Iles de Lerins

Iles de Lerins, Cannes: Address, Phone Number, Iles de Lerins Reviews: 4.5/5

Iles de Lerins
Historic Sites • Islands • Forests
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Two islands just a boat ride from Cannes, Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat, are covered by eucalyptus and pine forests and are home to Fort Royal.
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2,141 reviews
Very good

Lesley Wood Consani
Zurich, Switzerland1,342 contributions
Mar 2019 • Solo
I go here everytime I return to Cannes whether it is January or August.
It is a place of peace, beauty and tranquillity. There is the abby to explore, the wine shop, and restaurant besides the beautiful bays and island.
If going in winter: boats are few, the restaurant is closed so bring a picnic, check the times of mass on the official website.
This is not a 'Disney land'! It is a genuine refuge and home for the monks, one needs to be respectful!
It is amazingly peaceful ❤
Written August 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lyon, France83 contributions
Sep 2019
We took a small boat trip of about 20 minutes from Cannes and we enjoyed the whole day on the islands. Both are very quiet, wihout any car. One has a small village with a fortress and good restaurants, the other one has a monastery where we could have a Sunday service . Nice walks and nice swimming.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Leeds, UK4 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
We visited both Ile Saint Honorat and Ile Saint Marguerite and had a lovely time at each. Both islands are great for swimming and scenery. Saint Honorat is very beautiful and peaceful, while Saint Marguerite has lots to do and a delightful Oceanside restaurant.
Written July 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bologna, Italy127 contributions
Aug 2011 • Couples
It is a very easy crossing, just 20 minutes across the bay from Cannes to the Ile Sainte Marguerite, and it is a wonderful excursion. Most of the island is covered by pinewoods and there are no cycle paths, so you can't take a bike over to the island, and you have to go everywhere on foot. You can visit the "Man in the Iron Mask" fortress and prison and then if you cut across the island to the other side, with views of the island of St Honorat, there are plenty of rocky coves where you can scramble down into the crystal clear waters for a swim. There are not many places to eat on the island, so we normally take a couple of bottles of water and a picnic lunch, usually something such as "tarte tatin aux tomates cerises" from the delicatessen "Au Bons Raviolis" in Rue Meynadier just behind the Mairie, close to the Palais des Festivals. This is within easy walking distance of the "Embarcadere" or landing stage where you pick up the boat to cross the bay, at the far end of La Croisette near the old quarter of Le Suquet. To get to Le Suquet, just look for the medieval church tower up on the hill. This old part of Cannes is well worth a visit: ust walk up Rue St Antoine (with its fine selection of restaurants and a drinking fountain) to the top for a great view across the bay of Cannes.
We have also been swimming on the beach of Cannes itself, along la Croisette, but on the private beach when you hire a sunbed you are literally elbow-to-elbow with the people under the next sunshade, and this is not to everybody's liking. Also the water tends to be rather sandy along la Croisette, whereas if you cross over to the island, the seabed is rocky and the water crystal clear. And the boat ride is a lot of fun. There are two companies on this route but in our experience they are pretty much equivalent and they take good care of their passengers. You can't stay overnight on the island, so look out for the last return crossing.
More details at: and at
Written January 31, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy W
New Jersey268 contributions
Took the ferry (9 Euros round trip) over to the island. We explored the prison area (free for students) and museum. It was interesting to learn about the prisoners, such as the man in the iron mask and see the actual cells they were held in. Few things in the museum were explained in english. There are no pictures allowed inside the cells. It looked like you could have parties or events in the fort as we saw a couple overlooking the water. Beautiful views of the riviera. You can walk around the island and there are beaches, forests and beautiful flowers. We saw a few restaurants as well and a lot of people were docking their boats.
Written July 28, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Quebec City, Canada1,851 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
We were there on May 2014.

We were on a cruise that tendered in Cannes so we tried to get off the ship as soon as possible to avoid the crowd and take the first ferry available for Ste-Marguerite. You can buy your ticket in advance online for 11 Euro/pers round-trip.

The boat ride is about 15-20 minutes. I suggest you go to the top floor of the boat for a great view of Cannes.

When we got to the island we decided to start our visit by the Fort Royal and the museum. It is just a short walk from the pier and the path is nice. It cost 6 Euro/pers to visit the fort/museum. There is not much to see but it is still interesting and worth it. It took us about 30-45 minutes to visit. There are also some great photo spots from inside the fort.

After that, we took the "Allée des Eucalyptus" to reach the South side of the island. We loved that scented path, it is gorgeous. And when you reach the South side you have a nice view of St Honorat island.

Then we followed the ocean side going west to the point of the island where you can see a cannon ball oven. We then headed North/East to go back to the ferry, visiting "L'étang du Batéguier" on the way.

All in all we spend a little over 2 hours on the island and we really appreciated this beautiful place. Having spent some time in Cannes later that day we realized that we enjoyed our time on the island a lot more than the time spent in Cannes. We preferred the natural wonders of the island to the shops and crowd of Cannes.

