Ile Sainte Marguerite Cannes

Written by on October 12, 2015 in Provence-Alpes

iles-des-lerins-cannes

The Lerin Islands: Escape the hustle and bustle of the resorts on the French Riviera and take the ferry from the port of Cannes and sail away to an island…

The “Iles de Lérins” is a small cluster of islands just off the coast of Cannes which form part of the commune of Cannes. The archipelago has two main islands: Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat and two micro-islands: Tradelière and St-Féréol.

Ile Sainte Marguerite Cannes

ile-sainte-marguerite-south-of-franceÎle Sainte-Marguerite is the largest of these Mediterannean islands though at 3km in length, it’s not huge. It is possessed of stunning natural beauty, a place of rocky inlets and botanical trails. Reaching it takes just 20 minutes from the mainland by ferry but when you arrive, it’s like entering a different world. Leaving the boat, you follow the path upwards. The first thing to notice is the refreshing eucalyptus scent and the serene landscape. Follow the winding route to the top where there are spectacular sea views and Cannes seems very far away.

Inhabited since Roman times, the island is most famous for its Fort Royal, where the “Man in the Iron Mask” was imprisoned. To this day there is speculation about his identity as no one ever saw his face hidden under a black velvet mask. There are many theories – perhaps he was the illegitimate heir to the throne for instance, all we really know is that the first reports of his existence date back to 1669.

You can take a tour of Fort Royal and visit the cell where the Man in the Iron Mask was held. The masked prisoner died on November 19, 1703 and was buried under the name Marchioly. His story has inspired many writers and there have several novels and films about him.

Fort Royal houses the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea) where you can admire archaeological finds from shipwrecks.

iles-sainte-marguerite-cannes

Heading back outside, the hot sun will warm you, a relief after the dark cold cells. You can follow the path through the woods shaded by pine trees and discover a bay that’s perfect to sit and enjoy the silence, the sun and the rippling water. The quiet bays along this stretch of the coast offer beautiful views and are an oasis of nature and peace.

There are a few restaurants and bars on the island where you can stop for refreshment before heading back to the busy town of Cannes…

Ferries to the Iles des Lerins

The ferry terminal for boats to the Iles de Lérins can be found at the far southwest corner of Cannes harbour. If you’re standing in the center of Cannes looking out to sea (south), go around the right side of the harbor (west), to Quai Saint Pierre and past the Sofitel hotel.

Boats run regularly (with more frequent services in spring and summer).

More info on the Iles Des Lerins from the Cannes Tourist Office

Article by Darina Nykl who lives in Holland where she works in a hospital and is an author. She blogs about the stories she is writing which are mostly set in Amsterdam, Paris, Provence and the Cote d’Azur, places that inspire her: darinanykl.com

Related Articles

Authentic delicious and great value places to eat in Nice France

Discover delicious Nice and the best places to eat in the city that won’t break the bank. These are the places the locals go to, authentic, delicious and downright luscious. You really don’t have to break the bank to eat like a millionaire here. Nice is the second most popular city for visitors for France […]

Continue Reading

London to Cannes by Train

London to Cannes by train is an easy journey. It seems completely incredible to me that the fast train can you get from the centre of London to the beaches of Cannes in less than 9 hours. When you think it takes almost twice that time by car, allowing for snack stops and assuming you […]

Continue Reading

Family road tour in the south of France by camper van

There’s nothing quite like being able to go where you want, when you want in the south of France. With a campervan that’s perfect for a family trip, you can have some awesome adventures. We talk to Andrew Cook at Cookies Campers who hire out campervans in the south of France about how to make […]

Continue Reading

Ravishing road routes in the south of France

Provence is a dream destination of picturesque villages, glorious landscape, fabulous food and wine and much much more. What it doesn’t have is easy to use public transport that will take you from the main road to the off the beaten track places – for that you’ll need wheels. Glampervan experience One of the most […]

Continue Reading

6 ‘Must See’ Places to Visit on the French Riviera

  If you’re planning to travel to the continent this summer, there are a few spots on the French Riviera featured in many holiday guides to France that you just have to see. This particular stretch of coastline is peppered with wonderful gems and in this article, we share 6 of the best ‘must see’ places. […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top