A fusion of French customs and Caribbean culture, Martinique is a far-flung overseas department of France that has a smart infrastructure and modern amenities but still functions on island time.
The capital Fort-de-France is a stylish, sophisticated city. It's a great place to sample the local food and emerging nightlife scene whilst hobnobbing with the smart set, who congregate by the harbourside.
Travel around the island to see some of its volcanic landscapes; Mont Pelee crowns the island and was responsible for destroying the previous capital, St Pierre during an eruption in 1902; you can visit the ruined town to see the devastation for yourself.
Walkers should hike on the volcanic slopes and look out for the birds and exotic flowers found here. Alternatively take a drive across the richly-coloured, mountainous interior to see the island's scenic side.
Long sandy beaches are the main attraction though, with small fishing villages retaining their traditional character; sunbathe on Les Salines and dive from Ste-Luce.