Martinique: French Island
Martinique offers yacht charter guests all the charms of the Caribbean enhanced with French flair. The island is an overseas department of France and an integral part of the French Republic. It is part of the European Union and its currency is the euro.
Beaches are gorgeous, marine life abundant and lush landscapes surround picture postcard towns. It’s an even greater pleasure to yacht around if you are a connoisseur of fine food and drink. There are wonderful markets like the ones you find in mainland France. In addition to fruits, veggies, and all manner of cheese, there’s unparalleled wine and rhum.
Fine Rhum, Fine Dining
In recent years, the once-exclusive world of rhum agricole has opened itself to rum lovers, with its terroir and sophistication charming palates around the world. In fact, if you’re a rhum devotee, consider embarking on a rhum trail sail. Martinique offers the most artisanal rum making companies in the world concentrated on a single island. A customized charter itinerary can reach them all.
They have stiff competition from other islands, but Martinique justifies the title of ‘Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’. With award-winning chefs and five-star restaurants island-wide, enjoy some meals ashore.
Piervittorio, Owner and seasonal Captain of sailing catamaran Sagittarius, loves the French West Indies. He has sailed in this region for years, sharing his favorite places with family, friends and charter guests. Here is his brief summary of Martinique’s top ports of call.
Le Marin: Martinique Nature
Picturesque waterfront restaurants, galleries and boutiques characterize this elegant yachting capital of Martinique. It is a popular place to begin yacht charters. Time permitting, take an excursion to the mountain heights of Morne Grommier. Visit the medicinal botanical gardens, thrill to 360-degree views, and absorb a bit of southern Martinique history on a tour of the region. For a shot of adrenaline, go canyoning.
Sainte-Anne: Seaside Charm
Sainte-Anne is a petite village with lovely shops, restaurants, and a craft market. It is a pretty yachting destination with palm-fringed coves and some of the island’s most beautiful beaches. A short distance south, Les Salines is one of the most popular stretches of sand and sea in Martinique. Nearby, Domaine Saint Aubin is one of the islands best and loveliest French/Creole restaurants.
Grand Anse d’Arlet: Home to an Empress
Charter yachts can dock right on this calm, protected beach. Explore the quaint shops across the street, then go for a refreshing dip before getting back on board. For culture and history buffs, especially fans of the Napoleonic era, visit the Le Musee de la Pagerie. Buildings and artifacts outline the life and family of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine.
Saint-Pierre, Martinique History
Before its destruction by Mount Pelée’s eruption in 1902, Saint-Pierre was a very popular spot. Some called it “the Paris of the Caribbean”, others “Town of a Thousand Nights”. But, in the devastation of 1902 almost nothing was spared. Today the resurrected town is officially recognized as a city of Art and History, with several museums and historic sites. Depaz Distillery is an imposing sight at the foot of Mount Pelée. Off the shores of Saint-Pierre, experienced divers can explore an interesting shipwreck at a depth of 50m.
Le Carbet: Beachcombing Sophisicate
Dig your toes in the sand and try some fine cuisine at Le Petibonum, chef Guy Ferdinand’s gourmet beach bar. It’s located in Le Carbet, just a short sail from Saint-Pierre. Le Carbet has some great gourmet markets and is home to Rhum Neisson, a distillery worth a visit.
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