Fort de France Martinique

Though established as the largest of all urban areas in Martinique, Fort de France tourism doesn't thrive quite as some might expect. Instead, the city of 100,000 residents is commended for its superb restaurants and trendy fashion boutiques ideal for a day of shopping. Located on the south western end of the island and situated at the head of a large bay, Fort de France Martinique is picturesque and brimming with a wealth of history and attractions. Beginning along the water and extending into the lush hills, Fort de France is a place best explored by foot. The many restaurants throughout the city combined with the beautiful scenery, unique shops and boutiques, eateries, cafes, and scenic walks make it an inviting Caribbean destination.

The heart of Fort de France tourism revolves around La Salvane, the city core, and also a tourist and local hub. Swaying palm trees, punctuated by city benches, and a gleaming marble statue of Napoleon's love interest Josephine are all highlights of the central area. For terrific shopping opportunities near the central square, head toward the harbor near the park where vendors fill their stalls with wood carvings, jewelry, handmade hats, woven baskets, and much more. Visitors looking to enjoy a spectacular meal should try La Plantation, considered one of the best longstanding restaurants in Fort de France. Set amid lush, tropical surroundings and within walking distance of La Salvane, La Plantation serves incredible French and Creole meals inside a beautiful colonial estate.

If trying some of the tantalizing restaurants in Fort de France is on the agenda, visitors are sure to be pleased with the assortment of budget, mid-range, and upscale dining available. Creole style cooking is the specialty in Fort de France Martinique, and all over the rest island as well. A combination of French, West Indian, East Indian, and African cuisine comprises the Creole dishes served up in Martinique. Some of the most renowned restaurants in Fort de France specialize in haute cuisine, which is characterized by very intricate food preparation and elaborate food presentations. Smoked salmon, foie gras, succulently roasted scallops, and classic dishes of the finest beef are often house specialties.

Though Fort de France tourism doesn't flourish as tourism does along the island's southern tip where beaches are a big draw, there are several noteworthy attractions to explore. The long history of the island can be discovered in more depth when visiting the areas around La Salvane. Place de la Salvane is a tranquil park filled with stunning gardens and fountains and perfect for a relaxing morning or afternoon stroll. Throughout the lovely area there are many colonial-era homes, charming cafes, and quaint shops offering an ideal way to graze through the day. Upon reaching the waterfront, Fort St. Louis, a seventeenth-century fortification, stands proud at the harbor's entrance. Tours of the fort are available and also afford some of the most sublime views of Fort de France Martinique.

The Cathedral St. Louis, erected in 1878 on Rue Blenac, showcases glorious stained glass windows and incredible iron rails. Two blocks east the Musee Departemental de la Martinique features Carib and Arawak artifacts and an extensive early European collection of fine furnishings and a variety of other early items brought to the island by the first settlers. Also near La Salvane, the unusual melange of graceful domes and arches comprise the Bibliotheque Schoelcher. They were first built for Paris's World Exhibition in 1889 and eventually shipped to Martinique for the Schoeler Library.

With walking as the most ideal mode of transportation, exploring the many unique markets and gardens exemplifies the charm exuding from the city. Don't miss one of the most impressive gardens in all of the Caribbean, the Jardin de Balata. Sweeping acres of fresh tropical flowers, gentle, rolling hills, and plenty of local tree species are found atop a large incline overlooking the ocean. The sheer beauty of the local architecture on the island speaks volumes of a city with a long and fascinating history. The beautiful, mountainous scenery is enough to capture every visitor"s attention and the many active pursuits available on Martinique, spanning all across the board, strike a cord with every type of traveler.

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