Welcome to tropical Paradise, Martinique

If you are looking for place where summer never ends, miles long beautiful white sand beaches, tropical forest, swimming with turtles or sunbath on volcanic black sand beach while drinking rum-juice, stop looking because -> Martinique has it all.

We traveled to this Caribbean island in February and stayed 2 weeks.
This is our experience of Martinique.

Best time to travel to Martinique?
Temperature on island is average 27 Celsius (80 f) all year long. However, there is a chance of hurricanes in summer and fall, so it is advised to travel in dry season, from November to May. Islands peek season if from December to March. If you want to avoid peek season prices and crowds, travel in pre-season months. We traveled in February and, comparing to Croatia summer season, there wasn’t as many tourists on the island.

How to get there?
Being French department in Caribbean, the cheapest flights are from France, Paris. From Paris you can also find affordable flights to Guadeloupe, St. Barth and St. Martin, other, equally beautiful, French Caribbean islands.
Flight duration is between 7 and 9.5 hours, depending on flight carrier. We flew with Corsair and had a lovely experience.

How to get around?
Martinique has ​​1128 km2 and is easily to get around by car. Who doesn’t like a good road trip? We wanted to see as much as we could and explore the island driving around “like a local”.

We rented a car with IZYCARLOC rent a car agency. They replied promptly, on a very good English and the car was easily booked online.
Since they have office 5 minute drive from the airport, they pick you up and drop you off at the airport. It is full “door to door” service.

We got PEUGEOT 208, which price starts at 28€ per day. They also provided us with baby seat and insurance.
You can get a bigger car, but keep in mind some inland roads are small village roads. Instead of bigger, go for stronger car. There is a big climb if you are going to the volcano and most of the north part has a lot of big inclines on the roads.
We did 1.050 km all around the island and spent 120€ total on gas.

Here, you can find their:
WEB IZYCARLOC
Instagram
@izycarloc

Where to stay on island?
We stayed in Saint Joseph, little town in the center of the island in “green country”. We traveled with a baby Oliver, so we wanted to have only one “home” for 2 weeks. We picked 2 bedroom “TAHITI TOUCH” trough Airbnb.

* DISCOUNT get €33 off on your first Airbnb booking: https://www.airbnb.com/c/mivce?currency=EUR
Only those who don’t have an Airbnb account can use the link.
If you already have an account, but want a discount, just open a new account :).

TAHITI TOUCH is really amazing! It has all you need on vacation: comfort, clean, has all the appliances and very nice hosts. We arrived late and didn’t make to the supermarket, so they helped us with some basic food to “live trough the night” and they gave us croissants for breakfast. This will never be forgotten! Thank you.

Siant Joseph is a perfect location to stay longer and still explore everything. To go all the way up north to the Anse Ceron (black sand beach) we had 1.5 hour and the same to the south towards Anse des Salines, white sand beach. So we were exactly in the middle of the places we wanted to visit.

You will save some time, kilometers and money, if you sleep a few nights in the black beaches of north and gradually move to the south where white tropical beaches await you.
Here is where I would also stay, if we were more flexible.
North -> Saint Pierre accommodation
South West -> Les Anses d’Arlet accommodation
South East -> Saint Anne accommodation
East -> Le Robert accommodation

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Things to do in Martinique?
BEACHES
From north to south there are numerous beautiful beaches. I will list all the ones we visited, with city names, in the order of preferences.

1.Anse Ceron (Saint Pierre)

2. Grande Anse des Salines (Saint Anne)

3. Anse Dufour (Anses d’Arlet)

4. La Pointe Marin (Saint Anne)

5. Les Anses d’Arlet (Anses d’Arlet)

6. Anse Couleuvre (Saint Pierre)

7. Plage de La Brèche (Presqu’île de la Caravelle)

8. Pointe du Bout (Trois Ilets)

MUSEUMS & DISTILLERIES
Very nice break from the beach you can get in many Martinique museums.

