<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

Secret islands to discover in France

PUBLISHED: 15:31 05 April 2017

Ile d'Yeu island ©Crobard-Thinkstock

Ile d'Yeu island ©Crobard-Thinkstock

Archant

Ever dreamt of escaping it all? Discover these hidden islands off the French coast where you can enjoy true peace and quiet

1. Ile d’Yeu, Vendée

This picturesque island jotted in the Atlantic has some great cycling routes which enable visitors to take in the picture-postcard landscape made up of sand dunes held together with pine trees, wild cliffs, brightly coloured houses and marsh countryside. The main fishing port is a delight to stay in to enjoy fresh fish facing the boats.

Beautiful Iles Chausey ©KaYann-fotolia Beautiful Iles Chausey ©KaYann-fotolia

2. Iles Chausey, Manche

This astonishing archipelago off the coast of Normandy consists of 52 islets at high tide and 365 isles at high tide. 17km from Granville and a short ferry crossing away, you will find the shores of Grande Ile, an unspoilt island where you can discover an old fort, a 19th century chapel, white sandy beaches and a charming fishing village.

The emerald sea of Lavezzi Island in Corsica ©Photogilio-Thinkstock The emerald sea of Lavezzi Island in Corsica ©Photogilio-Thinkstock

3. Iles Lavezzi, Corse du Sud

The dozen or so islands of the Lavezzi archipelago are protected and only inhabited by the semaphore’s watchmen. You can head to the beautiful granite islands by boat, departing from Bonifacio, and swim or go snorkelling in the turquoise waters of the tropical-like beaches.

Ile de Batz ©Paula Green-dreamstime Ile de Batz ©Paula Green-dreamstime

4. Ile de Batz, Finistère

Leave the car behind and enjoy a hike on the breathtaking coastal path of this little island just 2km off the coast of Roscoff. Feast your eyes on the clear blue waters, pearly beaches and wild coastline of the island. You can also visit the exotic gardens of Georges-Delaselle. Inland, you will discover a peaceful landscape of crops and farmland.

___________________________________________________________________________

Related articles

10 beautiful French islands to visit and explore

Discover the stunning secret beaches of the South of France

___________________________________________________________________________

Ile des Embiez ©Marianne Casamance CC BY-SA 3.0 Ile des Embiez ©Marianne Casamance CC BY-SA 3.0

5. Ile des Embiez, Var

Bought in 1958 by entrepreneur Paul Ricard, this island is set just 1km off the coast. Ricard hoped to create this haven of peace and quiet and banned cars to drive on the island but it does have a small train journeying around the island. Although its coastline is mainly still wild, it has an animated little port, shops, an ocean institute and plenty of walking and cycling paths.

The Vauban fortifications of Tatihou island ©JakezC-Thinkstock The Vauban fortifications of Tatihou island ©JakezC-Thinkstock

6. Tatihou, Manche

Depending on the tide, Tatihou is either an island or a peninsula. It has historical significance as Vauban, Louis XIV’s military engineer, built a fortified tower which is listed with UNESCO and the maritime museum houses the wrecks of 11 ships that sunk during the battle of La Hougue in 1692.

The sunny Ile d'Aix in Charente-Maritime ©Laurent Neumann-Thinkstock The sunny Ile d'Aix in Charente-Maritime ©Laurent Neumann-Thinkstock

7. Ile d’Aix, Charente-Maritime

This is another island where cars are banned so you can explore its fun-shaped coastline by foot, bike or horse-carriage. Two forts watch over the island, Fort Enet and the famous Fort Boyard. Nature here is fiercely protected and preserved and you’ll find tiny sandy creeks edged by pine trees and cypress.

View on the Ile Molène in Brittany ©Emmanuel Berthier View on the Ile Molène in Brittany ©Emmanuel Berthier

8. Molène, Finistère

Molène is the largest of the nine islands of the archipelago of the same name. Enjoy lovely view points from its shores which consist of both white sandy and pebble beaches. It is located within the Iroise marine natural park so make sure you explore the surrounding waters by kayak.

