The Belep Islands ( French рles Belep ) is a small island group in the southwestern Pacific Ocean off the northwestern shores of New Caledonia . Administratively part of the Northern Province of French Overseas Territory New Caledonia.
|fr. Îles Belep|
Space image of the islands
|total area||69.5 km²|
|Highest point||283 m|
|Population||895 people (2009)|
|Population density||12.88 people / km²|
|Water area||Pacific Ocean|
The islands are located approximately 50 km northwest of the northern point of the island of New Caledonia  . The group consists of several small coral islands , as well as the larger, hilly islands of Pott ( Eng. Pott Island ) and Art ( Eng. Art Island ).
The total land area is 69.5 km². The largest island of the group is Art Island (52 km²)  . The highest point is Baal (283 m).
The Belep Islands are named after one of the Kanak leaders who settled on the islands in ancient times. The first Catholic missions were founded on the islands in 1856 . In the period from 1892 to 1898, there was a leper colony on the islands.
In 2009, the population of the Belep Islands was 895 people. Most of the population is the indigenous people of New Caledonia - the Kanaks (99.3%). The main settlement is the village of Vala , located on the island of Art.