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Iles de Lerins (c) CRT Riviera Cote azur P Behar

Iles de Lérins

The Lerins islands are made up of the island of Ste Marguerite and that of St Honorat.

A ferry can be taken to Ste Marguerite from the Courbet jetty, off boulevard Charles Guillaumont in Juan Les Pins. However, St Honorat, where the magnificent Benedictine monastry can be visited, is only accessible from Cannes using the Planaria Ferry company owned by the monks.

Sainte Marguerite is the largest of the two islands and is well known because of the legend of the Man in the Iron Mask. There are no sandy beaches but many creeks where you can relax and admire the landscape and swim in the turquoise water. Be sure to have plastic sandals for bathing.

Fort Royal and it’s Musee de la mer, should not be missed. The Spanish started to build the fort when they occupied the island, a strategic point, during the 30 year war in 1635. When the French defeated the Spanish and won the island back in 1637, they continued to fortify the area. A prison was added to the fort and was in use until the twentieth century.

There are also wonderful nature walks to be taken around the island. The best way to explore the island is to simply follow the marked trails which will take you to the Batéguier pond where you can observe different species of birds or to the Point de la Convention where you can observe the unique flore the island has to offer.