Getting to the islands is easy enough: you can go to the sea station and buy a ticket for a pleasure boat or a ferry with crowds of tourists. But if you're a lover of luxury and comfort, then we suggest you charter our new comfortable catamaran and visit the Lerin Islands on an exciting sailing trip.
There's no variety of cafés, restaurants, shops or kiosks on the Lerins Islands. That's why our service includes lunch on board the catamaran. There is a chef's menu with more than 30 dishes to choose from. We provide comfortable boat trips to the French islands.
A little history on the Lerins Islands
St Honore (St Honorat) is said to have come to the island of Lérins in the 5th century AD and founded the first Christian monastery in Gaul, while his sister Margaret settled on neighbouring Leroux, where a female division of the monastery emerged with her participation.
The islands were later renamed Saint Honore and Saint Marguerite in their honour. On St Margaret's (St Margaret's), a mysterious man in an iron mask was held for 11 years at Fort Royal Prison.
Lérins Abbey was almost completely destroyed in the 18th century and rebuilt 100 years later. On St Margaret's Island, a fort with a wall and bastions was built in the 17th century on the orders of Cardinal Richelieu. It had a defensive function for several decades before becoming a prison.
What to see in St Margaret's Island?
The main attraction on St Margaret's Island is the old Royal Fort, which dates back to the 17th century. Its strong walls and heavy cannons protected the harbour from pirate ships raiding French coastal towns.
#1. Royal Fort
Eventually the situation changed, the pirates were done away with, and from 1737 the mighty fort was transformed into a regular prison, from which it was impossible to escape.
The prison is shrouded in many legends, and tour guides tell us that the Iron Mask prisoner, who served as the prototype for literary and film characters, was once held here. The old prison now houses a modern dive centre as well as a unique maritime museum.
Royal Island Fort visiting times
- The Royal Fort is open daily from June to September from 10:00 to 17:45.
- In April and May it is 10:00 to 17:45, with an intermission from 13:15 to 14:15 on all days except Mondays.
- During the rest of the month the schedule is the same, but the fort closes an hour earlier at 4:45 pm.
- Tickets cost 4 EUR for adults, while students and children may visit the fort free of charge.
Current times and prices of tickets need to be checked on the day of your trip.
#2. Museum of the Sea on Saint Margaret Island
The Maritime Museum is located on the fortress island of Saint Margaret in Lérins. You can either visit it on your own or take a guide, although most guided tours are conducted in French. The fortress is large and has prison casemates, a Museum of the Sea with archaeological finds, a chapel and many viewing platforms.
#3. Iron Mask and Royal Ford Museum
Not far from Cannes, on the largest of the Lérins, the island of Saint-Marguerite, is the Musée de la Mer, occupying the oldest part of Fort Royal in the Vauban style.
Located in Fort Royal in the Bay of Cannes, the Musée des Masques de Fer and Fort Royal (formerly the Musée de la Mer) is an archaeological museum. Ancient artefacts from land and sea are collected here.
- Admission is free on the 1st Sunday of each month, from November to March inclusive.
- For children under 18 and students under 26, admission is free all year round.
#4. Beaches in the Lérins Islands
There is a small beach not far from the fort, but it is stony and not very comfortable for swimming. On the other side of the island there is a beach with fine sand, more suitable for a beach holiday. All beaches in the Lerinski Islands are wild, without any infrastructure.
#5. Saint-Honoré (St Honorat) Island
St Honore Island, the smaller of the two inhabited islands of the Lérins archipelago, is 'hidden' behind St Margaret's Island. St Honore is home to the oldest abbey of the Monastery of Lérins.
Lérins Abbey on the island is maintained in excellent condition. The main building of the monastery was erected in the 19th century, so few elements of the ancient buildings have survived. Entrance to Lerin Monastery is free.
The monastery is an active one, housing 30 monks who make wine and harvest olives from their land. The monks keep a vow of silence and their voices can only be heard in church - choral singing is not covered by the vow.
What souvenirs can you buy in St Honore
You can buy locally produced wines and liqueurs, olive oil and honey on the island. Learn more about the famous wines of the Lérins Monks. Discover the famous wine of the Lerino monks. Find out more in this article.
The island is quite small and more rocky: you can't swim here, though it's a good place for divers.
You can book a boat trip to Lerins Island for 1 day or more:
- It can be a 1-day itinerary around the resort town;
- A 2-day itinerary for a weekend or at a time of your choice with an overnight stay on a catamaran;
- You can also choose an itinerary of 3 or more days for a boat trip on the Côte d'Azur with a visit to Lerins Island for 1 day.
Signature Sailing Charter offer a full range of services to organise your holiday in Cannes. Book it now and travel later! Your sea cruise will be in complete comfort, accompanied by a crew of three: a captain, a chef and a stewardess.
Signature Concept for 8 guests with comfortable cabins;
Signature Vision for 10 guests with comfortable cabins.
Take advantage of our hot offer in May and June
A boat trip to Lerins Islands for 1, 2 or more days with a discount of 5 to 10%. Find out more at the link.
Our service offers convenient dining options: either on board a sailing catamaran or on the shore in a restaurant recommended by us. Ask our manager about Lerins Island sea cruises organised by Signature Sailing Charter.
We wish you a fabulous holiday!