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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Gallic on Martinique


5. Oddball Day

A pier on the tiny island retreat of L’Îlet Oscar.  

For a rustic break from the Gallic elegance, ditch your shoes and get your Robinson Crusoe on at L’Îlet Oscar, an island retreat off of Martinique’s Atlantic coast. Call the manager of the eponymous four-bedroom Creole guesthouse at least one week in advance to schedule a fisherman’s boat pickup at Le Francois Marina (round-trip transfers are $68). On the way, stop for café au lait and croissants at Le Grand Trianon (quartier Eucalyptus centre cial ancienne usine, 596-596-77-4601), a bakery a few minutes from the marina (breakfast from $5). The ten-minute ride to L’Îlet Oscar sails through Josephine’s Bathtub, a popular snorkeling spot and a good place to snap surfside selfies. When you arrive at Oscar, sip a complimentary ti punch on the teak dock, where stools made out of old Clement rum barrels sit alongside nineteenth-century antiques. The staff can help arrange kayaking, canoeing, diving, or fishing expeditions through the area’s white lagoons (rates vary by activity), but be sure to be back on the island for the guesthouse cocktail hour. As the owner D.J.'s Martinique’s sultry zouk music from his laptop's iTunes, cold planter’s punch and steaming baskets of carrot-rich accras make fast friends of flip-flop-clad visitors from France, South America, and nearby Guadeloupe. Tuck into tasty Creole fare like freshly caught tuna tartare and fried snapper over coconut-scented rice in the outdoor dining room (meals from $68, excluding alcohol), then wish your new friends au revoir and sail back to the main island. Request your return to Hotel Cap Est Lagoon’s private dock, so you can ease back into civilization with a nightcap and live jazz on the terrace of the swish Cohi Bar, which has over 100 rums by the glass (from $20).

Published on Oct 4, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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