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By Plane

Airport Martinique Aimé Césaire (tel. 596/42-18-05) is outside the village of Lamentin, a 15-minute taxi ride east of Fort-de-France and a 40-minute taxi ride northeast of Les Trois-Ilets peninsula (the island's densest concentration of resort hotels). Most flights to Martinique require a transfer on a neighboring island -- usually Puerto Rico, Antigua, or Barbados; from there another stopover or transfer in Guadeloupe is often required. Nonstop flights to any of the French islands from the U.S. mainland are rare.

Passengers living in the southeast United States can take a weekly direct flight on Delta (tel. 800/241-1212 in the U.S. and Canada; www.delta.com) from Atlanta. Many passengers from other parts of America fly into Atlanta to make this connection. Otherwise, Air France (tel. 800/237-2747 in the U.S. and Canada; www.airfrance.com) flies to Martinique several times a week from Miami, with stopovers in either Haiti or Guadeloupe. Many passengers also fly to San Juan on various airlines, connecting to Martinique on American Eagle (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com).

Other smaller airlines flying to Martinique include Air Antilles Express (tel. 0890/64-86-48; www.airantilles.com), flying in from Guadeloupe or St. Maarten; and Air Caraïbes (tel. 590/82-47-56), also flying in from Guadeloupe and St. Maarten.

British Airways (tel. 800/247-9297 in the U.S. and Canada, or 0870/850-9850 within the British isles; www.britishairways.com) flies separately and daily to both Antigua and Barbados from Gatwick in London. From either of those Caribbean islands, LIAT (tel. 888/844-LIAT [5428]; www.liatairline.com) connects to Martinique. LIAT also flies into Martinique from other islands.

By Ferry

One particularly evocative means of travel between Martinique and Guadeloupe involves taking one of the motorized catamarans that are maintained by a local operator, Express des Iles. Carrying between 395 and 495 passengers, depending on the boat, they require 3 3/4 hours of waterborne transit, which includes an intermediate stopover on either Dominica or Terre-de-Haut, in the Iles des Saintes. The company usually operates three passages a week and sometimes more, between the two largest islands of the French West Indies.

Morning departures from Pointe-à-Pitre for Fort-de-France are usually at 8am (Sat at 11:30am, Sun at 10am), and departures from Fort-de-France for Pointe-à-Pitre are usually at 1pm, although the schedule can vary unexpectedly according to the season and the day of the week. Fares are 100€ round-trip or 67€ one-way (52€ one-way for children 11 and under). For details and reservations, contact Express des Iles, Gare Maritime, de Bergevin, 97110 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe (tel. 590/91-52-15), or Terminal Inter-Iles, Bassin de Radoub, 97200 Fort-de-France, Martinique (tel. 596/42-04-05).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.