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Saint Pierre and Miquelon

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Saint Pierre and Miquelon are a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland and Labrador. First settled by the French in the early 17th century, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France's once vast North American empire, New France.

Islands

  • Saint-Pierre - the smaller island, the only significantly populated town (the capital), and the central area of activity.
  • Miquelon - the larger island (actually three of them, connected by drifted sand) and village, Basque and Acadian history, and a large amount of wildlife, small farming operations and summer homes.

Understand

Saint-Pierre was a site for settlement by the French in the early 17th century, later abandoned under the Treaty of Utrecht, and returned to France in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years War. The islands became a place of refuge for Acadian deportees from Nova Scotia. Saint-Pierre figured frequently in North American British-French relations. It profited heavily from U.S. Prohibition, which did not apply in this area, as they were part of France. It was depopulated and repopulated frequently, and now remains the last vestige of Imperial France within North America.

Like its northern neighbour, Newfoundland, it is a key fishing centre close to the Grand Banks, some of the world's richest fishing grounds. However, as in Newfoundland, the decline in cod stocks has seriously affected the fishery. As a result, tourism is becoming increasingly important to the economy. As a travel destination, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is ideal for those interested in historical and cultural discovery, eco-tourism and the French language. Beyond its history, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is a wonderful destination because of its mild refreshing climate, its beautiful landscapes, the quality of the air and the warmth of its inhabitants.

As a part of France, the area has much in common with Europe, but also with its Canadian and American neighbours.

Tourist information

  • Tourism Office (Comité Régional du Tourisme), Place du Général de Gaulle, ☎ +508 410200, fax: +508 413355.

Get in

Although Saint Pierre and Miquelon are territories of France and use the euro, they are not part of the Schengen Zone, so immigration procedures are different from those of France. Canadians will need passports for a stay of over three months, otherwise some forms of photo ID are acceptable. All other nationalities need passports and, in some cases, visas. Check with your local French consulate or embassy. Most travellers are only given a cursory inspection when entering the island of Saint-Pierre.

By plane

There are no flights to Saint Pierre and Miquelon from anywhere but Canada. Canada does not allow sterile transit, so if you want to fly to Saint Pierre and Miquelon, you will need a Canadian Visa or eTA, even if you would enjoy visa free entry to Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Air service to Saint-Pierre is available via Air Saint-Pierre through:

  • St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Moncton, New Brunswick

By car

The car ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland, has been discontinued. There are plans to re-establish a car-ferry-connection between Saint Pierre and Fortune, Miquelon and Fortune and Saint Pierre and Miquelon from the end of 2017.

By bus

If you are going through Newfoundland via Port aux Basques, DRL Coachlines Ltd. offers daily scheduled passenger coach services between St. John's & Port Aux Basques on the island. DRL's head office is in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, but they can be reached toll-free at 1 888 738 8091. If you wish to reach their office in St. John's, call 1 709 738-8088.

Another bus service from Port Aux Basques to St. John's is Newhook's Transportation. Call them at 1 709 726-4876.

In either case, you'll need to get off the bus a short time after Clarenville to head southwest towards Fortune and the ferry to Saint-Pierre.

By boat

The passenger ferry Le Cabestan runs between Fortune, Newfoundland and St. Pierre. It's a 55-minute trip. Check schedules before travelling. Reservations are strongly recommended during busy season. Parking is available in Fortune.

Get around

Given the compact size of Saint-Pierre, it is generally easy to get around on foot. Those intimidated by the town's notorious sloping streets may find that a rented scooter may be a more friendly option. There are also a number of taxi services that offer guided tours of Saint-Pierre. Avid renters, be warned that there is but a handful of rental cars on the island.

The nearby islands of île aux Marins, Langlade, and Miquelon may be accessed via ferry. Île aux Marins and Langlade are inhabited only during the summer months and lack amenities such as taxis, hospitals, or internet service. The town of Miquelon is considerably smaller than Saint-Pierre and therefore has fewer hotels, shops, and restaurants.

Talk

The French spoken in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is very similar to that spoken in Normandy, Brittany and Paris. The islanders are quite proud of their linguistic heritage.

Due to its proximity to English-speaking CanadaSaint-Pierre has become a popular destination for Anglophone students wishing to become immersed in French language and culture.

The islands have a specialist language teaching facility named the FrancoForum, owned and operated by the local government in Saint-Pierre. Staffed by professional French instructors, the institute offers a variety of courses for both students and teachers wishing to improve their fluency.

The FrancoForum is best known for hosting Le Programme Frecker, a 3-month French immersion programme offered to students at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. The programme, which began in 1975, was originally housed in a small building at the centre of town. In 2000, an agreement was reached with the Territorial Council in Saint-Pierre to relocate the programme to the newly built FrancoForum.

See

Do

Soak up this little corner of France in North America

Buy

Money

Like the rest of France, the official currency is the euro ("€", ISO currency code: EUR). It is divided into 100 cents. In Saint-Pierre, it is also common for Canadian and U.S. dollars to be accepted by merchants.

You will find that nearly everything is on the expensive side, with the notable exceptions of wine and cigarettes.

Eat

French cuisine is standard in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Those who love seafood should look into the Seafood Festival that is held every year in mid-August in the small town of Miquelon.

Drink

Sleep

Both islands have a number of hotels, B&Bs, and rental apartments, though none are large — only a couple of establishments on Saint Pierre have more than a dozen rooms, so be sure to book in advance. Expect to pay around €35-50 for budget accommodations, €70-80 for a fancier grade.

Stay safe

There is little crime in Saint Pierre and Miquelon and this destination should be considered one of the safest possible in North America.

Unlike virtually everywhere else in North America, the power mains voltage is mostly 220V. If you're from a 110-120V country, note that a euro-plug adaptor doesn't reduce the voltage, and so will cause your appliance to burn out quickly. See the Electrical systems article for more information. Note that a few bed & breakfast inns have 110V with North American outlets, though the frequency is still 50 Hz which can effect clocks and motors.

Stay healthy

Saint Pierre and Miquelon pose few health threats. The weather is often chilly and a sweater comes in handy, even during the summer months. If a serious injury should occur, there is a small hospital located in the town of Saint-Pierre. Patients who require special treatment are usually sent to larger, better-equipped hospitals in Canada.


Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Water sports

Dense fog may pose a nautical hazard year-round.

General safety information

Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North America. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in North America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in North America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Good medical care is widely available.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.

Dual citizenship

Although France recognizes dual citizenship, dual citizens are considered French citizens and are subject to French laws. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Money

The currency in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon is the euro (EUR).

Climate

This destination is not prone to natural disasters.

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