Source: La Martinique, une île, mille voyages from Herve Remion
Martinique is an island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 sq mi) and a population of 386,486 inhabitants (as of Jan. 2013). Like Guadeloupe, it is anoverseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica.
As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-seven regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the euro. The official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais).
Source: One Day in Martinique from Khris Burton on Vimeo.
he north of the island is mountainous. It features four ensembles of pitons (volcanoes) and mornes (mountains): the Piton Conil on the extreme North, which dominates the Dominica Channel; Mont Pelée, an active volcano; the Morne Jacob; and the Pitons du Carbet, an ensemble of five extinct volcanoes covered with rainforest and dominating the Bay of Fort de France at 1,196 metres (3,924 ft). Mont Pelée’s volcanic ash has created gray and black sand beaches in the north (in particular between Anse Ceron andAnse des Gallets), contrasting markedly from the white sands of Les Salines in the south.
The south is more easily traversed, though it still features some impressive geographic features. Because it is easier to travel and because of the many beaches and food facilities throughout this region, the south receives the bulk of the tourist traffic. The beaches from Pointe de Bout, through Diamant (which features right off the coast of Roche de Diamant), St. Luce, the department of St. Anne and down to Les Salines are popular.
Source: Martinique from Christine Schmitthenner on Vimeo.
The northern end of the island catches most of the rainfall and is heavily forested, featuring species such as bamboo, mahogany,rosewood and locust. The south is drier and dominated by savanna-like brush, including cacti, Copaiba balsam, logwood and acacia.Anolis lizards and fer-de-lance snakes are native to the island. Mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus), introduced in the 1800s, have become a particularly cumbersome introduced species as they prey upon bird eggs and have exterminated or endangered a number of native birds, including the Martinique trembler, white-breasted trembler and white-breasted thrasher.
The mongooses mentioned above were released in Martinique to control the snake population. Because of Martinique’s warm temperatures many snakes reside on the island, including, amongst others, the lancehead viper.