Martinique is an island and a French Department that together with Guadeloupe makes up the overseas French territory. It is located in the Lesser Antilles, on the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea. It is home to 386,486 people and has a surface area of 436 square miles.

Martinique - an overseas "Department" of France

Martinique is an island and a French Department that together with Guadeloupe makes up the  overseas French territory. It is located in the Lesser Antilles, on the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea. It is home to 386,486 people and has a surface area of 436 square miles. The following are some of the facts you need to know about the island before heading there on vacation.

The island is one of the windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. Before it was named Martinique by Christopher Columbus in 15th June 1502, the island was known as Jouanacaëra-Matinino, a name that comes from the Tainos of Hispaniola and which means 'mythical island'.

Being part of France, its official language is French although Antillean Creole is widely spoken too. The initial dwellers of the island were the Arawaks, then the Carib and finally the Taino who were found there by Christopher Columbus in 1502.

It would seem that Martinique has seen its fair share of conflict. In the past, it fell under British rules twice; the first time during the Seven Years War and the second time during the Napoleonic wars.

Martinique is endowed with lots of natural resources. For example the highest point on the island is Mont Pelée at 1,397 meters above the sea level. Navigation of ships along Martinique coast is difficult due to the Peninsula of Caravelle that separates the North Atlantic and South Atlantic. This however does not faze the adventure-seekers.

Popular attractions in the island include; the tropical forest near Fond St-Denis, Les Salines beach, the rich flora and fauna diversity among others.

There are several flights from Europe, North America and Caribbean that land in the Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport. This is your entry point to the island.

The most popular dish in the country is Colombo (unique curry chicken) with spiced masala of Tamil origins.

Enjoy your trip…I will enjoy the trip vicariously through you!

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