If we ever go back, we will adjust our schedule to spend more time in Ste Marguerite and we will make some time to visit St Honorat too.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Ste Marguerite.
Written June 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Catherine B
Paris, France232 contributions
Oct 2017 • Friends
Rich in history since Roman times yet enjoyable in its simplicity, these islands are worth the short ferry trip to get there (about 15 minutes) to take in lovely promenades and lunch and a swim. Visit the monastery on Île de Saint-Honorat and if you catch a mass or a stay-over retreat then you can really breathe the sea air and spiritual sense of the place. Originally founded in 410, the monastery was rebuilt a few times with the current one existing from the 19th c. Is only inhabited by Cistercian monks who produce red and white wine, honey, lavender oil and Lérina, a herbal liqueur. Ile St Marguerite offers visits to its fort, now a museum of the Sea housing archeological discoveries from Roman times.
Written April 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richmond, Surrey207 contributions
Jun 2015 • Friends
Having been to Ile Sainte Marguerite a year or so ago, and loved the peacefulness of the island during the high season, we decided to explore the other smaller island of Ile St Honorat this year.
The boats to this island only leave from the port of Cannes (whereas you can get boats to St Marguerite from Cannes, Golfe-Juan and Juan les Pins), and the trip costs just over 16 euros - but this includes a fee to the monks for visiting the island.
We took a small picnic and allowed time to walk all around the island (it is only 1.5 kilometres long by 400 metres wide). As we ate our lunch we overlooked the sheltered water between the two island of the Lerins, and gazed rather jealously at people with their own boats who were able to swim in the crystal clear water.
The church at the Abbaye is open to visitors, although the little chapels dotted around the island are closed. The most interesting thing there is the Fortified Monastery, which dates back to the 15th century, and has lovely views over the island once you have climbed the spiral staircase to the top.
It is worth walking through the centre of the island to see the vineyards tended by the monks. They make (and sell in the shop) a number of wines, but we considered them a touch too expensive, especially as we couldn't do a tasting of them.
We had a very enjoyable day, away from the crowds of the Cote d'Azur, and steeped in the history of an island that has been a home to monks for 16 centuries.
One word of caution - although there are toilets on the island (very close to the quay where the boat docks, and nowhere else), they are very rudimentary 'squatting' toilets.
Written June 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beverley, UK9 contributions
Jul 2011 • Couples
Visited Sainte Marguerite Island. Took the boat from Nice harbour. The weather was glorious and commentary was provided in English of the sights along the way.

On arriving at the island we decided to splash out and have an early lunch at one of only 2 restaurants on the island. Big mistake I think. To start with the rose wine was warm so had to wait for some time for it to become a little more chilled from the ice bucket. Food I have to say was very mediocre and as everywhere in the area not cheap. Staff were also very scruffy and casually dressed. But the thing that really annoyed us was we'd specifically asked for tap water. An open bottle of water was brought that had an Evian sticker on it. Really don't believe that it was bottled water but of course couldn't prove it. After looking at our bill I realised that it had been itemised as Evian and we had been charged 5.50 euros for it! Have to say felt ripped off but tried to put it behind us and enjoy the rest of the day.

Next took a trip to the fort. The museum part was quite interesting but the fort is now some kind of youth camp so I little odd. Lots of dorms and trestle tables etc around.

After spending about 3/4 hour at the fort we decided we go further around the island and find a little bit of beach for a spot of sunbathing as not a lot else to do to be honest here. The beach is very stony though so swimming shoes advised if you want to take a swim.
After an hour or so on the beach we ventured a little further around the island. Much of the island is very flat with wooded areas and roads crossing through so a little dull. However the coast line was lovely to walk round although there were loads of tourists so forget it if you want to a quiet secluded spot.

As it was a hot day, we decided to go down to the 2nd restaurant for a cold drink. After being moved on by a very rude waiter who curtly told us were would have to got to the bar around the back if we weren't eating we found the bar round the back near the toilets. Picnic type tables and no view of the sea and after being charged 8 euro's each for a small bottle of Heinekin had that 'we've been ripped off' feeling again.

I suppose if we had taken a picnic or got one of the lovely looking sandwiches from the stall near the boat and taken our own wine, together with swim shoes etc our review of the island may have been a little different. However, as it was we could completely understand how all the prisoners in the fort must have felt! So glad when our boat back to Nice turned up. I have to say that for us the boat trip was the best part of the excursion.
There are so many lovely day trips you can make from Nice...don't waste your time with this one, get a 1 euro bus ticket and go to a perched village up in the mountains instead.
Written August 1, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Francisco, CA164 contributions
We go to Cannes once or twice per year and have never taken the ferry over to the islands. This year we had our son and his cousin (17 year old boys) and needed something one day that would be interesting for them to do.

The walk from Rue Commandant Andre/La Croisette to the ferry took about 15-20 minutes and was a lovely walk along La Croisette and the marina. There are two companies selling tickets for the same price and the same boat. Why? The girl didn't know. But there you go.

We bought our tickets (E11 per person RT) and boarded the boat which left right on time. The ride over was wonderful. It was so nice to just be on the water and let the breeze cool you. (Yes it was a hot July 2009 day). We first walked up to the prison and took a tour seeing the room where the Man in the Iron Mask was held. Very sad stories took place here. The view from the terrace is amazing (see picture below with the four of us). We then walked around a bit, the boys (my hubby included) had their ice creams and then the boys (sans my hubby) went for a quick swim. I highly recommend taking flip flop or swim shoes as it was a bit difficult for them to walk barefooted back to the boat but they had their Vans.

We rushed back to make the 4:15 boat happy to see it waiting at the dock. But at 4:10 as we were arriving at the dock the crew began to take off he rope. We thought he was just preparing but then off it went. There were about 20 of us left on the dock. The next boat was not for 45 minutes!!! C'est la vie.

We caught the 5pm boat and enjoyed our walk back home. This is not something to do if you have only one or two days. There is far too much food to eat, places to stroll and old buildings to admire to do that.
Written August 13, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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