Location

Ste Marguerite, Iles de Lerin with rocky cover and large tree
Sainte Marguerite Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Getting to the Iles de Lérins is easy, it’s just a wonderful 15 to 20 minute ferry ride. And they are fabulous, these secret islands off Cannes. So here are the reasons to go! The Iles de Lérins represent the Mediterranean in miniature. The two islands are so near to chic but consumerist Cannes, yet so far away in spirit. This is the quiet Côte d’Azur before the cinema crowd moved in. Even the breezy crossing is cool Cannes – without the bling or billionaire company. While away an afternoon over a waterside picnic, enjoy a wine tasting with monks, or walk past creeks to the next dip in turquoise waters.

Both islands are made for walking, picnicking, swimming, snoozing and dreaming. Come for spiritual sustenance on the monastic island of Saint Honorat. The Cistercian brothers will also tempt you with their Bordeaux-style wines, monastic liqueurs and Mediterranean feasts in their island restaurant.

Whether picnicking or praying, come to clear your head of Cannes. There’s only so much chic boutique-hopping most mortals can take. And the unworldly Brothers are better salesmen too.

View over rooftops with mountains in background and sea to right
Ste Marguerite Lisa Gerard Sharp

The article The Iles de Lérins off Cannes tells you all you need to know about visiting the islands: walking, swimming, wine tasting and dining.

Getting to the Iles de Lérins

Viewof Cannes in background and ferry on way in the Med to the isles de Lerins
The ferry from Cannes to the Isles de Lérins © OT Cannes

It’s a short crossing to the car-free islands from Cannes (15-20 minutes) and slightly longer from La Napoule. You can’t visit both islands on one boat trip: return to Cannes for the second cruise or, even better, do it another day, combined with the ravishing Corniche d’Or cruise of the Esterel Coast.

Getting to Ile Sainte Marguerite

Ile Sainte Marguerite: do the boat trip from Cannes, Mandelieu La Napoule, Golfe Juan, or Nice. Different companies offer different ports of departure. It’s quickest (and cheapest) from Cannes, followed by La Napoule, Golfe Juan and Nice. If cruising from Nice, treat it as a day trip to include the Corniche d’Or (Esterel Coast) as well. Try a variant on the basic cruise, combining Sainte Marguerite with a dinner cruise, regatta, fireworks display, catamaran cruise, or a sail along the Corniche d’Or.

Map of Ile Ste Marguerite
Ile Sainte Marguerite Office de Tourisme de Cannes

Compagnie Riviera Lines
Quai Laubeuf
06400 Cannes
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 98 71 31
Website

Cannes to Sainte Marguerite
Daily departures from 7.30am to 7pm (the crossing takes 15 minutes). Return services run from 7.45am to 6pm.
Return tickets: 15€ adults, 13.50 € for students, 11 to 14 years and seniors, 9.50€ for children 5 to 10 years; free for children under 5.

Cannes to Sainte Marguerite and the Corniche d’Or, the ‘Golden Coast’
Return tickets 34€ adults, 22€ children 4 to 10 years. Under 4 years free
Departures: April 4 to September 9: Wednesday and Friday
July 1 to August 30: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
This glorious trip combines the island and one of the loveliest stretches of coast on the Riviera.

Golfe Juan to Sainte Marguerite and the Corniche d’Or, the ‘Golden Coast’
Return tickets from Golfe Juan: 39€ adult, 28€ children 4 to 10 years. Under 4 years free
Same departure dates and times as for Cannes to Sainte Marguerite

Trans Côte d’Azur
Quai Laubeuf
06400 Cannes
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 98 71 30
Website

Cannes to Sainte Marguerite
Daily departures from Cannes run from 7.30am to 6pm (the crossing takes 15 minutes). Return services run from 7.45am to 6pm.
Return tickets: 15€ adults, 13.50€ students, 11 to 14 years and seniors, 9.50€ for the under 10, free for children under 5. Book online for a discount on these prices (tickets are valid for one month).

Nice to Sainte Marguerite
Departures from Nice run from 9am for 10am-6pm on Sainte Marguerite returning to Nice at 7pm for this full day cruising.
Dates: May 21 to June 30 and September 3 to 29: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
July 2 to September 1: daily except Mondays.
Return tickets: 41€ adults, 32€ children 4 to 10 years. Under 4 years free
Book online or by tel: (+33) (0)4 92 00 42 30

Nice to Sainte Marguerite and the Corniche d’Or
Departures from Nice 9am, return 7pm full day cruising to both islands
Dates: July 3 to August 30
Return tickets: 50€ adults, 40€ children 4 to 10 years. Under 4 years free
Book online or by tel: (+33) (0)4 92 00 42 30
Also cruises to see the fireworks off Cannes around Bastille Day, Monaco Grand Prix, Regattas and Flea Markets in St Tropez

Compagnie Maritime Napouloise
La Napoule Port
Tel: (+33) (0)6 25 33 40 84
Website

Mandelieu-La Napoule cruise to Sainte Marguerite
Departures: from 9.15am to 5.30pm returning from 9.40am to 6pm.
Dates: May 19 to September 22 daily except Mondays
Return ticket: 19€ adults, students, 11 to 14 years and seniors 17.50€. Under 4 years free

Warm stone Chateau at Chateau at Mandelieu La Napoule from the sea
Chateau at Mandelieu La Napoule Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mandelieu-La Napoule cruise to Sainte Marguerite and the Esteril
Catamaran cruise departures: May-September, Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm inc the chance to snorkel and bathe and meal on board.
Tickets: 108€ adults, 66€ children 4 to 10 years.
Half day afternoon tours are 3 to 5pm and cost 57€ adults and 47€ children 4 to 10 years.
See the website for more cruises.
They also depart from Théoule-sur-Mer.

Getting to Ile Saint Honorat

Ile Saint Honorat: there are fewer crossings to St Honorat as the resident monks value their privacy. Leave from Cannes on the island’s only ferry line, Planaria, and you can combine a visit with magnificent Corniche d’Or cruise.

Ile Saint Honorat
Planaria
Quai Laubeuf
06400 Cannes
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 98 71 38
Website
http://www.cannes-ilesdelerins.com/en/nos-bateaux/

Cannes to St Honorat: (15 minute-crossing):
Daily departures hourly from 8am to 5pm. Return hourly from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Return tickets booked online: 14.50€ adults; 14€ students, disabled and seniors; 13€ 13 to 18 year olds; 8.50€ 8 to 13 year olds, 5.50€ 4 to 8 year olds; children under 4 go free.
Check out the website for other possibilities like wine tastings.

Cannes – Office du Tourisme Palais des Festivals
1, Boulevard de la Croisette
06400 Cannes
Tel: (+) 33 (0)4 92 99 84 22
Website
Open daily, 9am-7pm, March-October
Cannes hotel booking on line

Walk to the hidden coves, go swimming off the rocks, take a picnic and chill out under the trees. Or see where The Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated.
Check it all out here.

More about the South of France
Travel Guide to Nice
The Riviera – Great Gatsby Style
Essential Guide to Provence

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