___________________________________________________________________________

Related articles

10 reasons to visit Corsica this summer

Discover France’s stunning national parks

___________________________________________________________________________

View on Frioul archipelago opposite Marseille ©prosiaczeq-Thinkstockphotos View on Frioul archipelago opposite Marseille ©prosiaczeq-Thinkstockphotos

9. Iles du Frioul, Bouches-du-Rhône

Just 4km from Marseille, this archipelago comprises 4 islands that have beautiful calanques and beaches to discover and a bird reserve. Amateurs of history will want to see the Château d’If, a fortress turned prison which famously features in Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo.

Ile Sainte Marguerite in Alpes-Maritimes © Eric Dervaux Ile Sainte Marguerite in Alpes-Maritimes © Eric Dervaux

10. Ile Sainte Marguerite, Alpes-Maritimes

Located just opposite Cannes off the Riviera coast, this island is a protected area for local natural species. Fragrant pine trees and eucalyptus, secret creaks and a bird reserve all make up the wealth of this little island. In the 17th century, the island houses Fort Royal, home to barracks and a prison which famously had the Man in the Iron Mask spend time there.

Ile Saint Nicolas' pier ©Amandine Picard Ile Saint Nicolas' pier ©Amandine Picard

11. Ile Saint Nicolas, Finistère

With turquoise water, silver-sanded beaches and thin strips of sand linking the islands, this Glénan archipelago is not dissimilar to Caribbean islands. The largest of the islands is Ile Saint Nicolas is home to a natural reserve which you can discover underwater by scuba diving or on land by looking for the famous Glénan narcissus.

Port Cros in the Hyères archipelago ©Dan Talson-dreamstime Port Cros in the Hyères archipelago ©Dan Talson-dreamstime

12. Port Cros, Var

You will find no roads or cycle lanes on this gem-of-an-island set on the marine National Park of Port Cros. The island is only 7km2 but you can see its incredibly diverse flora and fauna by walking along little pathways through the undergrowth and cliffs that lead to three beaches with crystal-clear waters.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Want to enjoy a boat holiday on the French waterways but not sure where to go? We’ve picked 11 of the best canals and navigable rivers to cruise on in France

Read more
Boating in France
Yesterday, 12:53

Although the Champagne region isn’t necessarily the first place you think of when planning a barge cruise holiday, it offers beautiful scenery, great places to visit and, of course, plenty of champagne! And with prices from just €1,220 per person, it’s more affordable than you might think...

Read more
Boating in France
Mon, 10:02

Rooting and rummaging around a French brocante is one of the best ways to spend a weekend morning. Here are 7 flea markets you won’t want to miss...

Read more
Rhone-Alpes
Friday, February 9, 2018

Christopher Nolan’s big-budget action film Dunkirk is up for eight Oscars at next month’s awards. Here are the Dunkirk locations to look out for when watching the film...

Read more
Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

France is full of beautiful places to explore and discover during your stay. These are a few of our favourite spots for you to visit during your next trip

Read more
Short breaks
Sunday, January 28, 2018

France is famous for its romantic places and as a destination for starry-eyed lovers. Here are our favourite 8, from its fabulous capital Paris to the little village of St-Valentin

Read more
Friday, January 26, 2018

Can you name all 20 of these French locations?

Read more
Apester quiz/poll
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The weather may be a bit grey and gloomy this time of year, but the City of Light offers plenty of things to do and see in the winter

Read more
Paris
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Finding your own new cycle routes can be a great part of a cycling adventure; Andy from Fellow Velo shares some tips on what to look out for when you are researching your rides off the beaten track

Read more
Cycling in France
Friday, January 19, 2018

Although less famous than their Loire Valley counterparts, the châteaux of Burgundy-Franche-Comté offer a range of attractions. Here are our favourites...

Read more
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now