Martinique is a Caribbean island that is an overseas territory of France, located to the north of Trinidad and Tobago. The island is dominated by Mt Pelee, which erected in 1902 and completely destroyed the city of St. Pierre. In the south of Martinique, there are many beautiful beaches with a large bevy of tourists. In the North you can find a lush rain forests and black sand beaches. Fort de France Is the largest city and capital of Martinique. The city is a cross between New Orleans and a town on the French Riviera, and narrow streets crisscross the evergreen hills that surround this bayside town.
Cruise ships that call on Fort de France dock at the Pointe Simon pier. Once you disembark, you will roll along a long dock and bridge that will take you to a small marketplace. There are smaller individual vendors under tents, and there is a larger craft market with several marked accessible ramps to enter. If you have booked a tour, you will meet your cruise line tour representative or tour guide at the end of the bridge on the outside of the security checkpoint and before you enter the craft market. The local currency in Martinique is the euro, and unlike other Caribbean islands, US dollars are not accepted in shops or by small vendors. However, many restaurants and hotels take credit cards.
I was pleasantly surprised that the city center of Fort de France was decently wheelchair accessible. The main road that runs along the coastline has a very wide sidewalk with curb drops. If you wish to go into the historic city center, you will need to go through the parking lot right behind the craft market and cross the street at the stoplight. You should stick to the roads that are pedestrian only areas. However, the sidewalks do have curb cuts in the busier areas and are in good condition. If you veer off onto side streets, you may run into some issues with the condition of the sidewalks. Traffic is busy, so rolling in the street may not be a safe option. There is a large air-conditioned and modern shopping mall in the center of this historic area if you need a break from the heat or a place to buy some non-souvenir essentials.
If you would like to see some of the sights in Martinique outside of Fort de France, you will need to hire an accessible tour company. The only business I was able to find with an accessible van is Martinique Access’ile. with them I was able to go into the rain forests and tour a beautiful botanical garden near the top of a mountain. We also saw much of the island, Including a lovely historic church that I was able to enter, and stopped for a wonderful snack break at a lovely café. The rates are quite reasonable. However, if you just wish to have a relaxing day shopping for souvenirs and strolling through Fort de France, this is one of the better options in the Caribbean for accessibility.
Are you interested in booking a wheelchair accessible cruise that calls on Martinique? Contact me at Spin the Globe/Travel and we’ll get started!