If you're on the island for the day or a single overnight, the best way to get an overview of St. Pierre is to take one of the bus tours that leave the bus stop near the ferry terminal about once an hour. It takes you through the small downtown area, on up to one of the highest points on the island for a quite dramatic view of the area, and back down via the tiny city airport and the rather unusual city cemetery.
I'm not much for cemeteries, frankly, but this one IS different. On St. Pierre, as in New Orleans, bodies are placed in above-ground tombs. Although no one said, I suspect the reason is that the ground is very, very rocky, making the usual holes rather difficult to dig. Or so I would imagine. In any event, it's a necropolis that everyon should see. And there isn't even a charge -- for the cemetery, that is!
From July 1st to September 30th, everyday at 10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm and 6:00 pm. Bus operates with a minimum of 6 people. Off-season tours upon request.
It is the first step : Hubert and Rémi show you «their» Saint-Pierre. By visiting the island with them, you will learn about our geography, our history and our culture.
They show you the places that were the background of the prohibition time, of the golden years of cod fishing. At various spots on the itinerary, you'll have the opportunity to stop and take pictures : do not miss the «Cuttysark» house which is made of wood from whisky cases.
Adult: 8,50 Euro
Child: 4,25 Euro
Departure at 2.00 pm, everyday from June 15th to September 15th. Operates with a minimum of 3 people. Full day tour available.
A marine heritage...
On this three-hour tour, Marie-Claire or Yolan will give you the opportunity to discover our rich maritime heritage.
... from mossy slopes sheltering puffins, to cliffs where history is written in the rock, and seals drying off in the sunshine by a hidden creek where cabins remind us of Newfoundland out-ports. Your coastal journey is sure to reveal the charm of the islands.
Adult: 33 Euro
Child: 29 Euro
You will enjoy the guide's detailed commentary while relaxing in a comfortable and well equipped zodiac, wearing an integral expedition suit.
A must !
Tour departure (ref. I6 on the map)
Private tours are also available by taxi.
Includes : interpretive zodiac tour, expedition suit rental fee, and a hot beverage
Everyday from May 1st to Sept. 30th
Departure 9:00 am and 2:00 pm
A memory island...
Departing the port of Saint-Pierre, a little ferry will bring you to the “Ile aux Marins”. In just a few minutes, you will go back in time when cod-fishing vessels from Granville, Saint-Malo, and Fécamp brought young boys from Brittany over to work on the drying fi elds. By the atmosphere of the island, the renovations undertaken and the guide's comments, you will understand the community's development through the cod fishing history as well as the important role of each family member and the powerful economic and religious infl uences.
Adult: 16 Euro
Child: 12 Euro
Tour departure (ref. J6 on the map)
Includes: boat crossing, museum ticket, guided tour and a beverage.
The three-hour guided tour, including visits to historical properties is an excellent start to understanding, what was for centuries, the way of life on the islands.
Not to miss !
Frequency C or maybe C sharp of course
From May 1st to September 30th : workshop visit from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.00 am to noon and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. After hours please contact Pierre at 55 22 12. Out of season call 41 45 12
To make the wood sing...
Thanks to a great initiative by the local Chamber of Commerce, a violinmaker workshop has been put in place under the supervision of Master Alain Carbonare of Mirecourt, the French capital of violin making.
Sharing their passion and techniques, the stringed instrument makers will catch your attention easily. Pierre will tell you everything about the dulcimer, violoncello and contra-bass and you will discover the violin with Claude. Gwenaël, a former “Berckley” student, will tune you in to his guitars. All of that under the talented workmanship of Alain Carbonare, known well beyond the French border. You will also be able to admire his personal violin collection in which some of the instruments are more than three-century old.
A violinmaker workshop is a magic place where instruments are created and music is born. We look forward to meeting you. Do not hesitate to make an appointment.
From June 15th to September 20th, everyday starting at 10:00 am and 1:30 pm (except Thurdays in June and September).
Adult: 14 Euro
Child: 10 Euro
Lay above the water...
While on the islands, be sure to take time to visit Miquelon in order to fully understand what a insular life is all about. For sure, there is no better place to feel what life is than on an island, at “the most remote place on earth”, as the locals like to say. But this privilege means adapting to the environment. Sea farming, breeding, and clean energy, show that we do not miss an idea for developing new activities on the island.
With detailed explanations from the guide while visiting the museum, the lighthouse, the church and the bus tour, you will quickly understand why and how the population settled and developed in Miquelon.
A real discovery.
A two minute walk from the ferry port is a rather charming, if modest, monument to the French sailors and fishermen who have died in the cold North Atlantic waters offshore. This ain't the Arch de Triomphe, but it's moving in its way.
This looked like an interesting museum. If you plan to go, be aware that it is only open in the afternoon (2-6 p.m.) on weekdays. (Unfortunately I didn't know that in time to arrange my day differently.) Saturdays it opens at 10 a.m. Admission is 4.50 Euro (less for seniors and students.)
Tour Sailors’ Island, which is reached by ferry. In the early 18th Century, the island had a population of 800—more people than in St. Pierre at that time. It had a town hall, a bakery, a bank, a church, and a number of homes. Most of it was historically rebuilt in the 1980s. The public buildings are now museums.
The residents fished for cod, then salted and dried them. Two men rowed each dorry to the fishing grounds, which were about 3 miles away—they didn’t get motors until the 1920s. The women and kids took care of the salting and drying, which was also a great deal of work.
Nobody lives year-round on Sailors’ Island now—since 1963 there have only been a few summer homes. (And there is still no electricity on the island.)
Up the hill toward the church, there is a row of white crosses. Each one had a decorative metal plaque at the bottom and a smaller plate at the top, bearing a name and “He Died for France.” These were men who traveled overseas to enlist in the French military during World War I or World War II, and didn’t return.
The big 3-story Jezequel house was a prefab—it came on a schooner from France in 1850. The first floor was a work room—that’s where he cleaned the fish, repaired his nets, etc. The family mainly lived on the second floor. The third floor was an attic.
The first floor has a display of fishing equipment, including a dorry boat. The 2nd floor has a little cafeteria where you can sit with a cup of coffee, etc.
The cathedral just dates from 1907—the original one, built in 1690, burned down in 1902. This one has some very nice stained glass windows.
...Literally! This is one of the most colorful towns I've seen, and it was fun to walk around and look at buildings.
The Archipelitude Museum contains items to life on the islands and the fishing industry. The building was originally the schoolhouse.
The nearby firestation houses an old fire wagon from 1894.
16 rue Georges Daguerre, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Good for: Business
42, rue Sourdeval, Saint-Pierre
Good for: Couples
This small private museum is located in Saint-Pierre's Hotel Robert. Musée de la Prohibition is...more