Places in Martinique
View on the south cape of the Martinique island
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View on the south cape of the Martinique island

© Creative Commons / Antoine Hubert's

Martinique Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

1,100 sq km (425 sq miles).

Population

396,364 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

343.9 per sq km.

Capital

Fort-de-France.

Government

Martinique is an Overseas Department of France and as such is an integral part of the French Republic.

Head of state

President Emmanuel Macron since 2017, represented by the prefect Stanislas Cazelles since 2020.

Head of government

President of the Executive Council Serge Letchimy since 2021.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are mainly European-style with two round pins.

When he discovered Martinique in 1493, Christopher Columbus gushed that it was “the most beautiful country in the world”. Since then this island has lost little of the magic that so captivated the great explorer: it remains one of the most beautiful destinations you are likely to visit.

Originally inhabited by Arawak and Carib Indians, who were swiftly eradicated by the French, the island has been hotly fought over. The British made numerous attempts to occupy Martinique during the 18th and 19th centuries, but it has remained defiantly French since 1635 (along with nearby Guadeloupe). 

Tourism represents a major part of the local economy and each year hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy Martinique's picturesque volcanic landscape, luscious rainforests and fine beaches, which are lined with sugar, palm, banana and pineapple plantations.

An accommodating people, most Martinicans are of mixed ancestry, being the descendants of 17th century French settlers and slaves brought from Africa to work on the island's plantations. This French and Creole heritage is infused in local customs, food and languages, which is a joy for travellers.

Do make sure you pack your dancing shoes. It’s impossible to escape zouk, the lively, two-beat local music that is similar to merengue in the Dominican Republic, but is unique to the French West Indies. Martinicans are very proud of their zouk, which will provide the soundtrack to your trip.

If you need a bit of Dutch courage to get on the dance floor, you’re in luck, because Martinique produces fine rum. So exceptional is the liquor, in fact, that it was awarded the prestigious French label appellation d'origine controlee, which was previously only reserved for mainland produce.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Martinique on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Martinique.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Martinique

Most measures have been relaxed within Martinique. You should refer to the French Government’s website and the local Prefecture’s website (in French) for details of any remaining local restrictions.

Healthcare in Martinique

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Martinique.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Martinique

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Martinique announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Martinique vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. British nationals resident in Martinique are eligible for vaccination. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the local Prefecture’s website and the French Government’s website (French language only).

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Martinique, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark.  Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery with you. Use a hotel safe for your passport, credit cards and valuables.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Martinique, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Martinique set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Martinique

On 12 May 2022, the French government announced that travel restrictions between France and Martinique would be relaxed. If you’re unvaccinated, you no longer need a compelling reason for travel or proof of a negative COVID-19 test before travel.

You may still face restrictions for entry to Martinique depending on your vaccination status and your country of departure. You should check the status of your country of departure and relevant restrictions on the French government’s website , and the local Prefecture’s website (in French) for details on any remaining local restrictions.  For more information on specific entry measures, you should consult the French government website and this French government COVID-19 website (in French).

If travelling via France, you should also check our Travel Advice for France.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

Martinique is an Overseas Department of France (département d’outre-mer) and part of the European Union.

If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Martinique for stays of up to three months. Other British passport holders, and those who plan to stay longer than three months, should check the current entry requirements on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, if necessary, confirm with the nearest French Diplomatic mission.

Passport validity

Travellers should ensure that their passport has at least 3 months of validity after the date you intend to leave Martinique.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

UK residents in Martinique

If you live in Martinique, you should carry your residence document, as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application. You will have received this as an email. If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Martinique. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020. For more information, including on how to apply for a residence document, see the French government’s website.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Martinique.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Martinique on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Martinique.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Healthcare

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Martinique and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Dengue fever is common on Martinique. This is a mosquito-borne virus. Follow the advice from local authorities. If you display symptoms, consult a doctor.

General health care facilities, including emergency services in hospitals, and the availability of doctors, are very good and of an equivalent standard to those found in mainland France. Specialist treatment is also available.

You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

If you are planning a permanent move to Martinique, consult the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for advice on long-term entitlement as residents to health care provision under the French national system. Enquiries should be made to the DWP Overseas Medical Benefits help-line on 00 44 191 218 1999. Alternatively, information can be obtained direct from the English language service of the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (French social security service) on 00 33 8 20 90 42 12 or CLEISS (the Helpdesk in France for international mobility and social security) on 00 33 1 45 26 33 4. 

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 15 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Hurricanes

The hurricane season in Martinique normally runs from June to November. Monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre website and check with local authorities or your tour operator for any changes to your onward travel plans.  

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

Volcanoes

The Montagne Pelée volcano was moved to ‘yellow volcanic alert level’ on 4 December 2020 following a registered change in behaviour of the volcanic system. Montagne Pelée is being closely monitored by a local observatory and there would be warning well in advance from the local authorities of any imminent volcanic activity. For further information, see the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Martinique’s website.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.