Top places to visit in French Southern Territories
When we talk about the islands (French Southern Territories), I am pretty sure everyone imagines an exotic vacation where the hot climate dominates and they can spend their days swimming in the ocean and sunbathing with cocktails in their hands. These islands are undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in the world. However, now we are going to talk about the exact opposite of this experience. Get ready to be very cold!
Have you ever heard about the French Southern Territories Region? What are French Southern Territories at all? What do we know about the French Southern Territories flag? Have you ever looked at French Southern Territories Map? What cities are in French Southern Territories? Are there any interesting places to visit? If you are interested, we will answer all these questions step by step and, believe me, you can't wait to go there!
Discover the cold and beautiful world of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories, nestled on island archipelagos in the southern Indian Ocean and a small part of the icy Antarctic coastline.
What are French Southern Territories?
The French Southern and Antarctic Territories or the French Australian and Antarctic Lands, in abbreviated form in French - TAAF, is an overseas special administrative-territorial entity of France close to Antarctica. The administrative center is located in Port-aux-Francais. The territory is sometimes referred to as the French Southern Lands (French: Terres australes françaises) or the French Southern Territories.
The French Southern Territories flag, adopted in 2007, is a blue field with the flag of France in the canton. At the bottom right are the letters "TAAF", located in the form of an anchor and surrounded by five stars. This version of the French Southern Territories flag is their official flag since February 23, 2007.
Habitation is very limited on these lands. These lands, which were connected to Madagascar until 1955, were administered under an official who lived in Paris until 2004. Although the political situation of these lands is still mixed, it is governed in line with the French legislation enacted for the overseas territories.
French Southern Territories Region are economically important and promising areas of France. French research bases are located here, but travelers to TAAF are attracted by something else - the local nature, practically untouched by man.
The tourist infrastructure of the land is undeveloped, and one of the reasons is the low population, most of which are scientists. It is stated that an estimated 140-150 people live here. Approximately 150 in winter and up to 310 in summer live in the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. But these are just military personnel, officials, scientific researchers, and support personnel. There is legally no permanent civilian population on the territory. It will not work to get to TAAF in the usual way: planes do not fly here, and the only possible transport is a ship that brings participants of research expeditions and those who can afford an expensive tour of Antarctica to the islands. Transport links between the islands are maintained by sea or air. There are not even dirt roads here, and residents use off-road vehicles as vehicles.
French Southern Territories Map
When we look at the French Southern Territories Map, we can see that it is divided into five administrative regions. Let's take a closer look at one of the most interesting and top places to visit in the world:
1. The Adelie Land is the French claim to the continent of Antarctica. The area formed covers an area of over 432,000 km², which is almost completely covered with ice.
2. The Crozet Islands French Southern Territories are a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar. The Crozet Islands French Southern Territories consists of six volcanic islands and a small number of small islands and rocks surrounding them. The highest point is Mount Marion Dufresne - 1050 meters. The Crozet Islands French Southern Territories are not covered with glaciers, but the climate is humid and windy.
3. The Kerguelen Islands are a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa, roughly equidistant between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia.
4. The Islands of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam are a group north of the Kerguelen Islands. Martin-de-Vivies (La Roche Godon French Southern Territories) is the capital of these islands. Martin-de-Vivies (La Roche Godon French Southern Territories), formerly Camp Heurtin, is a research station and the only settlement on the islands of Amsterdam and Saint-Paul in the southern and Antarctic lands of France in the southern Indian Ocean. It can accommodate about thirty people.
5. The Scattered Islands contain a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar.
Absolute in degrees, minutes, and seconds:
1. 49° 19′ 29″ S - South latitude
2. 69° 30′ 38″ E - East longitude
In degrees with decimal places:
The length of the French Southern Territories region from south to north is 1465,675 kilometers, from west to east - from 1989,875 km in the south to 2477,627 km in the north.
