One week sailing cruise on the French Riviera – The Lérins Islands – Sainte Marguerite

Just offshore from the city of Cannes, the Lérins are a small archipelago made up of two smaller islets and two small marvelous islands: Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat.
Coming from Cannes, the first island you meet is Sainte Marguerite, the largest, owned by the city of Cannes, to which it was once connected by a Roman road that has now completely sunk. The distance that divides the island from the Pointe de la Croisette is very short and the stretch of sea is characterized by the presence of a large shoal, on which the road passed, to which particular attention must be paid with boats with a large draft.
Nabab, the largest sailboat in our fleet with a draft of 3.50 meters, cannot pass and therefore to get to Cannes from the Gulf of Juan Les Pins, during the weeks on a sailing boat on the Côte d’Azur, we are obliged to circumnavigate the island and pass the canal that divides it from Saint Honorat.
On the island, right in front of the shoal, there is an ancient shipyard, even the Romans used to haul their boats here for maintenance. Immediately next to the shipyards, there are the piers where the ferries that transport tourists from the port of Cannes to the island land. The same piers are used by a small sailing center and by our skippers to disembark guests who want to take a tour of the island to discover its beauties. In front of the piers there is a buoy field that welcomes boats up to 20 meters free of charge for a maximum of 15 days a year.
As soon as you disembark you will find a couple of restaurants and bars with a Provençal flavor and the climb that leads to the castle of Sainte Marguerite also known as Fort Royal. This castle built overlooking the sea at night is completely illuminated, the view from the boats is beautiful. Over the centuries the building was used for various tasks, including that of a prison, the most famous “guest” was the Iron Mask, the brother of Louis IV known as “the Sun King”. The entire castle can be visited and within its walls also contains study centers for young people who in the summer come to the island for study trips.
At the base of the Castle, just “pied dans l’eau” is one of the most famous restaurants on the entire Côte d’Azur, “La Gueritte” where you dine to the rhythm of music every day. Often during daily boat trips and skippered sailing holidays on the Côte d’Azur we anchor in front of the restaurant and our skippers accompany guests ashore who want to take advantage of the occasion.
Going ashore, the guests of our boats also have the opportunity to take beautiful walks along the tree-lined avenues of the island, enjoying the shade of the eucalyptus trees and other plants that thrive. At the northern end of the island there is also a magnificent pond in which you can see herons, ducks and many other birds typical of lake environments.
On the southern side of the island, the one facing Saint Honorat, there are some small beaches of very fine sand, where the water is turquoise and shallow and all the boats compete to see who can anchor closest to these areas.
Right there, where the water has a wonderful color, an ecomuseum of underwater statues has been created for some years by Jason DeCaires, a show that attracts all snorkelers to this stretch of sea.
Also on this side of the island, there is the only private property of Sainte Marguerite: the domain “Le Grand Jardin”.
During your sailing holidays on the Côte d’Azur and full weeks on a sailing boat with skipper on the Côte d’Azur, our crews will make you enjoy this splendid corner of the sea to the fullest, making you visit all the most beautiful and lesser known bays.
Good wind!