Getting Around Martinique
The best way to get around Martinique is in a car (either your rental or a cab). Even if you intend to spend most of your trip on the beach, you'll at least need to take a cab from Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) to either downtown Fort-de-France or the island's resort areas. Using a taxi for sightseeing, however, is a true budget crusher. Instead, rent a vehicle and begin exploring on your own. For a break from the driving, consider taking a pleasant vedette (ferry) ride between the east coast's marinas.
|On Foot||Walking is only a realistic option if you don't intend to leave the resort. Otherwise, you'll find activities and sites too spread out to reach on your own, even in Fort-de-France. You'll witness that hitchhiking is common on the island, but for obvious reasons, this isn't a recommended way to travel.|
Some vacationers do manage on Martinique without a car, but you'll find one a necessity if you're looking to explore. To be on the safe side, you should rent from a European-based firm, as some travelers have reported mechanical problems and billing snafus with a few local companies (companies like Sixt and Europcar operate at the Martinique airport). When you're out and about, you'll find excellent roads but some pretty intense traffic. The worst of it occurs around Fort-de-France at rush hour, so plan your excursions accordingly.
|Taxi||When we say that Martiniquais taxis are efficient, we mean that they're effective for getting you from point A to point B, and for shamefully thinning your wallet. Prepare yourself to pay anywhere from 20 to 60 euros (about $23 to $68) to get to your hotel from the airport, and that's not including the 40-percent surcharge you'll face if you're expecting to ride at night, on a Sunday, or on holidays. On the bright side, cabbies are courteous and often times speak English, Spanish and German.|
|Bus||Minibuses marked with "TC" (for Taxi Collectifs) motor between Fort-de-France and popular tourist enclaves like St-Pierre, Trois Îlets, Le Diamant and Ste-Anne. But these vans are generally considered unreliable because the drivers are willing to change the route according to their passengers' needs. As such, the fare is also hard to determine. If you're up for the adventure, you'll find that most of these nine-passenger vans depart from the parking lot near the Pointe Simon harbor.|
|Ferry||For an affordable and picturesque look at Martinique, you can take one of the vedettes, or ferryboats, that jet between the marinas of Fort-de-France, Pointe du Bout, Anse-Mitan and Anse-à-l'Ane. Most trips take about 20 minutes one-way, cost approximately 6 euros (about $7) round-trip, and will save you from some of the traffic woes that come from driving yourself.|
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