Beyond the world-renowned glitz and glamour of the French Rivera there are breathtaking landscapes to be discovered. A barely 20-minute ferry ride brings you to a gem of an island, the Ile Ste. Marguerite. It’s ideal to escape from the city beaches during the summer or simply for a nice, long walk year-round.
The island, located just off of Cannes, is famous for two main reasons. One: If you have read Alexandre Dumas’ classic, “Man in the Iron Mask,” then you already know a bit about the island. (Okay, or if you’ve seen the film!) This was where the famous jail mentioned in the book is located. The jail is open to tourists, and it is the only real attraction/museum on the island.
The second reason why the Ile Ste. Marguerite is so famous? Well, simply because it is stunning! There is a great view of the Cote d’Azur and stunning landscapes even if the island itself is rather small. There are nature trails, rocky beaches and plenty of places to take a dip. In the summer, expect a fair amount of people. From my experience, the side of the island closer to the port was almost empty. The other side, however, was jam-packed with people and boats. I’d imagine it would be almost empty in the off-season making it an amazing place for a tranquil walk and delicious picnic.
It took us the better part of the day to walk around the whole island. This was, of course, between getting lost, sneaking into abandoned buildings and stopping for lunch. (Internal trails make it quick to cross the island, but we took the long way!) I wouldn’t hesitate to say that a visit to the Ile Ste. Marguerite should be a must-see on any Riviera vacation.