Fort de France has been built in a deep gulf half way down the west coast of
It has 100,000 inhabitants and is a very lively city.
It was founded
in 1624 but became the capital only in 1902 after St. Pierre was destroyed by
eruption of Mount Pelee. La Savane, in the heart of the capital overlooking
the harbor is Fort-de-France's central park, featuring beautifully landscaped
gardens and the famous statue of Napoleon's Empress Josephine. On the peninsula
facing La Savane is Fort Saint Louis, completed in 1640, Just opposite the
capital, accessible by boat, lies the peninsula of Pointe du Bout with hotels,
restaurants, clubs, a tourist harbor and a golf course.
This part of the island,
besides being a holiday destination, is also the most famous area of Martinique.
In fact Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, was born in Trois Ilets in 1763.
Travel a secondary road
along the eastern and southern coast to Le
south of Fort de France bay. Some of the villages still retain the Marticanan
spirit of the fishermen. Le Marin, at the bottom of a deep and narrow bay, with
a great marina, is a typical southern village, with a historic church built in
1766, one of the most beautiful in Martinique. The road ends at Grand Anse des
Salines, a beach of white sand and palm trees, almost a mile long, backed by a
brackish lagoon. This southern tip of the island is arid and wild: Savane des
Pétrification, is a desolate landscape with petrified vegetation, cactuses and
rocks with agate and jasper.
In front of the southeastern part of the island there is a coral reef dotted
with small islands such as the Ilet Oscar and Ilet Thierry, two tiny jewels with a
small hotel each.
In front of the two islands there's a natural pool, Baignoire
de Josephine, incredibly beautiful in its turquoise color, thanks to
water and the white sand.Traveling from Fort de France to the north, along the coastal road, we cross
Case Pilote, with a baroque church of the seventeenth century, the oldest of the
island, and Bellefontaine, a small fishing port at the foot of the cliff. A
detour towards the inner part of the island takes us to Morne Vert, an
extraordinary panoramic point on Pitons de Carbet. At Le Carbet, where
Christopher Columbus landed in 1502, is a museum dedicated to Gauguin.
Saint Pierre, the first city founded by the French in Martinique in 1635, is
almost the Pompei of the Caribbean as it was destroyed by fire and lava in 1902
during the eruption of Mount Pelee.
The extreme northern tip of the island is
Grand Riviere, a fascinating area with forests, mountains and river.
Atlantic coast is a succession of beaches and cliffs. The most spectacular is
the Caravelle peninsula, a nature reserve with beautiful beaches.