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  • Fort de France

    Fort de France travel guide


    The largest city in the French West Indies, Fort de France is a cosmopolitan urban area of more than 100,000 people, with a distinctly French atmosphere. Narrow streets wind steeply up hills, framed by wrought-iron balconies, and from a distance the city seems to be half-made up of jungle, with plenty of gardens and verdant green spaces.

    A handful of historical and cultural sites make for a full day's worth of sightseeing in Fort de France, including historical buildings like Fort Saint-Louis, beautiful churches like the Sacré-Coeur de Balata and the Cathedral Saint-Louis, and the lovely Balata Gardens. There are also several beautiful waterfalls, including the Cascade Absalon and the Cascade Didier.

    While the nightlife in Fort de France isn't quite on a par with most large cities, there are some good restaurants and shopping opportunities in the city. Several markets offer local produce and spices, and Victor Hugo Road is a shopping street with souvenir shops and boutiques sandwiched between local fruit and flower sellers. Most tourists in Martinique spend only a day or two in Fort de France, but the city makes a good place to stop over before taking the ferry to Trois Islets.

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    Fort de France has a tropical rainforest climate with year-round precipitation. The coolest part of the year lasts from late December to the beginning of March: maximum temperatures generally hover around 82°F (28°C) with little variation, while low temperatures are usually around 72°F (22°C) and rarely drop below 68°F (20°C).

    The warmest part of the year lasts from late July to late October, with temperatures peaking in September at around 88°F (31°C) while minimum temperatures are rarely lower than 75°F (24°C). Moderate rain is known to occur throughout the year, with thunderstorms occasionally occurring in the warm season. As a result of Fort de France's warm, wet conditions humidity remains high throughout the year.

    Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport
    Location: The airport is located about six miles (9km) southeast of Fort de France.
    Time: Local time is GMT -4.
    Getting to the city: Taxi and shuttle services are available at the aiport and can be organised through hotels.
    Car Rental: Car rental agencies are available and companies include Avis, Auloc, Enterprise, Budget, National/Citer, Europcar, Hertz, Rent a Car, Payless, Jumbo Car, and Thrifty.
    Airport Taxis: Licensed taxis are available outside Arrivals, near Exit D.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a pharmacy, a medical centre, a tobacconist, banks, money changing services, souvenir shops and tax-free shopping, a florist, restaurants, cafés, and bars. Facilities for the disabled are available.
    Parking There are open-air and guarded car parks at the airport and fees vary between each lot. In P1, parking is free for the first 5 minutes and then charged at €1 for 15 minutes, €6 for 2 hours and €125.50 for up to 24 hours. Prices in P2 are much lower for long-term parking. Payment for parking may be made by cash or card.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination