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Flag of Martinique
Flag of Martinique

Martinique: wild island with an active volcano

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The island of Martinique (Martinique) is a French overseas department located in the Caribbean, in the Lesser Antilles. The island is located south of Dominica, and north of Saint Lucia. The capital is the city of Fort-de-France. Martinique was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was not until 1635 that the island was permanently occupied by a group of French colonists who founded Saint-Pierre.


The island, of volcanic origin, is mountainous and rich in forests. It reaches its maximum height with the Montagne Pelée volcano (1,397 meters), which is located at the northern end of the island. This volcano with its last eruption in 1902 destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre causing over 30,000 victims. The northern part of the island is mountainous. This part of Martinique is dominated not only by the Montagne Pelée but also by the Pitons du Carbet (1,196 meters), a group of five ancient volcanoes, now extinct, which dominate the bay where the capital of the island Fort-de-France stands.

The southern part of Martinique is flat with some low hills that rarely reach 500 meters in height. Martinique has, because of its volcanic nature, both black sand beaches, formed by volcanic ash, and white sand beaches, formed by corals. The black sand beaches are located in the northern part of the island, while the coral beaches are located in the southern area.

The economy of the island is based on agriculture. There are cultivated sugar cane, tropical fruit, corn, legumes, vanilla, tobacco, vegetables. Other important economic activities are fishing, forestry, breeding and tourism.

The climate of Martinique.

  • Area: 1,128 sqkm. (Arable 16%, Pastures 13%, Forests and Woodlands 44%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 27%)
  • Population: 376,000 (2018 data) (Africans and Mulattos (descendants of European and African) 90%, Europeans 5%).
  • State Capital: Fort-de-France.
  • Language: Official language is French. Used the French Creole.
  • Religion: Catholic.
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Time: UTC -4 hours.



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