MARTINIQUE is an overseas region of France (a status akin to Hawaii’s station within the U.S.) that intoxicates with a sublime combo of French Riviera chic and authentic West Indian spice. French influence is seen in everything from the excellent quality of the roads and tres-chic fashion labels in boutiques along Rue Victor Hugo, to the wide availability of fine French wines and champagne. Mostly notably, though, it’s seen in the exceptional quality of Martinique’s cuisine, a mix of French and Creole flavors, cooking techniques and influences widely seen as the finest in the Caribbean. Just as in Paris, they take food very seriously in Martinique. From humblest roadside food stand to fast food joints and the most exclusive restaurants, culinary treasures here abound.
Rhum is also taken very seriously in Martinique. As much a part of the island’s enduring cultural heritage and identity as anything, the island’s unique rhum agricole production method has earned for Martinique the world’s only AOC designation for rum. No visit is complete without a taste, either neat or in a planteur or ti’punch, the island’s primary cocktails. For connoisseurs seeking a more in-depth rum journey, La Route de Rhums is to fine rum as France’s La Route de Vins is to fine wine.
More adventurous travelers can opt for one-of-a-kind scuba adventures, sailing excursions to 48 satellite islets, or hiking the island’s 80-mile network of trails.