Twenty-five kilometers from the coast of Canada, the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a little bit of France apart. The houses are as colorful as in a Scandinavian country, the Basque festivals are good with the Breton pancakes and the accent reminds that of Quebec! Beyond a singular culture to be discovered at the discretion of its small unusual museums, it is a destination of pure nature which one never tires of surveying the landscapes between land and sea while watching for seals, humpback whales and birds migratory.
The must-sees of your trip to Saint Pierre and Miquelon
On the eight islands of the archipelago, only two of them are inhabited, mainly that of Saint-Pierre, a pocket island of 26 square kilometers and 5 500 inhabitants! Life is concentrated in the city of Saint-Pierre whose wooden houses are colored in the brightest tones, from lemon yellow to brick red and turquoise blue. The Heritage Museum is adorned with a beautiful green dapper. With its eclectic collections, it is an excellent introduction to the history of the archipelago, especially during American Prohibition in the 1930s.
At the time, this string of islands had become a hub of traffic and Al Capone would have even stayed! At L'Arche Museum, you can see, among other curiosities, a guillotine but we also take advantage of guided walks organized by the museum to head for the island of Marines, an island today abandoned. Distributed among several houses including the old school, the museum Archipelitude tells through its collections of objects and photos the harsh life of fishermen who once lived at the rate of drying fish.
Anse à Henry or Cape the Devil? The island of Saint-Pierre also lends itself to pretty walks between ocean and ponds. And a few hundred meters from the shore, the nature reserve of the Grand Colombier is one of the favorite spots of ornithologists. This sanctuary which concentrates a good part of the migratory birds is the only site where the puffins monks nest. Torda and offshore penguins, humpback whales, whales and dolphins are also seen here.
A trip to St. Pierre and Miquelon can not omit the island of Miquelon, the largest (216 km2), actually formed of three peninsulas:
Langlade sometimes called small Miquelon.
A true concentrate of pure nature that one explores by boat or on foot. In the beautiful lagoon of Grand Barachois with blue waters, one embarks on zodiacs to observe gray seals and harbor seals, which one can also cross at Cap Percé. At the extreme north-west of the island, Cape Miquelon is spectacular with its setting of cliffs overlooking the ocean, where birds of prey nest. And the Cormorandière valley in Miquelon lends itself perfectly to eco-walks between peat bogs and the boreal forest, the only one in France!
To taste on the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
In Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, gastronomy draws logically from the sea! We like roast halibut or salt cod cheeks, but also tuna pie, scallops, or freshly caught lobster! For terrestrial delicacies, opt for the deer of the archipelago (which is also a hunting territory), the goat cheese of Miquelon, and the macaroons in Saint-pierraise, delicious balls of cocoa. And we sprinkle it all with spruce beer, the local spruce.
Admire biodiversity in Saint Pierre and Miquelon
More than 300 varieties of marine and terrestrial migratory birds are recorded in the archipelago of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, including about 100 breeding species. Eider, large migratory ducks whose down is sought after, goldeneyes or white-winged pyramids are on display here. To your binoculars!