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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > Aug/Sep 2016 > ISLAND OF FLOWERS


On the island of Martinique you are never far away from the sea or a rum distillery. Gilles Rondy is intoxicated by the island’s swimming opportunities

Martinique, locally named Madinina or the Island of Flowers, is located in the eastern Caribbean Sea in the heart of the arc formed by the Antilles. It lies between Dominica to the north (40km) and St Lucia to the south (30km). The island stretches 80km in length and 39km in width and there is no point on the island where you are more than 12km from the sea! To the east, there are white and black sandy beaches with clear, calm water perfect for swimming. On the west coast, the Atlantic Ocean makes for more choppy water. Average sea temperatures range from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius. The island also has more than 40 small islands (islets). As Martinique is an integral part of the French Republic, it is part of the European Union and its currency is the euro. Here are some of my favorite swimming routes to explore when you come to Martinique.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

We know that most of our readers are fully converted to the joys of swimming outdoors and only venture into indoor, chlorine-filled pools when necessity (or a training schedule) dictates. But it seems that some people haven’t yet discovered our world. They don’t know the thrill of cool water against their skin, the joy of looking up and not seeing a roof but sky and trees. They don’t know how to gauge the temperature of natural water (nice, cool, flippin’ freezing!) or the special properties of river, lake and sea water. When they swim they don’t hear bird song, they hear the aqua aerobics class from the lane next to them. If you know one of these people, please help them by showing them a copy of this magazine. We have lots of inspirational stories and features to help them break out of that chlorine-filled box. What better way to dip into swimming outdoors than wild swimming in our beautiful national parks? Our feature on the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales will guide you to the best swim spots in both parks. Or if you prefer your waters a little warmer, why not head to the Costa Brava, where I explored the coast from the safety of new boat-free areas. We have also been hearing from readers about their epic swims: English Channel, North Channel, round Bermuda and the length of Britain’s longest river. We love reading your inspiring stories, even if your challenges sometimes scare us a little bit... Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.