This post was most recently updated on June 6th, 2019

The French-speaking island of Martinique is not the first on everyone’s list of vacation destinations, but it should be. From stunning beaches to fascinating historical sites to top-notch cuisine, Martinique has a lot going for it. Here are just five (of the many) reasons you should start looking for cheap flight deals to get there ASAP!

Enjoy Distinctive Dishes!

Salt cod fritters (accras de morue) on a plate with habanero peppers in Martinique

It’s hard to escape fresh seafood when dining in Martinican restaurants. One of the most popular dishes on the island is succulent lambi (grilled conch), often served with rice and plantains. Another crowd pleaser is chicken colombo, a rich chicken stew made with clove, cumin, and ginger. Don’t forget to try accras de morue (cod fritters) – the cod is mixed with green onions and spicy pepper before its fried to perfection. Wash it all down with a ti-punch (rum, lime, and sugarcane syrup) or a Lorraine Blonde (light beer brewed on the island).

Check Out an Active Volcano

Saint Pierre Caribbean bay in Martinique beside Mount Pelée volcano

Okay, so Mount Pelée is technically in a “quiescent state,” which means it’s not currently active, but it’s still registering minor activity. In fact, Martinique’s most famous landmark hasn’t erupted since 1932, which means it’s covered with lush forests perfect for hiking (or photo ops). Located on the northern end of the island and near the former capital city of Saint Pierre, Mount Pelée is the perfect day trip destination.

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Choose Between White and Black Sand Beaches

Caribbean Martinique beach coconut

It’s a difficult choice, so make sure to build in time to lounge on both. On the northern end of the island, beaches like Anse Céron are covered by black sand (due to volcanic ash). On the southern end of the island, white sand beaches like Plage des Salines are the norm. Pack a picnic lunch (mango, fresh baguette, and French cheese), a good book, and make a day of it!

Shop to Your Heart’s Content

stand selling dresses made of madras on a market in Martinique.

Whether you are looking for cute sarongs, unique jewelry, or delicious spices, Martinique is a shopper’s paradise. Check out the Marché Artisanal for handmade gifts or the Marché Polyvalent Le Diamant for food goods (both located in the capital city of Fort-de-France). If luxury shopping is more your style, head to downtown Fort-de-France to browse the latest resort wear and designer jewels.

You may also like: Trinidad vs. Martinique: Where Should You Go for a Caribbean Carnival?

Experience Carnaval!

Carnival in Martinique in the city of Sainte-Anne

One of the most exciting times to visit Martinique is during carnaval. The annual festivities begin on Epiphany and last until Ash Wednesday. During this time, Martinicans from each city and village create costumes and props that are revealed at the carnaval parade that takes place in Fort-de-France for the last 5 days of the festival. The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at the end of carnaval each have a different theme. Monday’s parade is all about burlesque weddings with both men and women dressing in drag. Tuesday is the day of the devil, during which revelers dress in red and black and wear devilish masks. On Ash Wednesday, Vaval (the papier maché carnaval king) is burned and people dress in black and white. It’s truly a phenomenal cultural experience!

Why not put Martinique on your travel bucket list? Check out some cheap flight deals to get there!

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.