Home Geographical situation 13th September 2017
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Geographical situation  

The Saint-Pierre et Miquelon archipelago is located about 20 km from the Burin peninsula, on the South Coast of Newfoundland ( Canada). There are three main islands : St. Pierre (26 sq. km), Miquelon (110 sq. km) and Langlade (91 sq. km). Miquelon and Langlade are now united by a 12 km sand isthmus.

The Isthmus

This sand bar uniting Miquelon and Langlade is considered by the scientists to be the most spectacular in the North Atlantic. It was formed since the last ice age. An open channel was still present around the end of the 18th century. The ships using that channel began to get stranded there and certainly contributed to its closure; this is probably the origin of the legend which says that the entire isthmus was built around the hundreds of wrecks that took place in the area. This is of course exaggerated.

 

Divided on its northern end into two arms, it shelters the salt lagoon of Grand Barachois, an ecological area of regional interest where the Harbour seal is present year round while the Grey seal is there from spring to late fall. On its west coast the lagoon is bordered by fixed and quite spectacular sand dunes called locally "Buttereaux", where you could encounter many free-roaming horses. The Grand Barachois and neighbouring marshes are of great ornithological importance for breeding, migrating, wintering of  various birds : Ducks, Terns, Shorebirds etc.

The Island of Miquelon-Langlade

 

In such a small territory, about 200 sq. km, the landscape is quite diverse, reflecting a complex geology : to make it short, Langlade is mostly sedimentary, Miquelon is of volcanic origin while the Cape, located near the village is metamorphic. In Miquelon the coasts are low and accessible for long peaceful walks while in most of Langlade the coasts consists of beautiful cliffs. The woods are located in river valleys and other sheltered areas while the flat ground is covered by a myriad of ponds and huge peat bogs where we find our most beautiful orchids. The hills, while reaching only 240 m. at the highest point, will give you an impression of walking  at an altitude of 2 or 3000 m. in warmer climates. The omnipresence of the sea adds a lot to the islands, from calm to furious,  it really belongs to the islands as we cannot get away from it for more than 5 km  ! Miquelon and Langlade, for nature lovers and the French way of life, deserves certainly a visit of more than one day.

The village of Miquelon, origins of its population

the Acadians who preferred Miquelon for agriculture, arrived here in 1763, after the "GRAND DÉRANGEMENT" of 1755. While people from the Basque, Brittany and Normandy regions came for the cod fishery. The village of Miquelon is located on the northern part of the island and has a population of about 700 people.

 



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