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. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to Miquelon or Langlade on my trip there, so it’s on the list for next time. Keep reading to find out some of the best sites and attractions in St. Pierre that you won’t want to miss!
First thing’s first: grab a tourist map. The small ones offered by the tourism office are ideal (you can grab them on the ferry)– they helped us get around the island, find where to eat and grab a drink, and they have a handy list of all the popular historical sites, monuments, and museums.
The Graveyard — St. Pierre’s Graveyard is rich with history and fascinating to stroll through. Some of the graves, most of which are above-ground, are quite unique and unusual. Learn the stories of the people who lived in St. Pierre and the tragedies that sometimes cost them their lives. The operation of the graveyard itself is also interesting to learn about, especially the events that caused the entire
War Memorials — St. Pierre has quite a few war memorials and monuments due to the many battles, revolutions, and wars France was part of throughout history. St. Pierre’s geographical distance did not immunize them from often being conscripted to fight and defend their country.
Point aux Canons Lighthouse & Fishing Village — Only a couple-minute stroll from the town centre, the lighthouse is worth wandering out to. Also, take a walk through the colourful fishing port and chat with locals about the island’s fishing heritage. Perhaps a good activity to do while you drink your morning coffee?
Arche Museum — Even if you’re not a museum person, I would still recommend checking this one out. It recounts the entire history of the island on easy-to-read interpretation boards and has the coolest artifacts to look at. You’ll even find a real guillotine on display– it really gave me the creeps. The architecture of the museum itself is very interesting. Don’t miss reading about the prohibition history and Al Capone’s role!
Strolling the streets of St. Pierre — This community is absolutely beautiful and for Newfoundlander’s, so reminiscent of home. Have a stroll through the narrow streets of St. Pierre and soak up the vibrant colours, unique shops, and foreign cars. Stop into a patisserie for a delicious snack and wander into the church– you’ll be surprised by the rough contrast of fine architecture and dilapidation.
You also HAVE to check out l’île aux Marins. Roughly translated to Mariner’s Island, this tiny island was once home to around 600 people. Today, the only inhabitants left are people with cabins and summer homes. On the island, you’ll find the immaculate remains of this community which have been transformed into interactive exhibits where visitors can roam free in and out of the buildings. Read all about it here!
Where to grab a drink and a bite to eat:
The restaurants we loved were Les Délices de Joséphine for coffee and lunch; Les P’tits Graviers and Le Feu de Braise for supper; and Crêperie du Vieux Port was our favourite because they had amazing French and Canadian food and unforgettable traditional crêpes.
We stopped by a few bars, but our absolute favourite was Le Rustique. It had the coolest vibes and it was definitely the busiest.
Let us know what you get up to on your trip to St. Pierre and Miquelon! What was your favourite thing to do or see there? What did we miss? Was there anything you’d do differently? Let us know by commenting below or commenting on our social media, @twowildtides!
Still planning your trip to St. Pierre and Miquelon? Check out our other article: Know Before You Go.