1.Habitation Clément destillery

2. Depaz Rhum destillery

3. Jardin de Balata, botanical garden

4. Anse Cafard Memorial, open space museum

5. La Savane des esclaves – history museum

6. Maison de la Canne – house of sugar

7. Schoelcher library

NATURE
It is beautiful everywhere you go, but some big “nature spots” are:

1. Mont Pelee

2. Presqu’île de la Caravelle peninsula

3. Saut du Gendarme

4. Didier waterfall

5. Etang des Salines

6. Mangrove forest

What should we write about next? Do you need detailed beach descriptions or would you rather learn more about Jardin de Balata botanical garden? Let us know in the comments or leave a message on our Instagram page @dianomaya

On the road with Avax again!

Hello world!

We are on the road again! We left our comfortable “Boutique Apartments Possonium”  and jumped into our Suzuki. We have referral link for Booking.com with which you get 10% back -> https://www.booking.com/s/49_8/maivce99

Ok, now that we got discounts out of the way, I can tell you where we are going 🙂
We are going on 15 minute drive from Bratislava to Devin Castle, wohooo!

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Devin Castle is a castle in Devin, so obviously. It is up on hill that overviews Danube and Morava river. If you have been reading my blogs, you know I am fascinated by water, big water like rivers, seas and oceans. I have deep respect and admiration for big waters and in this place we have two big rivers crossing paths, amazing!
Well, it also has huge Neolithic Castle on top, oldest one in Slovakia.

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Entrance fee for Devin Castle is 5 EUR and it takes you into the walls to the top. The castle stands just inside Slovak territory on the frontier between Slovakia and Austria. How crazy is that? We could actually see fields of Austria from the top.

The second thing, very much worth of seeing in Devin, is a public path along the river bank. There are several hikes and bikes trails around the castle. We were there in a beginning of March, so river Morava was throwing in huge chunks of ice into Danube. River shore, in some places, looks like it could be beach during the summer, though.

 

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There are few restaurants in Devin, so if you have time try fine Slovak cuisine. We didn’t have time. We spent all day walking around Devin castle, it was cold, so there was just a two of us wandering around. We completely lost the track of time, that eventually, it was our time to leave, not to eat.

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We are driving to Budapest and can’t wait to see it again. Remember, we were there in 2016, it was our first blog ever!! Check it out -> HERE.

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The most loyal city of Hungary

Hello World,

Do you remember we are on our Winter Road Trip? We started with visiting Otavice, Drniš and Knin in Croatia, and now we are in Sopron, HUNGARY. Why, you ask? We are driving up to Bratislava with Avax rent a car and our followers on Instagram suggested some locations on the way, which we loved and added to our itinerary. This blog will explain why you should visit it too :).

Let’s start with some directions. We drove from Zagreb and decided to take road trough Hungary. Second option is that you drive trough Slovenia and Austria. However you decide to drive to Sopron, duration of this trip is approx. 4 hours, for both options.
Find directions -> HERE

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Don’t forget you have to buy vignette for Slovenia and Hungary. You can buy Hungary vignette very easy online -> HERE
Otherwise, buy it right at the borders, they have cameras on the road everywhere!

SLOVENIA: 7 day vignette 2018                                                                             Price 15 EUR
HUNGARY: 10 day vignette 2018                                                                           Price 12 EUR

In Sopron we parked our car close to city center, on public car park. Parking fee is from 1-1,50 EUR per hour, which you can pay with cash, chipcard or mobile.
From there we walked towards Firewatch Tower and started our city exploration.

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The Firewatch Tower is the symbol of Sopron. It dates from 13th century, when it was used as northern gate. In 17th century it served as watchtower, alerting the city about fires, invaders and, most importantly, wine caravans. Nowadays, it is the symbol of allegiance, in memory of referendum in 1921 when Sopron and eight neighboring villages expressed their wish to remain part of Hungary (instead of Austria). Our follower on Instagram @morciandszami said that is the reason they call it “the most loyal city of Hungary”.

Entrance fee to the top is approx. 4 EUR per person (adult). We climbed up 200 spiral stairs and exited to the most beautiful view of the city.

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When you exit the Tower you will find yourself at Main Square. There we found Holy Trinity column, Storno House, City Hall and Goat Church (yes, goat). This Gothic church gets its unusual name from the legend that the church was built with goat herd treasure.

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We walked along the Bailey Promenade and admired the houses and city walls. Sopron was for a long time a walled city, now there are only sections of the city’s old fortifications remains.

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If you are hungry, there are few pubs, restaurants and shops. We weren’t, so we decided to go outside city. Couple of minutes drive and you should see lake Lake Neusiedl, apparently one of the warmest lakes in Europe.

