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.
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.
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.
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, ☏ , toll-free: . 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.
There are no car roads in Francois, only narrow paved walkways which are also used by 4-wheelers.
Visits to the local museum can be arranged on request.
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
There is a general store from which you can buy food and other amenities.
- 1 Mel's Place, The Old Salt Box Co., Main Path, ☏ , email@example.com. 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.
There is a library with internet access.
On Thursdays, the Marine Services ferry leaves Francois for McCallum and Hermitage.