For those who wish to experience France and the Caribbean at the same time, Martinique is a destination of fashion and French culture and glamour. The food, history, and culture will bring travelers to the island throughout the year, although the island is most popular during the winter and spring high season.
While travel to the Caribbean is a popular option throughout the entire year, many travelers find themselves drawn to this small part of France from the end of November to April and May. Travelers to Martinique and the rest of the Caribbean may have to fight with increased crowds during this time, as the high season for the whole of the Caribbean is essentially the same (generally mid-December to mid-April).
This winter and spring period signals decreased rainfall, heat and humidity for the Caribbean region, and Martinique has an average yearly temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The mild tropical climate gives travelers from the frozen areas farther north of the equator in the United States, Europe, and Canada, extra incentive to visit the Caribbean. Hurricane season ends at the end of November, taking away the threat of the powerful Atlantic storm systems (to which Martinique is vulnerable). If the improved weather is not reason enough, French food and wine, stunning natural beauty, and all-inclusive resorts give all types of travelers reason to visit the shores of Martinique.
The high season on any island in the Caribbean will offer much in the way of services and amenities that are not offered during the off season. Hotels and restaurants will generally be running at their maximum efficiency and will be fully staffed in order to provide the best service to their patrons. Extra amenities such as classes, recreational tours and activities, and other services, events, and attractions may only be available to travelers during the busy high season, when hotels are sure of high demand. Crowds of socialites and sophisticates will rejuvenate the island night and social life as conversations are held over glasses of fine French wine. The popularity of the region during the high season means that nearly all of the island's services geared toward tourists will be booked far in advance. Hotels, especially the more glamorous, all-inclusive affairs, should be booked at least a few months in advance. Reservations for recreation services and dinner should also be made in order to ensure availability.
Travelers to Martinique during the off season may find the reduced hours and services of restaurants and hotels to be tempered by the generally reduced prices of traveling to the island. Airline fares and hotel rates during this time can be slashed up to 50 percent. Temperatures and humidity, even in the hotter summer months, do not usually fluctuate drastically from the yearly norm, with an average difference of only about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Increased rainfall and tropical weather systems in the Atlantic can be an issue for travelers, so be sure to stay abreast of weather news prior to and during your trip. Reservations, for the services that remain open, can be easier to secure during this time.
Many hotels, restaurants, and services will curtail the operations and operating hours during these off season months. Some hotels and restaurants will even close for weeks or months at a time as a result of the decreased demand. Even for hotels that remain open, the off season is a popular time to carry out renovations and construction to hotel facilities. Travelers should speak to hotel representatives to inquire about the extent and location of any construction that would be taking place during their stay.
...world famous jazz festival...
Many of the most popular festivals on the island take place during the high season, giving tourists and travelers another reason to visit the island during the busier months. Carnival, parades, parties, and contests, takes place on February 6 to 9, but parties take place on several weekends prior to the festival. Martinique has been known to have over 40 marching bands participate in it's Carnival. The festival is revisited nearly three weeks into Lent for another day of pageantry and fun called Mi carême.
Every two years, Martinique holds a world famous jazz festival in December that draws both international and Caribbean names. The celebration of the new wine harvest, Beaujolais nouveau takes place in November. Villages on Martinique also have celebrations for their patron saints at various time of the year. The celebration of Bastille Day is July 14. Consider consulting a local calendar of events made available by tourist offices prior to your trip to learn what festivals and cultural events will be taking place during your trip to the island. Click here to read more about arts and entertainment on Martinique.
While the high season on Martinique remains the most attractive season for visiting the island, some travelers may find benefits to vacationing during the slower off season. As long as you do the research to make an informed decision, however, Martinique can be a magical destination at any time of the year.
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