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Martinique is a French overseas territory, located between the small islands of Dominica and St Lucia in the Caribbean Sea. This island belongs to the group of Lesser Antilles and is characterized by many rivers, forests, sandy beaches and rugged mountains. Martinique also has a unique volcanic landscape and plenty of plantations. Mild weather, constantly nice and warm temperatures, together with the cool trade winds is what makes Martinique one of the primary destinations to visit in the Caribbean. Average year-round temperatures range between 24 C and 30 C, while rainy days are very rare.
Martinique`s main draw are its beautiful beaches. The northern shore of Martinique is famous for the black sandy beaches, while on the southern shore you will find beaches with soft white sands and most of the hotel resorts are located there. Places like Les Anses d'Arlets, Sainte-Anne and Le Diamante are very popular for their great beaches. On the southern shore are the calmer, wider and children-friendly beaches, while the eastern coast is very popular for the surfers as the coastline is a bit more rugged and there are some nice waves there.
Besides beaches, there are many cultural and historic spots, as well as a few dozen small museums which you can visit on Martinique. The Banana Museum and the House of Sugar Cane are a couple of attractive museums, while the Old-Fashioned Toys Museum is interesting both for adults and children.
The Cathedral of St-Louis is a major landmark worth seeing. It was built back in the 17th century and it has a very nice bell tower in a Roman design. This Gothic cathedral fills the skyline of the capital Fort-de-France and its interior is very attractive. When in the capital, take a nice walk on its winding streets and admire the architecture. There are many colorful markets which you can visit, and do not miss a visit to the picturesque park of La Savanne where you can see the statue of the Napoleon`s wife – the Empress Josephine de Beauharnais.
If you want to explore further, visit the volcanic mountain called Montagne Pelée located on the northern side of Martinique. It stands above 1400 meters high and the last time volcano erupted was back over a century ago. The remains of the destroyed city of St Pierre are very popular tourist attraction nearby, and there you will also see some ancient buildings and houses that have been restored.
When it comes to events, Martinique is a home to a few popular festivals. Most of them are held in the high tourist season which is between December and April. In November there is a celebration dedicated to the wine harvest, while every other December there is a very popular Jazz Festival that attracts musicians from all over the world. In the month of February there is one big Carnival that attracts lots of visitors. There are many marching band parades, parties, and musical performances that are very interesting to see. Every village on Martinique also celebrates their patron saints in different months of the year, while the Bastille Day on 14th of July is Martinique`s National Holiday.