As the capital and largest city of the French dependency of Martinique, a lot of what goes on in the Caribbean island is in Fort-de-France. A coastal city, you’re never too far away from the sea and pristine sands which have helped to make Fort-de-France and Martinique popular destinations for tourists wanting something a little different. Fort-de-France is also within easy reach of some great walking and cycling routes, especially those heading to the mountainous north of Martinique. The city itself is a pretty laidback place, making it ideal to spend a week or two during the summer if you want to experience warmer weather without the heaving crowds found in other Caribbean cities and towns.
Although some of the roads in the city go uphill, especially in the northern suburbs, a small car would be best for the winding narrow routes that lead towards some of the main attractions.
Driving in Fort De France
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Although there are buses going between the city and other major towns in Martinique, cars are the most popular mode of transport here, so be prepared for traffic jams.
The best road to use in Fort-de-France is the A1, which goes from the city centre to the airport in the east.
There is occasionally heavy traffic around the city’s harbour, one of the busiest in the Caribbean. Cruise ships regularly stop there.
Highlights & Hotspots
Fort Saint-Louis, a fortress built during the reign of King Louis XIII on a small peninsula on the coast of the city, is the most important landmark. Today, the fortress serves partly as a base for the French Navy and as a museum which is open to the public.
Shopping can be a lot of fun in Fort-de-France, especially at Le Grand Marche. As the name suggests, it’s a large, covered market which offers more than its fair share of bargains to visitors looking for a few souvenirs from their trip to the city.
The Jardin de Balata is the city’s largest botanical garden. Here, there are over 200 different plant and flower species on display, while you’re not too far away from the city centre by car (just over six miles, in fact).
Cascade Didier, a waterfall which attracts many visitors to Martinique, is just a short trip away from Fort-de-France. Perhaps the best way to get there is by foot, as some of the roads leading there can be a little clogged-up during summer.
Martinique Aim√© C√©saire International Airport is four miles east of the centre of Fort-de-France. It is the only airport on Martinique, has one main terminal for passengers and offers flights to and from other destinations in the Caribbean as well as parts of Europe.
The airport is near the A1 motorway, which goes northwest towards the centre of Fort-de-France. It is connected to the route by a series of well-signposted link roads.