If we look at the French Southern Territories Map, we can understand the climate of the French Southern Territories Region based on location.
The local climate is characterized by strong gusty winds and seasons of prolonged rains and wet snow, frequent storms hit the rocky shores of the islands with huge waves, often the local spaces are covered with fog, and Adelie Land is almost completely covered with ice.
Eternal winter reigns here, but temperature drops are felt quite significantly. The TAAF Islands are an amazing and dangerous natural complex, mainly formed as a result of the volcanic eruptions of the Kargelen Range. The local waters abound in fish and crustaceans, among which the lobster stands out, and the coast is favored by birds and mammals - penguins, seals, petrels, walruses, and sea lions. Despite the sad historical fact of the extermination of whales, these marine animals still sometimes swim into coastal waters.
What do we know about must-visit places to visit this island? What cities are in French Southern Territories? TAAF vegetation is rather scarce, but this is what gives the local nature a special charm. There are dormant volcanoes here, in the very heart of Saint-Paul there is a beautiful caldera filled with water, and in the vastness of Amsterdam, the picturesque De La Divs mountain rises.
The Scattered Islands, surrounded by coral reefs, where milkweed and mangrove forests are found, seem to be the most "alive". Most of the local attractions are natural beauties, among which are the Mont Ross and Two Brothers mountains, the Cook Glacier, the Juan de Nova, and Tromelin nature reserves, glaciers, and the Adelie fjord. There are not so many architectural monuments of TAAF: the ruins of settlers' buildings on The Scattered Islands, Mawson's wooden huts, as well as the southernmost Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Winds of Port-aux-Francais.
In addition, Port-aux-Francais and Martin-de-Vivies (La Roche Godon French Southern Territories), which we talked about earlier, are the biggest cities there that worth visiting. These are nice places to visit to get to know their nature, architecture, and history!
What about their cuisine? What should we eat during our visit to the French Southern Territories region? Local cuisine dominates traditional French cuisine, but to understand the true "taste" of these lands, you should try the products that are historically produced here. This is whale meat, langu-sta, and other seafood, as well as the Kerguelen cabbage, which is rich in vitamin C, which decorates the TAAF coat of arms.
How to get to the French Southern and Antarctic Territories? You can get to TAAF only by sea vessels "Astrolabe" and "Marion Dufresne". Important information for travelers planning to visit the French Southern Territories region:
1. Most of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories are closed to tourists (mainly in order to preserve the unique flora and fauna).
2. Due to the remoteness of the islands and the peculiarities of navigation, the Marion Dufresne sail only a few times a year. On average, the journey takes about 28-30 days from Australia or Reunion to TAAF, so a Schengen visa must be valid for the entire trip. Accordingly, this period must cover the validity of an Australian visa or a Reunion visa. In other words, if, for example, your Australian visa is valid for 30 days, then you should not go to TAAF.
3. There is no car rental here - it is customary to walk on most inhabited islands. There is no transport within the country in this area.
4. There is no life on the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. As we said before, scientists usually go here for scientific research, just like in Antarctica. It is beneficial to take precautions before traveling against the cold climate of the region. It is quite possible to get sick if insufficient precautions are taken against freezing temperatures.
Now you have more information than the answers to the questions, such as "What are French Southern Territories?" or "What cities are in French Southern Territories?" and it is time to break all the rules and to show the world that the cold islands can also be considered as one of the top places to visit in the world and give you unforgettable memories with an amazing experience!
Nargiz loves sharing. Gradually, she learnt to direct this feeling by sharing what she experienced and read with her readers. Nargiz started her career way by writing short stories and articles and aims to publish her book in the future. She believes that by writing we express ourselves and leave memories for future generations. Her favourite gift is a book. She wants everyone to contribute to her future library. She is very interested in art and learning new languages. If she expressed herself in one sentence, that sentence would be: "I am a 12-year-old Madridista who wants to watch a REAL MADRID game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium while being in Madrid during the world trip I dream of one day."