Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 km[sup]2[/sup]. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. The first European to encounter the island was Christopher Columbus in 1502.