The Everton boss spent three years as a player and then his first two in management at Swansea, where he made a huge impression before moving on to Wigan and then, this summer, Goodison Park.
That spell at the Liberty Stadium marks him out for attention from the Cardiff supporters when Everton head south looking for their first Premier League win under Martinez.
And the 40-year-old is not convinced it will be friendly.
"I had a really good time in south Wales," he said.
"I will get a welcome - I'm just not sure what it will be."
That Martinez has an unbeaten record against Cardiff, drawing two and winning the other fixture he was involved in between the pair, should at least allow him to travel with confidence.
"I'm not sure it's the wisest thing to talk about records like that before a match," he said.
"I always found the derby matches to be really special occasions.
"I have great memories from my time down there but we will have to be on our guard because after deservedly beating Manchester City last weekend, they will be looking for another good performance."
Everton have stuttered as they adjust to Martinez's demand for his team to persevere with a passing game at all times.
Saturday's goalless draw with West Brom was met with grumbles by some supporters, who argued the Toffeemen were passing the ball for the sake of it, a complaint often heard at Wigan down the years.
Martinez will not be swayed though.
And he insists there are plenty of positive signs to pick out.
"I have been really impressed in the way we have been so stubborn in terms of what we are trying to do," he said.
"That is a difficult strength to show when you are trying to impose change or do things differently.
"We have been creating a lot of chances but at the moment we need too many to score goals. Now we need to focus on the final third."
And young midfielder Ross Barkley has certainly given the Everton faithful something to shout about, with a sparkling start to the season which has earned the 19-year-old his first call-up into the England senior squad.
Martinez is cautioning against expecting too much too soon from the youngster though, insisting Barkley's immediate international priority should be the Under-21 squad now under the charge of Gareth Southgate.
"I have no concern about Ross being involved with the seniors," said Martinez.
"Mentally, he can cope with anything. He is a very mature young man, probably because of what he had to go through with so many injuries.
"Being called up by the senior side is a really big moment but he will not lose the reality that he needs to keep improving because you do not want to lose your place at club level. If you do that everything else has a domino effect and you lose your England status.
"He is well grounded and knows his role is with the Under-21s at the moment.
"But it is great to see the England manager trying to look after Ross' talent, because it is quite unique talent in a British footballer."