St. Pierre & Miquelon is a fascinating place. It is a slice of France off the continent of North America. More precisely, it is an archipelago (a group of islands), about 20 km off the southern coast of Newfoundland. St. Pierre is the smaller, more densely populated island, while Miquelon and Langlade are larger, more sparsely populated islands. St. Pierre and Miquelon can be reached by plane or ferry. When you arrive on the islands, particularly if you’re coming from Newfoundland, it won’t look that different. The architecture is similar and the rocky, jagged coastline is identical, however, the culture is vastly different. There are a few things you should know before you plan a trip there.
First, let’s chat about the practical stuff. The regular currency in St. Pierre & Miquelon is the Euro, however, CAD and USD are accepted pretty much everywhere, and Canadian debit and credit cards work for the most part, although you’ll want to double-check with your bank. The only place I found that did not accept currency other than Euros was the ferry. You need Euros if you want a snack on the way there or back! Prices in St. Pierre & Miquelon are very reasonable, despite the poor exchange rates right now. Expect to spend what you might in any other major Canadian city on hotels and meals. There is no Canadian cell coverage in St. Pierre & Miquelon that I know of, however, near the coast, you can pick up a weak signal from major towers such as Bell and Telus. There are a lot of hubs for free wifi, so gaining internet access shouldn’t be difficult. Finally, you will need a European travel adapter for outlets and plug-ins.
Next, let’s cover the meal times. You can enjoy a light breakfast, complete with decadent French pastries, at many restaurants and hotels. There are a few places that offer an American breakfast (bacon and eggs) and some crêperies if you’re craving something sweet in the morning. This information is hard to find online, but hotel staff are very knowledgeable and mostly bilingual and can point you in the right direction. Lunch is a whole other story. Almost every shop and restaurant in St. Pierre closes from 12:00-2:00, so there aren’t many places for lunch! UPDATE: A lovely reader from St. Pierre informed that there are restaurants opened during lunch hour. Yay! The whole time we were there, however, we ate lunch at Les Delices de Joséphine, which is open all day long and serves delicious sandwiches and quiches, as well as yummy desserts. You could also stop by a grocery store and keep food in your hotel room for lunchtime. We didn’t know we could go anywhere else. For supper, there are so many fine restaurants offering traditional, delectable French cuisine. My favourite restaurants for supper were Le Feu de Braise and the Crêperie (which offers far more than crêpes!), but keep in mind you’ll need reservations! Your hotel receptionist can help with that.
Now, we let’s discuss where to stay and how to get there. We stayed at the newest hotel in St. Pierre, the Hotel Jacques Cartier. It was clean, comfortable, and modern. Hotel rooms came with a coffee maker, an amazing rainfall shower, a minibar, huge windows, and extremely comfy beds. Breakfast is included in your stay and the staff were very helpful for booking tours and reservations. I highly recommend this hotel and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. You can get to St. Pierre by air or sea. The ferry leaves from Fortune, NL, which is along Newfoundland’s southern coast and is about 4-6 hours from St. John’s by car. Along the way, you can grab lunch at the Irving Big Stop in Goobies, get a photo by the moose, check out antique cars at Vernon’s, and catch glimpses of amazing NL coastline. You have to book the ferry in advance and it is a passenger-only ferry, but don’t worry, you won’t need your car in St. Pierre. You can also get to St. Pierre by air, and they have a gorgeous airport for such a small place. Travel between St. Pierre and the larger island, Miquelon, is also by ferry or plane.
The weather in St. Pierre & Miquelon is similar to that of Newfoundland: unpredictable. It is an island floating in the North Atlantic, after all, so expect fog, wind, and rain. However, St. Pierre is full of surprises, and although the forecast called for rain and fog during our visit, we ended up with 25-degree weather and a sunburn! Prepare for both, especially in the summer.
Finally, I suggest you grab the little wallet-sized map from the ferry or ferry terminal. It is super handy and has so much information about where to eat, where to stay, and what historical sights to see. The map is easy to read when navigating by foot. And most importantly- it is free.
Please let me know if you have any more questions about visiting St. Pierre & Miquelon! I am happy to help and update this article as I hear from readers. We really appreciate hearing from you and we are so grateful for your support! Comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out on social media @twowildtides.