I told you already about our holiday to the Côte d’Azur in the summer of 2014 in two posts about Monaco recently (here and here). Well, today’s post will take us back to that same holiday… but this time I will tell you about a trip we did to Ile Sainte-Marguerite, a little island off the coast of Cannes.
As we were staying near Cannes, we visited this buzzing city on several occasions. One day we wanted to escape the busy city centre so we took the ferry to Ile Sainte-Marguerite. This little island may only be a 15 minute boat trip away from Cannes, but boy do you end up in a completely different world!!
Ile Sainte-Marguerite is an island off the Cannes coast. It belongs to an island group (Iles de Lérins) of 4 Mediterranean islands of which only Ile Sainte-Marguerite and Ile Saint-Honorat are inhabited. Both are looked after by the Office National des Fôrets. Ile Sainte-Marguerite is only about about 152 ha, but you won’t be bored on your day out as this island has a lot to offer.
First of all the island is perfect for nature lovers. On a hot day it’s nice and cool to walk in the shade of the many pines, oaks and eucalyptus trees. There are more than a hundred different kind of birds to spot and it is lovely to see the cristal clear water near the rocky coast.
The beaches and sea attract of course lots of sunbathers and watersports adepts. The beaches nearest to the ferry tend to be really crowded, but if you take the effort of walking a bit further, you will definitely get rewarded with a private place! Make sure to wear sensible shoes as the coastline is pretty rocky! All beaches offer superb views… enjoy!!
For those who want to add a bit of culture to their daytrip, you can visit Fort Royal, which was a prison for many years. The mysterious ‘man in the iron mask’ is said to have been imprisoned here. The historic Fort Royal now houses a youth hostel and a Maritime Museum. Close to the Fort is a small cemetery for French soldiers.
After our island visit we took the ferry to Cannes again and onto the hussle and bussle of this coast town for diner and… fireworks!
We had our apéritif at the terrace of the Carlton hotel before having diner in one of the many restaurants the harbour has to offer. We chose New York New York and didn’t regretted our choice! The menu offers a variety of good, better and awesome food and although it was really crowded, we were served quickly and the staff was very friendly.
After a stroll down the harbour, gawking at the luxurious yachts, we made our way to the beach to see the fireworks. Each year in July and August, the International Festival of Pyrotechnic Art is organised in Cannes. On the website you can check the dates. We went twice during our holiday and we were certainly not disappointed!!
We seriously enjoyed our day to Ile Sainte-Marguerite and Cannes… I would definitely recommend a visit to this coastal town at the Côte d’Azur!
Have you ever been to the Côte d’Azur? Which town can you recommend visiting? Let me know in the comments! I’m always eager to hear new tips!