to strike a balance between relaxation and excitement.

If you’re looking for the same thing, then Guadeloupe and Martinique are two incredible options. Both territories of France, these unique islands take the typical Caribbean tropical getaway one step further, offering a taste of French culture alongside your sun-drenched romp in the sand.

But which one is right for you? Let’s find out!

Pick Guadeloupe if…

…you’re going for the beaches.

Oliver Hoffman / Shutterstock

Oliver Hoffman / Shutterstock

If you need some time in the sand, Guadeloupe has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. They’re perfect for a relaxing swim on naturally calm, blissful waters or a more adventurous walk on the rocks. The most popular beaches in Guadeloupe are located in the Grand-Terre Riviera. Some of the best include Plage de la Malendure, Plage Leroux, and La Grande-Anse, so don’t miss these while you’re there!

…you want your fill of history – with a view!

Oliver Hoffman / Shutterstock

Oliver Hoffman / Shutterstock

After you make the climb up the hill, the Museum at Fort Napoleon rewards you with breathtaking views of the historical  harbor below, which was fought over by the French and English long ago. A little bit of French knowledge might be useful for completely understanding the descriptions provided by the museum, but it’s clearly not just for French-speaking visitors, as English language guides are provided and both the Euro and the dollar are accepted. It’s a must-see for history maniacs!

…you want a sip of rum after a long day.

Marques / Shutterstock

Marques / Shutterstock

After a day of getting cultured, you’ve earned yourself a drink. There’s no better place for your happy hour than at the Musée du Rhum. But drinking’s not all you’ll do here! There are also exhibits with tidbits about the local culture, showcasing wildlife and local crafts. And of course, the end of your museum experience will include a tasting of a variety of different rums. Yum!

…you want to be a part of that world – cue the music (the nautical sea world, that is).

Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock

Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock

If you want to experience as much of Guadeloupe’s natural life as possible, Parc Aquacole de Guadeloupe is the place to go. One of the best things to do here is go fishing. The waters are rich in many different species, and the location is so serene, you could sit and fish for hours. If you want to go the extra mile, a restaurant located in the park serves some of the best local seafood dishes available!

While you’re at it, make sure to check out the marketplace for local seafood and spices, as well as the hatchery. The possibilities are endless!

…you want to risk it all!

Kucher Serhii / Shutterstock

Kucher Serhii / Shutterstock

One of the best casinos in Guadeloupe, the Casino du Gosier Hotel, allows you to truly escape into the world of chance! This place offers your standard poker games, over 180 slot machines, and more, all alongside an incredible restaurant. And of course, don’t forget the music and dancing!

Not sold on Guadeloupe? Pick Martinique if…

…you’re particular about your beach experience.

Anna Jedynak / Shutterstock

Anna Jedynak / Shutterstock

If you’re very particular about your beach experience, Martinique offers a world of opportunity. Whether you’re looking for serene, white powder beaches, or a more adventurous, rocky vibe,  Martinique’s got you covered. The best beaches on the island are Anse Gros Raisin, Plage de Cosmy, and Anse Mabouyas. You’re welcome!

…you want some insight on the local religious life.

Sam Strickler / Shutterstock

Sam Strickler / Shutterstock

Built by the same architect who created the Eiffel Tour, the St. Louis Cathedral is a visually impressive and historically significant stop on your trip. The church dates back to 1875, and features beautifully ornate stain glass windows. Swoon!

…you were curious about how bananas were produced.

T photography / Shutterstock

T photography / Shutterstock

While Guadeloupe might be perfect for rum aficionados, Martinique is the place to be if you’re a fan of bananas. The Musée de la Banane, a working banana plantation and museum in one, is an interesting and unique stop on your Caribbean vacation!

…you want to get in touch with nature.

Pack-Shot / Shutterstock

Pack-Shot / Shutterstock

The Balata Botanical Gardens is something that everyone should experience. With some of the most exotic and beautiful flowers and trees in the Caribbean, this island oasis is a must-see. Take a guided tour to maximize your knowledge and your appreciation for Martinique’s natural beauty!

Obviously, a trip to Martinique or Guadalupe is in your near future, because hello! They’re fabulous. Good news! Getting there just got a whole lot easier. Norwegian Air just added direct flight routes to both of these destinations, and they’re even offering a discount to CheapOair customers who book trips to either spot from New York, Washington, D.C., or Boston. So what are you waiting for? Your island getaway awaits!

Have you ever been to either of these islands? Would you go back? Let us know in the comments below!

About The Author

Emma Belfer

Emma Belfer is an upcoming junior at Emory University and a marketing intern for the summer at CheapOair. Emma is looking forward to a semester studying abroad in Paris to expand on her travel experience.

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2 Responses

  1. JDH

    Thanks for the info. Still hard to choose!

    Pretty sure that St. Louis Cathedral pic is New Orleans, though.

    Reply
  2. Ryan

    The photo of St. Louis Cathedral is a photograph of New Orleans, LA, not the two islands being discussed

    Reply

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