This post is also available in: French
Every one knows about Cannes, this French city so famous around the world for its yearly movies festival (the Cannes Festival). I don’t really like this celebrity atmosphere there is around Cannes. But did you know that there is a small peaceful island, right on the shores of Cannes ?
Actually, it is the archipelago of Lerins, composed of Saint-Honorat island, Tradeliere and Saint-Fereol islets and Sainte-Marguerite island. I’m going to tell you about the latter one, the biggest island of the archipelago. It expands over 3km long.
Departing from Cannes harbor, you can reach the island by boat in only 15 min. As simple as that. In 15 min, you are out of Cannes’ bustling city and find yourself in a totally different atmosphere.
Sainte-Marguerite: A complete change of scenery
This island remained untamed. Just look at the Google Maps satellite view and see all the green there is. Very few constructions, only two restaurants and two cabins selling snacks. A few yachts belonging to the rare and rich inhabitants. But everything else is just greenery forests and turquoise waters.
You can walk along the coast to see the waves crash on the rocks but be careful, it is steep and sharp. Numerous inlets can be found around the coasts. So there are lots of cute spots to swim. We were there on a very windy day so we didn’t swim but kite surfers and windsurfers were having a blast.
This island is utterly beautiful and hides many secret spots. The middle of the island is composed of a pine forest. You can follow the various hiking trails. I really appreciated being able to go from the shaded forest to the sea and vice versa. Walking around a pond, observing seagulls or playing hide-and-seek near the Fort’s ruins… There are quite a few things that you can do here. By the way, did you know that Sainte-Marguerite island hosts the prison which had the “Man in the Iron Mask” locked up ? Yep, that’s right, that’s where the legend began.
Good news, this island is not crowded with tourists. At least when we were there. I guess people prefer to stay in Cannes in May, hoping to spot some celebrities. Since the island is a quite reasonable size, all the people on the ferry boat spread all over the island. Therefore, each and everyone can enjoy their own piece of paradise.
One thing is for sure. Sainte-Marguerite is the perfect escape for a quiet and revitalizing getaway. It’s very easy to escape from the French Riviera’s bustle and reconnect with nature.
One day is definitely enough to explore Sainte-Marguerite island. I’m not even sure there are any hotels to stay at. The return-trip boat ticket costs 13,50€. That’s a bit high but totally worth it.
Have you ever visited any island from the Lerins archipelago in France ? Did you know there was such an island of wilderness so close from the French Riviera ? Would you want to go there ?