FORT LAUDERDALE (Florida)
United States of America
Capital of Martinique - an island of colour, culture and creoles - Fort-de-France is West Indian paradise served up with a distinctive French flair. Waterfalls gush, paddleboards push through calm waves, and rum cocktails are generously splashed in this laid-back land of beachside bliss. Having recovered from a period of neglect, Fort-de-France's colonial architecture now beams with fresh licks of bright paint and strung bunting.
Away from the Fort-de-France, vivid swathes of jungle unravel, fringed by cotton-white sands, and lush blue seawaters. A thousand shades of green await in the Jardin de Balata botanical gardens, where hummingbirds zip between flowers and giant tree roots sprawl out into the earth. A strung walkway provides a raised perspective over the glowing gardens. Cool off in the inviting splash pools below the plunging Fontaine Didier waterfall - utter bliss after a long hike. Or, head straight for the many stunning beaches around the island. Shores plucked from your dreamiest imagination await, with vivid green palms swaying, and warm waves folding gently onto pristine white sands.
The waters around Martinique swirl with an extraordinary underworld of beautiful coral and vividly-hued fish life, making for one of the Caribbean's most rewarding dive destinations. The island sits under the verdant swell of Mount Pelée - an active volcano - and hiking paths wind up to sweeping views of the island from its apex. Divers can explore the shipwrecks that are strewn close to Saint-Pierre – these ghostly vessels were caught in the crossfire of the volcano's devastating eruption of 1902."