Island Size: 50 miles long and 22 miles long; 425 square miles.
Time Zone: Standard time zone: UTC/GMT -4 hours
Daylight Saving Time:No known DST-adjustments for year 2000
Climate: Average yearly temperature is 79° F. Average annual rainfall is 76 inches. Rainy season is July through November.
Official Language: French and Creole.
Currency: French Franc - U.S. dollars are widely accepted.
Nestled between St. Lucia and Dominica, the French West Indies' isle of Martinique serves up the best that the Caribbean has to offer in a manner that is tres, tres French. Martinique is a master at showing off her European roots while remaining true to the Caribbean's laid back, "no problem" attitude.
Her terrain is as diverse as her personality, from the summit of the majestic volcano Mont Pelee to its pure white and pure black sand beaches. Throughout the island you'll enjoy Martinique's lavish natural landscape, including the Pitons de Carbet mountains, healthy rainforests and sunsets that inspired famous French artist Gaugin.
Intellects and amateur historians will also find plenty to like about Martinique. Its history is evident in its architecture (including a library built in France and reconstructed one mosaic at a time), its native citizens (including Napolean's empress Josephine) and the infamous town of St. Pierre. Once known as the "Paris of the Caribbean", all that exists of St. Pierre now are the haunting relics that survived a volcano eruption in 1902 that killed all but one citizen.
For those looking for a more traditional Caribbean vacation, Martinique offers almost everything except golf (there's only one course on the island). Her water sports are ample, including diving, sailing, deep sea fishing, parasailing, jet skiing and windsurfing. Her sunshine is ample and her beaches range from secluded strips to crowded, topless beaches much like the south of France.
Geared toward seasoned travelers who aren't intimidated by her international atmosphere, Martinique offers the perfect marriage of Europe and the Caribbean in a single, gorgeous locale.