island in the southern Indian Ocean

Île Amsterdam (translates to Amsterdam Island) is a mostly uninhabited island of the Indian Ocean, far from almost everywhere. Together with Île Saint-Paul, it forms a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Its only settlement is a research station.

SettlementsEdit

 
The research base
  • 1 Martin-de-Viviès   – research station, home to about 30 researchers at any given time

UnderstandEdit

Firstly, you'll need to understand that Île Amsterdam is very difficult to reach. The closest piece of land to the island is Île Saint-Paul, which is about 85 km (53 mi) southwest, which also has a population of zero (except for the researchers). About 1400 km further south is Kerguelen, the closest piece of inhabited land, but also mainly the seasonal home of researchers. Otherwise, the closest pieces of inhabited are Madagascar, mainland Australia, Réunion and several East African Islands or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, all about 3000 km away.

ClimateEdit

The climate is usually cold all-year around, ranging between the tens. It mostly rains during the winter months.

Île Amsterdam
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
89
 
 
20
15
 
 
 
69
 
 
21
15
 
 
 
92
 
 
20
14
 
 
 
102
 
 
18
13
 
 
 
120
 
 
16
12
 
 
 
120
 
 
15
10
 
 
 
106
 
 
14
9
 
 
 
95
 
 
14
9
 
 
 
77
 
 
14
10
 
 
 
85
 
 
15
10
 
 
 
75
 
 
16
11
 
 
 
70
 
 
19
13
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Climate data for Martin-de-Vivie from Météo France
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
3.5
 
 
69
58
 
 
 
2.7
 
 
69
59
 
 
 
3.6
 
 
67
58
 
 
 
4
 
 
64
56
 
 
 
4.7
 
 
61
53
 
 
 
4.7
 
 
58
50
 
 
 
4.2
 
 
57
49
 
 
 
3.7
 
 
56
49
 
 
 
3
 
 
58
49
 
 
 
3.3
 
 
59
50
 
 
 
3
 
 
61
52
 
 
 
2.7
 
 
66
56
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Visitor informationEdit

Get inEdit

 
Map of Île Amsterdam

There is no air service, and only a small landing pier at Martin-de-Viviès. This is visited four times a year by the support ship Marion Dufresne, which has berths for 8-12 tourists, for around €9000 per person. The ship sails from Réunion (which has flights from Paris) and takes about 28 days, half of them crossing a wild rough ocean. Research and support personnel always have priority for berths and you could be bumped off the trip at short notice if some urgent situation arose. The itinerary is from Réunion to Crozet Islands, Kerguelen, Île Saint-Paul occasionally (strictly protected and a hazardous landing, so tourists are not permitted ashore there) then Île Amsterdam and back to Réunion.

Tourist berths were suspended because of Covid and in 2023 these have not yet resumed.

Get aroundEdit

There are a few roads near Martin-de-Viviès but that's all. There aren't many so it's just easier to get around the entire island by walking or hiking.

See and doEdit

  • 1 Falaises d'Entrecasteaux. Straddling the island's west coast, these cliffs reach heights of over 700 metres and the site has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA). You'll find thousands of Indian yellow-nosed albatrosses and northern rockhopper penguins.    
  • 2 Plateau des Tourbières. The island's other IBA, covered in woodland and contains the highest peaks of the island.    
  • 3 Mont de la Dives. The island's highest peak, reaching 881 metres. It's a dormant volcano but it's unknown when the volcano last erupted.    

BuyEdit

Eat, drink and sleepEdit

  • 1 Le Skua, Avenue Martin de Viviès (in the centre of Martin-de-Viviès). The only restaurant, bar and accommodation on the island.

Go nextEdit

You'll go wherever your ship is next bound, very likely to Réunion. This has flights to Paris, other East African islands, and the Middle East.



This rural area travel guide to Île Amsterdam is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.