Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover
(the unofficial flag of Martinique)
This flag features a white cross like St George’s cross on a blue background filled in with a white snake in each quarter. The flag dates from an edict issued 4th August 1766, specifying that vessels of the French Colony of Martinique and Saint Lucia should fly a version of the French ensign, which at the time was a white cross on a blue field, with L-shaped (for ‘’Lucia’’) snakes in each quarter of the cross. The flag floats next to the French flag on some public buildings of the island such as the prefecture, and the police station of Fort-de-France. The snakes are fer-de-lance vipers native to Martinique.
The tricolour of France is used in Martinique for official events as the country is an overseas region of France. The country often hoists the tricolour of France along with its unofficial flag.
Martinique’s coat of arms uses the same dark blue and white colour scheme as the island’s flag. The shield reads ‘La collectivité au service du pays’
Martinique is part of the French overseas territory and so they use the same national anthem as France.
Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’etendard sanglant est levé (bis)
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes
Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons
Que veut cette horde d’esclaves,
de traitres, de rois conjures ?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers des longtemps preparés ? (bis)
Français pour nous, ah Quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter
C’est nous qu’on ose méditer
De rendre à l’antique esclavage
Quoi Ces cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers
Quoi Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers (bis)
Grand Dieu ! Par des mains enchainées
Nos fronts sous le joug ploiraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées
Tremblez tyrans ! Et vous, perfides,
L’opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez Vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leur prix (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre.
S’ils tombent, nos jeunes heros,
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre
Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups
Epargnez ces tristes victimes,
A regret s’armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Boulle,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !…
Amour sacré de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes males accents
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n’y seront plus;
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus. (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre.
TOOK OFFICE: 18/07/1947 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/07/1950
TOOK OFFICE: 25/08/1950 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/11/1954
TOOK OFFICE: 01/11/1954 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/06/1957
TOOK OFFICE: 01/08/1957 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/01/1960
TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/1960 – LEFT OFFICE: 25/04/1961
TOOK OFFICE: 25/04/1961 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/11/1963
TOOK OFFICE: 21/11/1963 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/09/1966
TOOK OFFICE: 16/09/1966 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/08/1967
TOOK OFFICE: 07/08/1967 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/1969
TOOK OFFICE: 01/09/1969 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/06/1970
TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1970 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/07/1973
TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1973 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/11/1975
TOOK OFFICE: 15/11/1975 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/05/1978
TOOK OFFICE: 20/05/1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 03/05/1979
TOOK OFFICE: 03/05/1979 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/07/1981
TOOK OFFICE: 27/07/1981 – LEFT OFFICE: 10/05/1982
TOOK OFFICE: 24/02/1988 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/04/1989
TOOK OFFICE: 12/04/1989 – LEFT OFFICE: 04/09/1991
TOOK OFFICE: 04/09/1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/01/1995
TOOK OFFICE: 06/01/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 24/08/1998
TOOK OFFICE: 31/08/1998 – LEFT OFFICE: 21/06/2000
TOOK OFFICE: 24/07/2000 – LEFT OFFICE: 28/03/2003
TOOK OFFICE: 28/03/2003 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/02/2004
TOOK OFFICE: 09/02/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/06/2007
TOOK OFFICE: 20/06/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/08/2007
TOOK OFFICE: 02/08/2007 – INCUMBENT
Once upon the year 1982, Jean-Philippe Thoze, horticulturist, landscape designer and poet comes back on the trail of his childhood, in the Creole house of his grandparents. From then was born his passion for botanicals which would lead him worldwide.
The Garden built around this typical creole house is the result of a perfect alchemy between a «back-to-childhood» experience and a one-of-a-kind artist.
The Garden is animated by the creativeness and visions of his creator who has been caring and healing the plants for more than 50 years and now shares this dream with everyone who walks through this magic world.
Official Website: www.jardindebalata.fr
Mount Pelée is a volcano at the northern end of Martinique. The volcano is currently in a quiescent state, which means it is not active, but is registering seismic activity. It is possible to hike to the summit of the volcano and on clear days you can enjoy incredible views of the surrounding mountains and the neighbouring island of Dominica. Mount Pelée producing a devasting eruption on 8th May 1902 and destroyed the nearby city of Saint-Pierre. There was also a minor eruption in 1929. The volcano now lies quiet and closely monitored. As the highest point in Martinique, It offers nature enthusiasts some magnificent hike trails and breath taking views.
On an island full of magnificent beaches, Les Salines is known to be one of the most beautiful and hence most popular. Just a short distance south of Sainte-Anne, is this one-kilometre stretch of powdery white sand, lined with coconut palm trees. The name stems from the nearby salt pond. Offering mostly calm waters, the popular beach is actually one of the rare quieter beaches on the island, especially during the week.
A volcanic remnant, approximately three kilometres off the south coast of Martinique, the Diamond Rock has an interesting ‘claim to fame’. During the Napoleonic Wars, it was occupied by British sailors, who participated in the blockade of Martinique in 1804. Lying in a very strategic position, not only did the men take up station on the rock, they also registered the rock as a ship, the HMS Diamond Rock. After over a year of unsuccessful attacks, the French eventually managed to strategically overpower the sailors and claim back the rock. Nowadays the rock is one of Martinique’s best dive sites as below water lie a deep triangular cave. The cave is said to contain prolific quantities of Marine wildlife. It is said that the Diamond Rock is still considered a real warship by the British and that their boats greet when passing.
The main inhabitants of the island was the Caribs, who called the island Madinina meaning ‘Island of flowers’. However Christopher Columbus spotted the island in 1502 and called it Martinique. The island was ignored by the Spanish but the French began to colonise Martinique in 1635. The Caribs were eventually eradicated by the French, who also brought slavery to the island. The slaves were mostly used as sugar plantation workers. In the 18th century the sugar exports made the island one of France’s most valuable colonies. Even after slavery was abolished in 1848, sugar continued to hold a dominant position in the economy.
The island went through a brief period under British control from 1794 to 1815, however the island was returned to the French in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars. In 1848, Schoelcher, who was the French cabinet minister responsible for overseas possessions, managed to convince the provisional government to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. This brought an end to slavery in the French West Indies. At the time, this made Schoelcher very unpopular with the white aristocracy, however Shoelcher is now thought of as one of Martinique’s heroes.
On 8th May 1902, Mount Pelée violently erupted, destroying the capital city of St.Pierre and claiming approximately 30,000 lives. Up until then St Pierre had been regarded as the most cultured city in the French West Indies, however following the disaster the capital was moved permanently to Fort-de-France, and although St. Pierre was rebuilt it has never been the same.
In 1946 Martinique became an Overseas Department of France, with a status similar to those of metropolitan departments. In 1974 it was further assimilated into the political fold as a Department of France.