Martinique Getting Around, Car Rental
Because the island is large and offers an incredible range of interesting sights, renting a car is the most convenient way to travel.
Martinique car rentals can be arranged in advance online, or through the international desks of major car rental companies. If your flight is scheduled to arrive after 22:00, ask your rental company if they will stay open for late night arrivals. There are also many local car rental companies, and rentals are also possible through a number of the hotels.
Roads are generally good on Martinique and vehicles drive on the right. Drivers are skillful but, as in most of the world, everyone seems to be in a hurry, and tailgating is common. When entering roundabouts (traffic circles), always yield to others and stay to the right until you see your exit. If you miss the turn, simply continue around the circle and take it the second time!
If you have a specific appointment, always allow extra time for slow moving trucks or groups of bicyclists (cycling is a major sport on the island), since many roads are only two lanes. Traffic can be heavy and slow near towns at rush hour, which is generally earlier in the morning and afternoon than you may expect.
Be alert for animals in the road and, at night, for two-wheeled vehicles with no lights. Martinique traffic rules and signage are the same as in France. For stays of 20 days or less, a valid driver's license is needed. For longer stays, an international driver's permit is necessary.
TAXI / BUS
Martinique taxi fares are generally fixed from the airport to the various hotels on the island, but you should ask and agree to the price beforehand. Fares are often higher from 20:00 in the evening until 6:00 the next morning. Again, check the rate with your driver.
In addition to public buses, there are hundreds of eight-passenger mini-vans known as "TaxiCos," bearing the letters "TC" on the top or on their license plates. The public buses are inexpensive and often crowded. "TC" routes radiate from the Pointe Simon terminal in Fort-de-France to all the major towns. Destinations are posted in the front window or on the side of the van. They depart frequently from early morning until approximately 18:00 in the evening.
Shuttle boats are the easiest way to travel across the bay from the resort areas of Pointe-du-Bout and Trois Ilets to Fort-de-France. Boats depart on a regular schedule from morning to night. Schedules are readily available on the island.
BIKES / SCOOTERS
Martinique bicycle, scooter and motorbike rentals are also an option, but given the mountainous terrain and the volume of traffic in Martinique, two-wheel rentals can be difficult and sometimes dangerous, so they are recommended only for the most experienced riders. Foreign driver's licenses are honored. Helmets (casques) are required.s.
Featured Martinique Car Rentals, Transportation
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