COM – Overseas communities at the far ends of the world
They are scattered from the North Atlantic, to the Polynesian Oceania, to the heart of the Pacific and to the Caribbean Sea… Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin are the French overseas communities. Islands as rich as they are varied.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
This archipelago of 8 islands faces Canada. In the 16th century, Norman, Breton and Basque fishermen used these 242 km2 as their base. Sport is very big here, with ice hockey in first place, and philately is the local leisure pursuit. The Grand-Barachois lagoon is the ideal site for observing seals.
Wallis and Futuna
This Polynesian archipelago is isolated in the heart of the Pacific. Wallis, bordered by a lagoon and a coral reef, is ideal for scuba diving in order to discover the aquatic flora and fauna. 230 km away, Futuna is a mountainous island protected by a belt of reefs. Its tapa cloths – plant based cloths – are legendary.
Made up of 118 volcanic and coral islands scattered over 2,500,000 km2, it has 5 main archipelagos that are home to marae (sacred places), pyramid shaped temples and tiki, stone statues. Here, local culture finds its expression in songs, dances, tattoos and Polynesian languages. Surf boards and dugout canoes rule the roost here.
This arid and mountainous 21 km2 island in the north of the Caribbean Sea has developed a top of the range tourism industry. Luxury boutiques and duty free shops in the fashion and interior design fields compete for stardom with the 17 heavenly beaches and attract a wealthy clientele, coming mainly from North America.
The two main parts of this island, 25 km to the north-east of Saint-Barthélemy, linked by the saltwater lake of Simpson Bay, cover a surface area of 86 km2, 53 km2 of which is French territory (the other part is a state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands). The cosmopolitan archipelago is famous for cruises in sailing boats.