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This Gallic toehold in the Caribbean exudes a distinctly French air, enticingly spiced up by West Indian warmth. Local culture and cuisine combine both influences. The stylish isle is dominated by Mount Pelee, which destroyed the city of St. Pierre in 1902. Black sand beaches and rainforests are found in the north, with yet more beautiful sands to the south. Sights include La Pagerie, birthplace of Napoleon's Empress Josephine, and Diamond Rock, a 600-foot pinnacle, once registered as a British warship.
Martinique (a Facebook Member, Sep 2009)

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While Columbus first sighted this 436-square-mile island in 1493, Martinique has belonged to France since sugarcane planters settled here in the 17th century. Despite this Gallic allegiance, the...

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