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.
- 1 Martin-de-Viviès – research station, home to about 30 researchers at any given time
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.
The climate is usually cold all-year around, ranging between the tens. It mostly rains during the winter months.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- Official website (in French)
You can only visit the island if you have a permit from the French government.
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 do
- 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.
Eat, drink and sleep
- 1 Le Skua, Avenue Martin de Viviès (in the centre of Martin-de-Viviès). The only restaurant, bar and accommodation on the island.