8 things to do on Sainte-Marguerite Island
Love nature and the song of cicadas? Immediate boarding for the Lérins Islands! This archipelago in the Bay of Cannes with its authentic and preserved nature is eager to help you discover its multiple facets in the colors of Provence. An immersion in the heart of history in a green setting where relaxation and discovery are the key words. Are you staying on the Côte d’Azur? Don't miss out on a timeless day visit to one of the 2 islands.
Discover Fort Royal
A historic monument, a true jewel, belonging to the city of Cannes since 1996, Fort Royal was built by Richelieu. Reinforced by Vauban, it will subsequently become a state prison and will house the mysterious man in the iron mask for 11 years. Now converted into a Museum of the Sea, it houses a collection of underwater archaeological pieces, but will offer you the opportunity to visit the old cells, to walk its ramparts, to bring its military past to life through stories told to children . It is also a fantastic viewpoint from which to immortalize the Croisette. The vestige of a past life facing modern life.
Stroll through the village
An obligatory passage after getting off the boat, the village of Sainte-Marguerite is home to barely twenty lucky residents all year round. Its small fishermen's houses with their features drawn by the sea spray offer a first version of this island inhabited since medieval times. The gentle breeze of the port, the warmth of the cobblestones, take the time to appreciate the authenticity of a small village and its breathtaking view of the bay of Cannes. An idyllic setting for a Provençal lunch. One of the best activities to do on the Lérins Islands.
Get lost on the 22 km of trails
Set off to explore the island! Numerous maps will show you the marked trails that crisscross Sainte-Marguerite. Escape on one of the side roads and enjoy the freshness offered by the umbrella pines and the numerous eucalyptus trees planted by man in the 19th century, at the request of the bishop of Ghent, Maurice de Broglie, then imprisoned on the island. It would therefore be the oldest eucalyptus forest in Europe, now spread over 152 protected hectares. A stroll through the alleys with their bright scents lulled by the sound of cicadas where peace and serenity reign. A guaranteed change of scenery for a walk!
Laze on a creek
Looking for a small, authentic and hidden cove? Follow the regulars! The island of Sainte-Marguerite has 15 accessible sandy beaches on its shore, perfect for swimming. Apart from that, bring shoes suitable for rocks and pebbles, the rugged surroundings of the rocky coves are very authentic but nevertheless far from being completely comfortable. Shade, on the other hand, is easily offered by the pines almost licking the clear waves of the Mediterranean. A haven of peace that invites you to have a picnic but also a nap!
Reach Convention Fort
During your walk, discover the Fort de la Convention on the eastern tip of the island. A former military fort built by the Spanish in the 17th century, its particularity lies in the fact that it is protected by a moat and very well preserved. Therefore, take the time to appreciate its history and imagine its past life. Its exceptional location at the end of the island makes it a prime lookout mainly in the event of an attack. One more discovery to share with children eager for historical facts.
Go in search of ball furnaces
It’s a treasure hunt that will entertain young and old. The discreet cannonball ovens are mainly hidden in the maquisard vegetation of the island. Located to the east and west of Sainte-Marguerite, they made it possible to supply hot cannon balls to the defensive cannons positioned at strategic points in the event of attacks by enemy ships. These well-preserved ovens were built by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1793. It is also the ideal opportunity to motivate a family walk of several kilometers!
Observe migratory birds
At the bend of a walk, you will come across the Batéguier pond, a mecca for ornithology enthusiasts. Migratory birds reproduce there and alone justify the construction of an observatory to contemplate the different species of fauna and flora. Generous nature takes its ease there, bring binoculars! However, information signs will help you recognize the pond's hosts and botanical features if you are patient and discreet.
Snorkel in fish-filled waters
What could be more satisfying than swimming in clear water while observing the Mediterranean biodiversity of the seabed? A prime spot for snorkeling, the island's rocky coasts are also home to a number of colorful marine species. School of fish, starfish and even sea urchins, all are there in the “turquoise water swimming pool” located between the two islands. Things to do and do again on the Lérins Islands. The crossing between the island of Sainte-Marguerite and its monastic neighbor the island of Saint-Honorat is possible with the greatest caution.
The island of Saint-Honorat
You will have understood, the island of Sainte Marguerite is a destination of choice, whatever your expectations. Relaxation, discoveries but also sporting activities, all the ingredients are there to satisfy the desires of the whole family. Go further and discover its little sister: the island of Saint-Honorat. This small island of gentle tranquility is home to a monastery whose monks produce their own wine. The ideal place to lose yourself in the vineyards, enjoy a tasting or take a spiritual retreat!