Things to see and do - Martinique
Where to go?
Practical A to Z
Practical A to Z
- Eating out
- Embassies and consulates
- Getting around
- Opening times
The island is dotted with small family-run restaurants serving delicious food at reasonable prices.
Allow between €12 and 15 for a menu (starter-main course-dessert) and €7-8 for a single dish.
Mobile restaurants are commonplace by the seashore.
The large hotels offer all-inclusive buffets (€15 to 18).
Wine is often expensive and of inferior quality.
Restaurants are generally open from 11.30am-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm. Many are closed on Sundays.
The voltage in Martinique is 220V (50Hz) and the sockets are the same as in continental Europe.
Embassies and consulates
British Embassy – The UK does not have a consular mission in Martinique and British nationals are asked to contact the British Embassy in Paris – t 01 44 51 31 00 - http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/
Irish Embassy – Ireland does not have a consular mission in Martinique either and Irish nationals should contact the Irish Embassy in Paris – t 01 44 17 67 00 - http://www.embassyofireland.fr/
The best way to explore Martinique is by car and there is no lack of rental agencies.
The road network is generally speaking well maintained, but the mountains in the north are sometimes less accessible. The roads are moreover very busy.
Avoid parking underneath coconut or mango trees, whose heavy fruit can damage your car when it falls off the tree.
It isn’t easy to get around the island on two wheels, primarily because of the narrow minor lanes and mountainous landscape.
Never leave your bicycle un-padlocked (thefts are frequent).
Mini buses, known as taxi-co, comprise the major part of the transport network on the island and are run by private firms. Timetables have a tendency to be very haphazard.
In addition to a few lines within Martinique, several companies also operate a ferry service to Guadeloupe. The journey lasts 3hrs.
The island’s health care is of very good quality.
Most of Martinique’s villages have a chemist.
Beware of the fierce tropical sun and take a high SPF sun block cream, particularly for the first few days; avoid the sun between 11am and 2pm.
In the sea, keep an eye open for poisonous black sea urchins.
The tap water is of very good quality. Bottled mineral water is quite expensive on the island but its quality is renowned.
Fire brigade: t 18 (from a landline) or t 112 (from a mobile phone).
Ambulance: t 15 or t 05 96 75 15 75
Police: t 17
Lifeguards (CROSSAG): t 05 96 70 92 92
Emergency doctor: t 05 96 63 33 33
High-speed internet cafés are more and more commonplace on the island.
The currency of Martinique is the Euro.
Many shops accept credit cards. However some of the smaller restaurants, private car rental agencies, guesthouses and craftsmen only accept cash.
Banks, ATMs and exchange
There is no shortage of banks, ATMs and exchange offices.
Banks are generally open Monday-Friday from 8am-12noon and 2-4pm.
Two exchange offices at Fort-de-France and two others at Marin and the airport are open 7 days a week.
Hotels are generally quite expensive.
Accommodation is 20 to 30% less in the low season (May to August), but prices shoot up at the end of the year.
Tipping is not commonplace, but appreciated in restaurants.
Shops are generally open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (or 6pm) and on Saturday morning. The large shopping malls are open from Monday to Sunday morning and until late in the evening during the week.
Most government offices are open Monday-Friday (8am-12noon and 2-5pm), as are post offices (8am-12noon and 2-4pm and Saturday mornings).
Public phone booths are commonplace, as are points-phone in some shops.
The mobile phone network is also very well developed on Martinique and the neighbouring islands.
To call Martinique from abroad
From Europe (except France), dial 00 + 596 (or 696 for a mobile phone) + 6-digit number of the person.
From North America, dial 011 + 596 + 6-digit number of the person.
To call home from Martinique
Dial 00 + country code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + the number of the person.
To make a call inside Martinique
Dial the 10-digit number of the person.