We found Fertorakos Quarry and Cave Theater on Google Maps and decided to explore it. Unfortunately, it was closed. We took our Mavic pro to explore it for us. We were very disappointed it was closed, because it looks very interesting. Don’t you agree?

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We continued our road trip to Esterházy castle. We tried village road and we totally recommend it! Nature is so unbelievable and peaceful.

Directions -> HERE

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Esterházy castle is a palace in Fertod sometimes called “The Hungarian Versailles“. It was built by Hungarian Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy. There is second family castle in Austria called Schloss Esterházy; so be careful when putting directions into Google maps, sometimes it sends you to Austrian castle.

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We were completely alone, because it was closed. This is the biggest problem with our winter road trips. Most of things we want to see are either closed or completely under the snow. We are seriously considering going south to Greece for road trip 2019. What do you suggest?

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Road Trip begins in Croatia with Avax

Hello World,

We have been announcing our road trip on Instagram for a while and now it is finally here! This is our road trip plan: Split – Otavice – Drniš – Knin – Zagreb – Sopron – Bratislava – Budapest (from which we are flying to Izrael for 4 days) – Varaždin – Split.
Does it sound good?

So, we started our journey in Split, Croatia. Avax rent a car agency in Split had kindly given us their newest Suzuki Swift, which passed only 20 kilometers. Their only motto is to provide quality service at a  competitive price and they lived up to our expectation. Their staff was amazing upon pick up and we managed to get discount for you guys!

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As planned, our first stop was Otavice village or to be exact Ivan Meštrović Mausoleum. If you didn’t know, Meštrović was renowned sculptor, painter and architect of the 20th century. His work is exhibited around European and American museums & galleries, including the Vatican. I read that his art is compared to art of Michelangelo. If you are art geek, Google for more information :). Anyhow, Meštrović is buried in his childhood home in Otavice, in this Mausoleum, which he built for his family. If I understood right (please, correct me if I am wrong) Mausoleum is also the church of the Most Holy Redeemer, which makes it great  mixture of memorial, artistic and sacred.

Find directions to get to Mausoleum-> HERE

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Next stop is only 10 minutes from Otavice, in a village called Drniš. Above the canyon of Čikola river firmly stands the Gradina fortress. It is not only historically important, but it also offers breathtaking views of the city, canyon, fields and river. See for yourself!

Find directions -> HERE

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Afterwards, we drove to Knin fortress, apparently the second largest fortress in Europe located in Knin city. We parked our Avax Suzuki right in front of the entrance. The gate of the Fort was open and there was nobody at the ticket office, is it possible that the entrance is free? I don’t think so, because I remember that I paid entrance ticket before, when I was there with my friend Marina back in 2006. So, if you decide to go, prepare some cash with you, just in case somebody decides to open ticket office :).

Directions to Knin fortress -> HERE

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We were completely alone, walking around and having fun exploring different watch towers. The wind was so strong that day that it almost blew me from the fortress walls while I was taking photos. From the Fort you can see entire Knin city at the palm of your hand, on one side, and Krka river on the other side. Keep your eyes open, because from the Fort you can also see Krcic waterfall, our next and final destination of this week.

Directions to Krčić waterfall-> HERE

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We parked our car next to small bridge and walked to the waterfall. Krčić is a mighty waterfall with a single drop of 22m. I remember seeing on Instagram people taking pictures right below the waterfall, on wooden bridge, and we planned to do the same.  It was super windy, so waterfall looked very misty. We thought it would be fun to walk from one side of that bridge to the other, right below the waterfall. It was, fun and WET! We were completely washed by Krčić. I can’t wait to show you our video guys! Diano will edit the footage as soon as we come back to Croatia (in 2 weeks) and we will share it on our YouTube and Facebook pages. Don’t forget to turn post notifications ON, so you can get a notification every time we post a photo or video on our pages.

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From Knin we drove strait to Zagreb and spent a night at our friends house. Trips up north are always fun because we get to see our friends who live in Croatian capital. This time we won’t be exploring Zagreb, we are just passing trough. Our story will continue next week from Sopron, Hungary.

Hope our journey will help you plan your road trip or at least day trip in Dalmatia inland. If you liked this story, don’t forget to:

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