Trip to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Saint – Pierre and Miquelon

Balmoral House guests have the wonderful opportunity to explore the enchanting French Territorial Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, located just a short distance from the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. This picturesque destination comprises two main islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon, along with several smaller islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Despite its small land area of only 242 square kilometers, Saint Pierre and Miquelon offer a rich experience of French architecture, cuisine, culture, and style.

Visiting these islands is like stepping into a delightful slice of France in North America. What sets it apart is the warm and friendly nature of the locals, who are exceptionally welcoming to non-French speaking visitors. While fluency in their language is not expected, the residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon make genuine efforts to communicate and ensure a pleasant experience for foreign guests. This hospitality extends beyond language, as the acceptance of Canadian currency at a fair exchange rate demonstrates their openness and accommodating nature.

To reach the islands, visitors can take a ferry from Fortune, a small town on the west side of the Burin Peninsula. Customs clearance is required both to enter the French territory and when returning to Canada. For convenience, it is recommended to book hotel accommodations and ferry tickets as a package through St. Pierre Tours Ltd. They can provide information, assist with bookings, and accept payment by credit card. The ferry service operates on weekdays, with a smaller and slower boat, while weekends offer a larger and faster vessel.

Upon arrival in St. Pierre, guests will be captivated by the rocky coastline, reminiscent of Newfoundland, and the influence of the sea on the landscape. The islands are characterized by ancient volcanic and sedimentary rocks, with Miquelon Island comprising two smaller islands, Langlade and Grand Miquelon, connected by a sandbar.

The heart of the town is the Place du General de Gaulle, a charming open space adorned with a fountain, cannons, flower beds, and benches. Named in honor of General Charles de Gaulle, who visited St. Pierre in the 1950s, this square serves as a focal point for the community.

While it is possible to visit St. Pierre in a single day, it is highly recommended to stay longer and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of this French territory. The town offers a range of accommodations, restaurants, and shops within easy walking distance from the Place du General de Gaulle. Exploring the streets branching out from the square provides picturesque views of the town’s architecture.

The Hotel Neptune, located at the west end of the square, offers comfortable accommodations for guests. Although the rooms may be slightly small, they are tastefully furnished, and the friendly and helpful staff ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel features a small bar/cafe/breakfast room where guests can enjoy a continental breakfast with authentic French coffee and croissants. The hotel lobby also houses souvenir display cases and racks of clothes for those looking to bring back unique gifts.

For a more comprehensive experience of St. Pierre, a sightseeing tour is available, allowing visitors to explore the outskirts of the town, modern residential neighborhoods, and scenic areas. The tour can be arranged through St. Pierre Tours or booked on-site. A knowledgeable bus driver serves as a tour guide, offering insights into the history and culture of this distinctive destination.

Other notable highlights include the island’s cemetery, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the local culture and provides a serene setting for contemplation. Additionally, there is a modern shopping mall in the residential area near the cemetery, featuring a hardware store, a well-stocked supermarket offering a mix of Canadian and European goods, as well as smaller shops and a bakery where visitors can indulge in delightful pastries and coffee.

St. Pierre Contact Numbers

St. Pierre Tourism Board – 800-565-5118

Saint Pierre Ferry Office