Forte de France Port of Call
Sunset in Martinique © Antoine Hubert
On the French territorial island of Martinique, the port city Fort de France is a blend of white walled colonial architecture and working plantations, with a strongly Francophile culture. The city's most popular attractions include the Eden-like central park, La Savane, and the French architecture downtown, including a quaint historic library. A line of white sand beaches are popular south of the city.
Most cruise ships now berth at the Pointe Simon dock that lies directly in Forte de France's city centre, although some larger cruise lines still use the Tourelles Terminal which is also used as a cargo dock and is a 15-minute walk from the city. A little cruise village of shops and stalls greets visitors at Pointe Simon and downtown Fort de France can be comfortably reached on foot.
A tourism office is located at 76, rue Lazare Carnot
Tel: 596 616 177
From Tourelles Terminal waiting taxis are readily available and a leisurely stroll from the terminal to the city takes about 15 minutes. From Pointe Simon the city centre is just off the dock walkway and the vibrant downtown area can be reached in about 10 minutes on foot. The city in easily walkable and nearby beaches can also be reached on foot, but regulated taxis are available from any part of the city. Private companies run shuttles to nearby municipalities for those wanting to explore further afield.
The pleasant French colonial architecture of the city makes it picturesque, with landmarks including an impressive cathedral, library and large park. Organised walking tours are a popular way to experience the city's highlights. Beautiful beaches south of the city are wonderfully uncrowded as are the nearby rum distilleries and working plantations that can be visited on 4x4 tours.
The Yellow - Excellent seafood served with French flair.
Le Dôme - Caribbean and French fusion with a great view.
Chez Carole - Simple, fresh island food served in a friendly atmosphere.
Colombo (unique local curry with chicken and vegetables)
Everything French is available in the city, much of it at the duty free shopping centre at the terminal or at city centre marketplace. Jewellery, high fashion, handbags and perfumes are all popular as well as more Caribbean crafts. There are also boutique shops downtown and great deals on rum at the distilleries.
French perfume or rum
Take a drive to the infamous volcanic town St-Pierre
Ride the ferry to Pointe du Bout
Beach bum on Les Salines
Sailing and diving/snorkelling off the coast