A beguiling mixture of laid-back Caribbean style and French sophistication, Martinique is many people’s epitome of an island paradise. Tartane is a secluded town on the coast that’s perfectly located if you want to dive into the balmy waters of the Caribbean Sea, or simply enjoy some of the best beaches the world has to offer.
Superb surfing, blissful beaches and all the fresh fish you can eat.
Things to do
Surfers come to Tartane from across the globe. And when the surf’s up you can see why. Simply sit back and watch them from your luxury hotel. Or hire some equipment and book a private lesson if you’d like to have a go yourself.
Forget the typical local arts and crafts you might pick up in markets on other Caribbean islands. French style pervades in Martinique, and you’ll find exclusive boutiques selling everything from Chanel to Cartier. The well-to-do jet setters like to come to Tartane to do some serious shopping.
When you’re relaxing in Tartane it may feel like you have escaped the rest of the world, but there’s a surprising amount of international culture here too. The film To Have and Have Not was set here, and the artist Paul Gauguin also lived in the area for a spell. You can find out more about his time here at the Paul Gauguin Interpretation Centre.
Although most of the locals speak Antillean Creole, the official language on the island is French. If you have a good grasp of the language, you’ll be able to get by.
Top tip from SLH