Martinique, a rich
It was Martinique’s home-grown writer and politician Aimé Césaire that best described the cultural richness here in Martinique when he said: “For me, there is never any imprisonment in an identity”.
When you visit us, you will experience culture, food, people, sights, sounds and smells that you won’t find anywhere else.
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Our generous and sun-drenched gastronomy is an exciting experience for sure. Caribbean cuisine is colorful and spicy in flavor, like our famous fish fritters – or accras as they are locally known – that you dip into a hot chili sauce that we call sauce chien.
The history of Martinique can also be read on the walls of the buildings. The island has 102 architectural buildings protected as historic monuments.
Fort-de-France will amaze you with beautiful examples of 19th century metal architecture, look up at its homes with wrought iron balconies.
Wood sculpture is an art that has also been cultivated here for centuries. In towns and cities, from Saint Pierre to Saint Joseph via Le François, look around you to appreciate the finesse of the sculpted materials.
From North to South, Martinique invites you to party and you will not remain indifferent to these colorful festivities.
Sa ou fé? (Ca va?) Although French is the official language, we usually use Creole when we get together with family or friends. It is taught in some schools and the teaching authority of Martinique has introduced a Creole Speaking Week in schools from pre-school to high school level, to promote the culture, language and heritage of Martinique. Why not take the opportunity of your stay on Martinique to learn a few expressions of our fine language yourself?
Oral tradition or lore is still important in our Martinican-Creole culture today. On our island, we have all grown up with stories, rhymes and proverbs that we use on a daily basis. In 1989, the authors Jean Barnabé, Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphaël Confiant wrote in Éloge de la Créolité that “oral tradition is our intelligence, it is our reading of this world.” This non-written culture is also an excellent way of conveying our traditions.
Great authors have also left their mark on Martinique’s literature, notably through the concepts of negritude and creolity. From Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon and Joseph Zobel to the more contemporary Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphaël Confiant and Jean Barnabé, they have all had a strong impact on the way we think about and understand our Martinican identity. The island of flowers has always been renowned for the quality of its literature. Many of the country’s children’s writers have received prestigious awards for the quality of their work.
Music in your
A Taste for the Good Things
Rum is an integral part of our heritage and a reminder of the early sugarcane plantations. Our producers in Martinique have had the world’s only AOC rum label (or protected designation of origin) since 1996 and some of the island’s finest rums are known all over the world. Take the opportunity to try some while you’re here and tour the distilleries on the island of Martinique for a real taste of local culture.
Enjoy our artisan
Those with a sweet tooth will be interested to know that Martinique was for a long time a major center of production for cocoa. This important symbol of Martinique history and tradition has been revived in recent years and now is the perfect time to rediscover and share it. You can discover how artisanal chocolate is made, from the cocoa to the finished product, with production techniques passed down through the generations.