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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Fort de France

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Martinique each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets of Fort-de-France and at various venues around Martinique.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. Festivities include a fireworks display set off from the beach in front of the Caribbean Sea. Wonderful!

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Martinique, is marked by the faithful with several religious ceremonies. A fireworks display is set off from the beach in front of the Caribbean Sea.

October: Fort-de-France Half-Marathon (local event)

Drawing more than 2,000 professional and amateur competitors from around the world, this much-anticipated annual event also offers a festive atmosphere: pre-dawn warm-ups are accompanied by the sounds of hand drums. Additional highlights include demonstrations of roller-skating and other fitness pursuits as well as folk and hip-hop dancing.

November 1 and 2: All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (celebrated nationwide)

On both days, candles placed on graves fill all of the cemeteries with light. Families gather to pay their respects and clean the gravestones of their departed loved ones. Prayers and conversations continue into the evening.

November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)

On this day, citizens gather at the war memorial in Fort-de-France to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War. In Martinique, commemorations focus on the intergenerational transmission of memory, with ceremonies attended by many schoolchildren.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Fort de France

Fort-de-France and Martinique have a humid, tropical climate. There are two distinct seasons: a dry season, called Carême (Lent), which extends from December to April, and a rainy season (often with quite heavy rainfall) called Hivernage (Wintering), which extends from June to November. Between these two main seasons, there are two intermediate periods neither entirely dry nor entirely rainy. The water remains warm year-round and its temperature can exceed 28°C (82°F) between July and October. However, a cooler climate prevails in the mountainous regions, due to their higher altitude. Tropical storms can bring heavy rains to Fort-de-France, causing landslides on occasion.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 21/70 28/82 96/3.8 Good period to go Good period to go
February 21/70 29/84 68/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
March 21/70 29/85 59/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
April 22/72 30/86 82/3.2 Good period to go Good period to go
May 23/73 30/86 126/5.0 Not the best period to go
June 23/73 30/86 160/6.3 Not the best period to go
July 23/73 30/86 214/8.4 Not the best period to go
August 23/73 30/86 227/8.9 Not the best period to go
September 23/73 31/88 232/9.1 Not the best period to go
October 23/73 30/86 221/8.7 Not the best period to go
November 22/72 30/86 230/9.1 Not the best period to go
December 21/70 29/84 126/5.0 Good period to go Good period to go
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Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport

Martinique's Aimé Césaire Airport is located in the town of Le Lamentin, about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) south of Fort-de-France.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Fort-de-France and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A1 (972) motorway or the N5 road.
    • Parking is free for the first 15 minutes in the lot opposite the terminal. The charge is EUR 1 for 15 to 30 minutes and EUR 19 after 24 hours.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside exit D of the arrivals hall.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +596 (0)5 96 42 19 95
  • Website: http://www.martinique.aeroport.fr

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GETTING AROUND Fort de France

Getting around Martinique is quite easy because the island offers many different transport options.

By bus

MozaiK operates a number of bus routes in Fort-de-France and its suburbs (none on the rest of the island). Buses run from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. The main bus station is on Boulevard du Général de Gaulle. A single ticket costs EUR 1.80.

Useful tip: The Pass' Crusoé offers unlimited travel on the whole MozaiK network. It is valid for 1 day (EUR 3.60) or 1 week (EUR 10.00).

By shared taxi

Without a doubt the best way to get around the island. Known in Martinique as “taxi-co” (for taxis collectifs), these shared taxis operate on weekdays, starting very early in the morning and running every half hour until 6 p.m. Fares range from EUR 3.50 to EUR 11.50, depending on the destination.

By taxi

Private taxis are a relatively expensive way to get around Martinique. In addition, if you take one between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. or on Sundays, a 40% supplement is tacked on to the fare. Taxi ranks are mainly located at the airport and outside the major hotels.

By car

Exploring the island and Fort-de-France in a rental car is definitely an option to consider. The main roads are excellent and almost all of them are paved. However, secondary roads and those winding through the mountains are often quite narrow. Several car rental companies have locations in Fort-de-France and elsewhere in Martinique.

By boat

Maritime services are an ideal way to avoid the traffic jams when trying to get into Fort-de-France. Madinina operates ferries connecting the city centre with the village of Les Trois-Ilets, with a travel time of about 20 minutes. A round-trip ticket costs EUR 7.00.

By bicycle

Getting around Martinique by bicycle is best avoided. Bike lanes are not yet a common fixture on the streets of Fort-de-France or on roads in the rest of the island and there are very few cycling paths.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Fort-de-France, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Tourist Office of Fort-de-France

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Other tourist offices in Martinique

Tourist offices are located at various destinations throughout Martinique, providing useful information and recommendations for your stay in each area.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (€).

HKD 1 = EUR 0.11

EUR 1 = HKD 9.09

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Martinique.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for the French overseas departments (Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Mayotte) are different from those applicable in mainland France. Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation do not need to carry a visa. To view the list of other countries whose citizens or nationals may travel to Martinique without a visa, or for information on the types of travel documents required, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/article/foreign-nationals-holding-ordinary

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Fort-de-France, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Martinique a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat that?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

00 596
+ phone number without 0
-12 : 00
of time difference with
Hong Kong

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
There are no specific guidelines for tipping in Martinique. Bills include a service charge but, as in mainland France, a little bit extra is always appreciated!