The stunning French islands are spread out over the Mediterranean like diamonds in clear waters. Corsica is a raw and untamed beauty where mountains dance with the sea, offering a haven for adventurers and nature lovers. Imagine sipping rosé on the beach while the scents of maquis dance in the air, and you'll see why the French coast is just Magnifique!
The lovely Atlantic archipelagos invite you to explore its limitless sandy beaches. It's a place where oysters and pine woods rule the highest, and carefree days dissolve into breathtaking sunsets. Atlantic Coast simply knows how to make your heart sing!
Getting to the French Islands
French islands are spread between two sides of the country, the Mediterranean islands are in the South-East and the Atlantic in the West of France, so you can use multiple modes of transport to get to all of them. For the Mediterranean, we would suggest using Le Castellet Airport. For the Atlantic, you can use one of three major airports there, which are Châteaubriant - Pouancé Airport, Redon - Bains-sur-Oust Airport, and Saint-Nazaire Montoir Airport.
If you don’t want to fly, you can always use major train operators of the country, SNCF, or TGV (high-speed trains) that will take you to key places in the country. However, from island to island, it will be best to use local boat services offered by local companies.
The islands in France are some of the best places in the world to relax and escape the urban jungle most of us live in. These destinations are charming and welcoming and will make you feel like you want to spend the rest of your life on the island. However, there are some things everyone should know before travelling to French Islands. Apart from the basic summer tips, like packing sunscreen and a hat, you should remember to always stay hydrated. Even if the day is windy, the sun is still very strong in those places, so make sure to pack a big bottle of water with you, especially when going to the beach or on a hike. Respect the local culture, and try to learn some basic French phrases beforehand. The locals will surely value your attempt to appreciate their home and culture. Also, plan for ferry schedules. The connections between islands are usually limited, so make sure you know when and where to wait to avoid surprises. And most important of all, remember to relax and soap up the magic island atmosphere!
South France is known for its sun, so it’s usually very hot, especially in the summer. West is likely to be more windy, but still quite warm, so don’t be afraid to put on some summer clothes! However, this weather applies mostly to the summer season, winter is winter after all, so we definitely recommend going there at a warmer time!
Best French Islands in the Mediterranean
Discover the enchantment of Corsica Island, a beautiful Mediterranean jewel. The steep mountains will mesmerise you as you explore the gorgeous beaches and crystal-clear waters. Corsica, often known as Corse, is a must-see vacation in France because it combines natural beauty with adventure.
Immerse yourself in the island's rich history and culture, and don't miss out on the exquisite food. Corsica will provide you with amazing experiences, whether you're hiking in ancient ruins or soaking in the vibrant beach atmosphere. This Mediterranean paradise shows the best that France has to offer. Try this full-day Scandola water tour with a lunch stop at Girolata!
Scandola Nature Reserve
Scandola is a nature reserve on Corsica's western coast. It is well-known for its extraordinary panorama and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The reserve includes both land and marine habitats, with 900 hectares of land and 1,000 hectares of sea. The shoreline reveals red granite cliffs rising from the blue seas of the Mediterranean Sea. Many bird species, including eagles and cormorants, live on these cliffs.
Scandola's marine area is similarly stunning, with crystal-clear waters and marine life. It is home to a wide variety of marine habitats, including underwater caves, grottoes, and coral formations. Scandola is strictly protected due to its ecological significance and pure condition in order to maintain its unique biodiversity. The reserve's access is restricted and regulated to ensure the preservation of its natural resources. You can explore Scandola by boat, with a guided trip allowing you to see its stunning landscapes and widespread wildlife.
Gulf of Porto (Golfo de Porto)
The Golfo de Porto, often known as the Gulf of Porto, is a picturesque bay on Corsica's western coast. It lies in the same area as the Scandola Nature Reserve, so you can visit two places at the same time! The shore of the Gulf of Porto is one of Corsica's most famous sights, and for a good reason: its stunning sculpted red rock and sweeping bays are unbelievable until you're actually there.
The Calanche of Piana, a series of beautiful red granite rock formations that tower tall along the beach, is a noteworthy feature of the Gulf of Porto. Nature carved fascinating designs and sculptures into these rough rocks over millions of years. The Calanche of Piana is another UNESCO World Heritage site and a famous tourist destination. So many World Heritages in one place!
Capo Rosso is also famous for its natural arch, which is known as the "Arche de Capo Rosso" or "Arche de Piana." This natural structure contributes to the area's attraction by providing a magnificent backdrop against the sea and rocks.
Hiking enthusiasts can discover the Capo Rosso region on a breathtaking hike. There are various pathways that lead to the headland, allowing you to see Corsica's unique flora and fauna while climbing to the summit. It should be noted that the paths might be difficult and need a moderate degree of physical condition.
Places to stay
Budget - Hotel Restaurant Le Filosorma
A cosy and affordable hotel near the centre of attractions
Mid-range - Hôtel Le Bastia
A modern hotel, with a pool, a fitness centre, private parking, a shared lounge, and a bar.
Luxury - Napoleon
Located in the heart of the island, just a few steps from the beaches and tourist attractions. It provides soundproof, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and a safe.
The magnificent paradise of the Iles d'Hyères is commonly known as the Golden Islands, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Hyèes. Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Le Levant, and Île du Bagaud are four beautiful islands to check out. Relax on the sandy beaches of Porquerolles and dive into the crystal-clear waters.
Try this sea excursion in Porquerolles. Set out on an exciting adventure at Port-Cros, a national park popular for hiking and aquatic exploration. Enjoy the independence of Le Levant's natural resorts and the stunning coastline. Île du Bagaud is known as the wildlife sanctuary home to a broad range of birds and flora. The Iles d'Hyères provide a unique island escape in the Mediterranean.
Hyères is a lovely town on France's French Riviera in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Located between Toulon and St. Tropez, is a beautiful combination of historical charm, natural beauty, and a dynamic beach lifestyle. The town is famous for its gorgeous old town, Vieille Ville, which features small, meandering alleys surrounded with architecture reflecting its rich history, including medieval structures, pastel-coloured houses, and beautiful squares enhanced with fountains and outdoor cafés. The place is a true definition of Provençe!
The town is famous for its palm-lined alleys and wealth of green spaces, such as the beautiful Jardins Olbius Riquier. Visit Plage de l'Almanarre and Plage de la Capte for a full summer experience - two popular sandy beaches that attract both sun seekers and water sports lovers.
Porquerolles is a magnificent island near Hyères. This is not a place for boredom, since Porquerolles has so many interesting activities to offer! You may explore the rich marine life and underwater tunnels by snorkelling or scuba diving, or just get around the beach via kayaking and paddleboarding. Visit Fort Sainte Agathe, a historic military fort built on the top of the hill. It provides breathtaking views of the island and the surrounding sea.
Another must-see in Porquerolles is its vineyards and wine production. Visit a local winery to try some of the island's original wines. Guided tours are also available to learn about the winemaking process and the island's viticultural legacy. Whatever you choose, you simply cannot get bored on this island. And if you get tired of mentioned activities, simply lay on a beach and enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean waters!
The island of Port-Cros is best known for its unspoiled beauty, so the ultimate must-see here is Port-Cros National Park. In fact, you don’t even have to visit the park, because the entire island is protected as a National Park itself! The park is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including rare birds, reptiles, and marine life. Some of what you can see here is a diverse array of fish, dolphins, and even sea turtles!
Make sure to visit Fort du Moulin. It is a historical landmark on Port-Cross, located on a hill. The fort was built in the nineteenth century as a defensive fortification. Today, it provides breathtaking views of the island and the area around it. As a bonus, since it’s only about 3 hours from Saint-Tropez, it’s a perfect opportunity to try this kayaking adventure in Saint-Tropez!
Le Levant, also known as Île du Levant, is a small and secluded island, a part of the Îles d'Hyères archipelago. is best known as a naturist vacation spot. It has earned a reputation as one of the few naturist places in France. Héliopolis is a naturist village on the island where clothes are optional. Naturists and those interested in the nudist lifestyle come here to feel free and to reconnect with nature.
Le Levant is a quiet place, but not boring! Try hiking or snorkeling, to see the beautiful marine life. It’s the perfect spot for underwater observation! Le Levant is also home to the historical Phare du Titan lighthouse. Located on a cliff, the lighthouse provides panoramic views of the surrounding waters and the island itself. It helps with navigation and changes your entire perspective on the island's beauty. Most of all, however, Le Levant reflects a relaxed and serene lifestyle. There are very few cars on the island, to ensure visitors can walk without any disruptions, relax on the beaches and try a slower pace for a moment.
Île du Bagaud
Île du Bagaud is also known as Bagaud Island. In fact, it’s part of the previously mentioned Prt-Cros Natural Park, so it gives you a chance to explore even more of what Mediterranean nature has to offer. The island of Bagaud is home to a wide variety of plant types, including rare and indigenous species. The vegetation on the island is made up of coastal scrub, Mediterranean plants, and some Aleppo pines, so if you’re fascinated with this field, be sure to visit the island for research, or just admiration!
Île du Bagaud is significant archaeologically, with signs of human settlement extending back to ancient times! Excavations have uncovered Roman ruins such as the villa and thermal baths. These archaeological sites provide insight into the island's history and an incredible tourist attraction! Since the island is very important on so many levels, we advise you to check the access to the island before coming. The regulations may change from time to time.
Places to stay
Budget - Les îles d'or
Lovely apartments right by the beach.
Mid-range - Terrasse plein Sud
Fully equipped, beautiful apartments with a view.
Luxury - Best Western Plus Hyères Côte D'Azur
A very reliable, high-standard hotel with all facilities you could wish for.
Iles de Lérins
The lovely Iles de Lérins are located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cannes. These four islands offer gorgeous shores, clear waters, and lush greenery. The exploration possibilities are unlimited, whether you like walking or taking a boat or kayak excursion. We’re sure this Round-Trip Ferry to Ste. Marguerite Island from Cannes will satisfy you!
Don't miss a chance to see the ancient Fort Royal and its breathtaking views. For those looking for a glimpse into the past, the monasteries and chapels that dot the islands have history and culture that's just waiting to be discovered. Since it’s very close to Cannes, we recommend joining the Festival of Pyrotechnic Art Fireworks from the water!
L'Île Sainte-Marguerite, or Sainte-Marguerite Island, is a lovely Mediterranean Sea island located just off the coast of Cannes, France. It is the largest of the Lérins Islands. Fort Royal, a historical fortification dating back to the 17th century, is one of the main attractions of Île Sainte-Marguerite. It is well-known for hiding the mysterious "Man in the Iron Mask" during the 17th century. The fort is now a museum where you can hear about its history, wander around its courtyards, and enjoy panoramic views from its towers.
Plage de la Pointe de la Convention and Plage de la Batterie are popular sandy beaches on the island for a more peaceful vacation. They are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and swimming in its crystal clear waters.
L'Île Saint-Honorat is the second largest island on the archipelago, just off the coast of Cannes. Its main attraction is the Lérins Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that dates back to the 5th century. The abbey is still an active religious site and is inhabited by a community of monks who live a contemplative lifestyle.
The island is renowned as a place of retreat and spiritual reflection. The island's tranquil atmosphere and the presence of the monastery draw pilgrims and individuals seeking seclusion and a break from the contemporary world. If you need to find your inner peace, this island is a definite must-visit.
Places to Stay
Budget - Charmant Studio
A charming studio with an excellent location.
Mid-range - Cannes Palm Beach plage 2 minutes à pieds
A comfortable apartment in Cannes, just 200m from the beach.
Luxury - Juliana Hotel Cannes
A luxurious 5-star hotel in Cannes, close to all attractions and festivals.
Best French Islands in the Atlantic
Ile-de-Ré, a lovely island in the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of France, is a dream vacation for those seeking calm getaways. This island attracts travellers from all over the world with its clean sandy beaches, charming villages, and jaw-dropping nature. Take a relaxing bike ride or a refreshing walk to immerse yourself in vineyards, salt marshes, and breathtaking dunes.
Visit the Vauban Fortifications, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and sample the local delicacies at lively markets and seafood restaurants as you explore. From adrenaline-pumping water sports to peaceful fishing locations, Ile-de-Ré has something for everyone. Take a look at this coastline sailing cruise from La Rochelle!
Phare des Baleines
The Phare des Baleines has a long history dating back to the early nineteenth century. It was built to help ships navigate the treacherous waters around the island, particularly the dangerous "Whale Rocks" (Les Baleines). The lighthouse was critical in guaranteeing the safety of the region's maritime trade. The lighthouse is a famous landmark on Île de Ré, because of its unique construction and picturesque setting.
Visitors can climb the spiral staircase of the tower to reach the lantern room and enjoy the panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring village of Saint-Clément-des-Baleines. In the marine museum next to the lighthouse you can learn about the island's maritime past, the history of the lighthouse, and the lives of the lighthouse keepers. The museum includes things, pictures, and displays connected to Île de Ré's maritime heritage.
the Fort la Prée
Fort la Prée is one of the island's oldest fortresses. It was built during the reign of Louis XIII in the 17th century to defend the island from possible invasions and maritime dangers. Today, the fortification operates as a museum, educating visitors about the island's history and the role of the fort in its defence. Fort la Prée is surrounded by beautiful gardens that add to its charm and peaceful atmosphere. Don't forget to just stroll through the gardens, taking in the scenery and relaxing in the peaceful environment. We promise you it's worth it!
The museum organises cultural events and activities such as exhibitions, concerts, and historical reenactments on occasion. These events allow you to learn more about the island's history and experience it on your own. It’s worth noting that the fortress offers guided tours, so be sure to check that out before you come!
Abbaye des Châteliers
The Abbaye des Châteliers dates from the 12th century and is historically and architecturally significant. It was founded as a Cistercian monastery and played an important role in the religious and cultural life of the Île de Ré. The Abbaye des Châteliers eventually fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Today, tourists may see the symbolic abbey ruins, which have been restored and serve as a mesmerising reminder of the island's medieval history.
The abbey is surrounded by lovely gardens. The calm scenery and peaceful environment make it a great destination for visitors to explore and unwind. Interpretive panels located throughout the whole place provide historical background and information about the Abbaye des Châteliers. Visitors can learn about the significance of the monastery, the monks' everyday lives, and the architectural components of the complex.
Places to stay
Budget - Camping Les Fougères
A comfortable 3-star camping place just 2km from the nearest beach.
Mid-range - Hôtel Les Grenettes
An ideal place with a big pool and just 200m from the beach.
Luxury - Hôtel Le Galion
A modern, luxurious hotel with gourmand meals.
Discover the lovely Ile d'Oléron, France's largest Atlantic Ocean island. This lovely island is a beach lover's paradise, with stunning sandy beaches and charming villages. Immerse yourself in the pristine waters, soak up the sun, or participate in fascinating water sports.
If you're looking for adventure, go hiking or cycling around the island's stunning scenery. Indulge in the island's restaurants' excellent, fresh fish and beautiful local cuisine. Don't miss the 17th-century fortress and the magnificent 13th-century lighthouse. Discover the appeal and beauty of Ile d'Oléron, the ideal French island escape.
Fort Boyard was built in the mid-nineteenth century to safeguard the French coastline and Rochefort harbour from potential attacks. During the Napoleonic era, it was part of a broader coastal defence system and played an essential strategic role in the island's defence. Fort Boyard is located in the Pertuis d'Antioche strait between the islands of Oléron and Aix. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean and can only be reached by boat. The fort's setting adds to its magnificent aspect. Imagine this view!
Although Fort Boyard is a well-known landmark, it is not open to the public on a regular basis. It is well known for its television appearances, most notably on the popular game show "Fort Boyard," in which participants accomplish physical and mental challenges within the fort's walls. With that said, we advise you to check the accessibility beforehand to avoid surprises!
Citadell du Château d’Oléron
The Citadelle du Château d'Oléron is also known as the Citadel of Château d'Oléron. It was constructed in the 17th century to protect the island and its crucial salt marshes from potential invasions. You can visit the citadel's ancient features such as the gates, ramparts, and watchtowers. The stronghold also has a church, Chapelle Saint-Nicolas, that is a must-see while visiting the citadel.
The Citadelle du Château d'Oléron houses a museum where you can find out about the citadel and the Île d'Oléron's history. Cultural events like exhibitions, concerts, and festivals are periodically held at the citadel. These events allow you to experience the cultural vibrancy of Île d'Oléron and its surrounding region. Climb up the citadel walls, enjoying panoramic views of Château d'Oléron, the harbour, and the surrounding countryside. The magnificent scenery provides a memorable setting for exploring and appreciating the charm of the island.
Le P’tit Train de Saint-Trojan
The Train de Saint-Trojan takes you on a magnificent tour of Saint-Trojan-les-Bains and its surrounds on the Île d'Oléron. The train ride takes you through beautiful scenery such as beaches, forests, and stunning coastal areas.
During the train ride, a guide comments on the island's history, culture, and natural aspects. You can learn fascinating facts and stories about the island's history and importance in the region while enjoying a relaxing ride by the beautiful greenery.
Places to stay
Budget - Les Jardins d'Oléron
Very lovely hotel with a pool in a beautiful area.
Mid-range - Hôtel L'Albatros
A modern hotel with a perfect location, delicious meals, and a lovely garden.
Luxury - Logis Hôtel de la Plage
A colourful hotel with a swimming pool and a prime location close to the beach.
Best French Islands in the Atlantic
Mont St Michel
The beautiful Mont St Michel is located in the fascinating region of Normandy, France. The beautiful abbey that stands tall as a witness to generations past draws in tourists to this hidden jewel. This UNESCO World Heritage site draws millions of visitors each year, captivated by its medieval elegance and rich history. Here you can buy entry tickets quickly!
Prepare to be amazed as you stroll its old streets, immersed in the past. The island, surrounded by tidal waters, offers a truly unique setting, with panoramic views of the lovely harbour. Discover the allure of Mont St Michel, a charming island retreat where history comes alive.
Abbaye du Mont St Michel
The Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel, often known as Mont Saint-Michel monastery, is a world-famous medieval monastery on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy, France. The history of the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel stretches back to the 8th century. It began as a tiny chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael and grew into a notable pilgrimage place and a prominent Benedictine abbey.
The abbey is well-known for its beautiful architecture and unique setting on a rocky island. The structure of the abbey is a testimony to medieval design and skill. In 1979, the abbey and surrounding harbour were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in consideration of its historical and architectural significance. It is seen as a model of the medieval Christian vision of the heavenly Jerusalem. Visit the Abbaye du Mont-Saint-Michel provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding bay, the island, and the charming medieval settlement that sprang up at the abbey's foot.
La Tour Gabriel
La Tour Gabriel, also known as the Gabriel Tower, is one of the prominent structures located within the Mont Saint-Michel abbey complex. The Gabriel Tower was built in the 13th century as a defensive construction for the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel. It was created in reaction to the changing military strategies of the time. The inside of La Tour Gabriel is not open to the public because it is not one of the abbey's visitable sites.
You can, however, appreciate its stunning exterior while exploring the abbey complex. La Tour Gabriel is a prominent monument inside the Mont Saint-Michel site, with its distinguishing look and historical significance. While La Tour Gabriel is not open to the public, it is a testimony to Mont Saint-Michel's defensive past and remains a vital part of the architectural ensemble that is simply a must-see!
Alligator Bay is a popular reptile and wildlife park located near Mont Saint-Michel. Alligator Bay's mission is to educate people about reptiles and conservation. The park teaches visitors about the various species, their habitats, and the problems they face in the wild. You can learn about reptiles and their function in ecosystems through interactive displays and informative presentations. Alligators and crocodiles can be seen in their native surroundings, and you will see their feeding habits and feeding sessions. Hands-on experiences, such as touching a snake or getting up close and personal with smaller reptiles, are also available.
Alligator Bay also has lovely botanical gardens where you can explore a variety of plants, trees, and flowers in addition to the reptile exhibits. The gardens add to the whole experience by providing a tranquil environment. Alligator Bay performs daily exhibitions and demonstrations to demonstrate reptile behaviour and capabilities. Overall, it's an enjoyable experience for both families and young folks travelling with friends.
Places to stay
Budget - Le Saint Aubert
A lovely budget hotel, just 2km from Mont Saint-Michel.
Mid-range - Mercure Mont Saint Michel
Modern hotel with delicious regional meals and seafood offered.
Luxury - La Vieille Auberge
Beautiful, fully equipped hotel just a quick stroll from the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey.
Ile de Noirmoutier
Ile de Noirmoutier is a hidden jewel in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of western France. With its beautiful beaches and tiny towns, this gorgeous island will take you to a world of quiet happiness. Immerse yourself in the island's rich history and diverse landscapes, which range from salt marshes to enchanting forests.
Take part in fascinating outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and bold water sports. Enjoy the pleasures of the island's famous seafood and local delicacies like fresh oysters and mouthwatering salted caramel. Ile de Noirmoutier, with its beautiful appeal, promises an exceptional vacation experience!
Château de Noirmoutier
The Château de Noirmoutier has a fascinating history dating back to the 11th century. It was built to defend against Viking attacks and to act as a strategic fortress during several periods of conflict. Because of its construction and repairs over the ages, the castle displays a diversity of architectural styles. It has medieval components like strong stone walls, towers, and a keep, as well as Renaissance additions.
The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and lawns. You can stroll through the variety of greenery and admire the castle's architecture. Throughout the year, the Château de Noirmoutier conducts a variety of events and activities. These may include guided tours, historical reenactments, art exhibitions, and cultural festivals commemorating the island's history.
Saint Philbert Church
The Saint Philbert Church, also known as Église Saint-Philbert, is a historic church located in the town of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île on the Île de Noirmoutier. Saint Philbert Church has a rich history dating back to the 11th century. It is dedicated to Saint Philbert, a French saint who lived during the early medieval period as a monk. You can visit the inside of Saint Philbert Church, which commonly comprises a nave, side aisles, and a choir.
Architectural characteristics and ornamental components reflect numerous construction and remodelling phases in the church's existence. The Saint Philbert Church is a functioning centre of worship, providing religious services and festivities on a regular basis. Throughout the year, it may also serve as a location for special events and cultural activities such as concerts or local celebrations.
Bois de la Chaize
Bois de la Chaize is a picturesque forested area, known for its natural beauty and serene atmosphere. It features a mix of pine trees, dunes, and sandy paths, creating a tranquil and idyllic setting for relaxation and exploration. Within Bois de la Chaize, there are several beautiful beaches that attract visitors. Prepare to enjoy the warm sand and clear waters, while smelling both the oceanic and the forest air. Make sure to visit La Clère, a natural spring nestled within the Bois de la Chaize. It is a tiny pond that provides a peaceful setting for reflection and relaxation. Trees shade the area around La Clère, giving a refreshing and tranquil ambience.
Villa St. Louis, a historic villa erected in the nineteenth century, is also located in Bois de la Chaize. The villa's particular architecture adds to the forested area's charm and individuality. On the Île of Noirmoutier, the Bois de la Chaize provides a peaceful and natural escape for tourists. Its sandy beaches, quiet paths, and leafy woods make it ideal for relaxation, nature walks, and beach activities. Whether you're looking for seclusion or outdoor activity, Bois de la Chaize is a must-visit!
Places to stay
Budget - Appartement bord de mer
An affordable apartment right by the beach.
Mid-range - Appartement l'Herbaudière
A cosy apartment, very close to the Liniere Beach.
Luxury - Les Yeux Bleus Bed & Breakfast
A fabulous hotel with a swimming pool and very close to the beach.