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A part of France an hour away from Newfoundland
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A part of France an hour away from Newfoundland

Travel Tales / stjohns / Jul 3, 2019

Saint-Pierre and Miquelon fascinates people. This little French overseas collectivity, located an hour and a half from Newfoundland by boat, is on many bucket lists. Here is what to do on a short 24-hour trip to Saint-Pierre.

Although you can reach Saint-Pierre by plane, it is much easier, quicker and cheaper to go by car and boat. From St. John’s, it will take 4 hours to reach Fortune, the city from where the ferry leaves.

Before crossing the borders, you will need to leave your car in the parking lot at the cost of 11$ a day. SPM Ferries do not allow cars on their boats.

90 minutes prior to boarding, you can enter the very small border post where you will be asked to show your ticket and your passport (don’t forget it!).

SPM Ferries are large ferry boats, very comfortable, roomy, clean and modern. However, if you are prone to sea sickness, we suggest you bring meds with you. When the sea is agitated, which is more often than not, the crossing will be very rough.

An hour and a half later, you will arrive in France (it really does look like it!). Saint-Pierrais speak French, pay in euros and the signage is the same as in Europe.

The boat ride might have made you hungry. Head straight to Les P'tits Graviers restaurant (on Amiral Muselier Street) to taste one of their famous wood oven pizza. You must try the Raclette one, topped with a generous portion of Raclette cheese, emmental, chorizo and different kinds of ham, as well as potatoes.

After your copious meal, go on Maréchal Foch street, in the opposite direction from the sea, to hike your way to the Anse à Pierre observatory. You will have the most incredible view over Saint-Pierre and its surroundings.

Go back into town to walk from a cute shop to another and buy some French souvenirs. Popular shops are Ella Rose, for men and women's clothing, Indigo for home décor and Le Tire-Bouchon for wine and other gourmet items.

Be sure to look carefully at the opening hours, as shops open and close many times a day.

Continue strolling the streets towards these two points of view: the quai de l’Épi and the Pointe aux canons et au phare, where you will enjoy a postcard-like view.

Staying more than a day in Saint-Pierre? Book yourself a trip to Île aux Marins, located just across Saint-Pierre (in fact, you can clearly see it when you’re in town). Time has stopped a long time ago on this island, on which you can now hike as well as discover the history of fishing in Saint-Pierre.

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