local service district in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Francois (generally pronounced "Franceway", sometimes written François) is a small coastal village in Southern Newfoundland, at the end of a 2-km-long fiord. It is accessible by ferry. In 2016, it had a population of 89.

Understand edit

There is a general store, a post office and a small museum, accessed by concrete pathways and boardwalks.

There is no road to the village, which can only be accessed by boat and helicopter, and snowmobile in the winter.

History edit

The community was first settled around 1780, and resisted the government resettlement programs of the mid-20th century. It considered and rejected resettlement again in 2013.

During the Second World War, some handsome young strangers turned up at the community hall to dance with the local women. The next morning people asked around about the fun-loving strangers and assumed they were Basque fishermen, because their English was rather broken. It turns out they were sailors off a German submarine that had crept into the long fiord to stock up on fresh water from the waterfall.

Get in edit

Access to Francois is only by passenger ferry. If the winds are strong, you may end up staying in Francois a day or two longer than you planned. When the ferry is cancelled by weather or malfunction, a helicopter connects Francois to Burgeo.

  • MV Marine Voyager, +1 709 729-3835, toll-free: +1-833-653-3779. Sa Su M W F and the 2nd and 4th Tu of each month, ferry leaves from Burgeo to Grey River at 1:45PM (2 hr), and then from Grey River to Francois at 4:45PM (1 hr 45 min). One-way fares: adult $11.75; senior, student or child (5-13) $6, child under 5 free.

It also may be possible to solicit a ride from a local fisherman headed that way.

Get around edit

There are no car roads in Francois, only narrow paved walkways which are also used by 4-wheelers.

See edit

  • Visits to the local museum can be arranged on request.
  • A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024 starts at 5:12PM local time and lasts 90 sec. The chances of a clear sky are 20%. The track of totality is northeast from Mexico and Texas to Ohio, straddling the Canada–New England border, then across Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

Do edit

The tallest mountain in the community is the 600-ft Friar, and there are several walking trails in the area.

  • There is a nice, fairly short hike up to a look out point just above the town, a good portion of which is boardwalked.
  • Hike through pristine wilderness to spectacular Chaleur Bay
  • Hike to the waterfall at Harbour Ruin
  • Take a boat trip to the lost whaling station
  • The cliffs of Devil's Bay are technically challenging climbs
  • Sea kayaking

Buy, eat and drink edit

There is a general store from which you can buy food and other amenities.

Sleep edit

  • 1 Mel's Place, The Old Salt Box Co., Main Path, +1 709 658 7392, . Oceanview, 2-bedroom (1 king/1 queen) "Old Salt Box" vacation home with 4 piece bath, clawfoot tub, full kitchen, simplistic modern furnishings, window wall, Wi-Fi, satellite, phone, laundry. $250/night, 1-4 people.
  • Near the church in Francois, there is a simple camping site with picnic bench and outhouse.
  • Several residents also offer their homes for visitors to spend a few nights in. Nightly rates are available upon request and are very reasonable. It is best to arrange in advance.

Connect edit

There is a library with internet access.

Go next edit

On Thursdays, the Marine Services ferry leaves Francois for McCallum and Hermitage.

This city travel guide to Francois 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.