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Saint Pierre and Miquelon are a small group of islands in the North Atlantic. It is a French overseas territory, and it is a piece of what was once the vast French empire in North America. The location consists of multiple islands. Saint Pierre is the smaller island, but it is densely populated. Miquelon, the larger island, is home to wildlife and farming operations. In fact, Miquelon is actually three islands, but you get the idea.
Before traveling to Saint Pierre and Miquelon, you must know a few things. Saint Pierre and Miquelon is European; the life and culture are entirely different than the ones you find in Newfoundland and Labrador. You need to check whether or not you need a visa to enter Saint Pierre and Miquelon. It is a French overseas territory, but even if France is a member of the Schengen Area Agreement, Saint Pierre and Miquelon is not, which is why a Schengen visa will not grant you entry in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The visa policy of the French overseas territories applies in this case, but lucky for the majority of travelers, the policy is reasonably lenient. It contains a list of visa-exempt nationalities, which is pretty extensive. For one thing, the citizens of European Union countries and a few other states can enter Saint Pierre and Miquelon and stay there indefinitely, while many different nationalities can stay in Saint Pierre and Miquelon for a period of time that varies from 3 to 6 months.
What you need to do before you start planning your trip is to check the visa policy of French overseas territories and see which list your nationality is on. If you are on neither of them, your only option is to apply for a visa at the nearest French diplomatic mission. However, the process is not as complicated as you may think. You should have an easy time going through the visa application process.
The official language in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is, obviously, French, and the locals are proud of their linguistic heritage. However, you will not have a hard time getting around if you are not bilingual. English should help you wherever you decide to visit. You should learn a few phrases of French, as it can come in handy. Plus, it can be fun to know a few basic French words and impress people.
What you need to remember is that Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a little piece of France in North America. Everything is European there. Some shops close their doors between noon and 2 PM, the restaurants start serving dinner later than you may be accustomed, and locals stand in line every morning at the boulangerie (which is the word for pastry shop) just to get some freshly baked bread and pastries to eat during the day. We recommend that you do the same since the products are incredibly delicious.
Food in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is French. Fine dining is available, although it may cost you a bit to have real French cuisine. The wine is excellent, and the menu is traditional. If you want to try some seafood, you should know that there is a seafood festival in the middle of August every year.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that you need a power adapter for your electronics. Saint Pierre and Miquelon use the 220V, just like in Europe. Failing to do so may damage your electronic devices.
As far as safety is concerned, there is virtually nothing to worry about. You could go as far as to say that Saint Pierre and Miquelon is one of the safest places in North America. There is little crime, mostly just petty theft. Otherwise, you could wander the streets at night with no troubles whatsoever.
The bottom line is that if you cannot go to Europe, you can experience some of it in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. You will not get bored since the sights are picturesque and idyllic. You can swim in the ocean and have fun exploring the islands.
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