This tiny archipelago, part of Jersey’s Coastal National Park, is one of the Channel Islands best kept secrets. You feel like you are the middle of the ocean but you are only 9.6 kilometres north-east of Jersey. The main islets in the group which remain above water at high tide are Maîtr’Île, which is the largest at 300 metres long, La Marmotchiéthe and Lé Bliantch’Île. At low tide the archipelago’s landmass triples in size and the landscape becomes more like a moonscape with the rocky islets linked by sandbanks.
There is plenty to do with rock pools to explore and the shallow waters are perfect for paddle-boarding, swimming and fishing for seabass from the shore. Sea kayaking around the islets is also an incredible experience. Advanced paddlers can get to the islands under their own steam from Jersey, whilst the less experienced can rent kayaks taken out to the islands on RIB’s.
The islets have an interesting history starting in the 1200’s when a small chapel existed with priory accommodation for a monk and servant who lit a navigation light every night. In the 17th century smugglers used the island to transfer lead and gunpowder to St Malo and thereafter came a succession of self-styled king’s, fugitives and fishermen.
Today none of the islets have permanent residents, there are a few fishermen’s huts dotted around some of which are used as holiday homes and there is a customs house on La Marmotchiéthe. The 15 minute RIB-ride that leaves from St Catherine’s Breakwater in the north-east of Jersey is an exhilarating trip with plenty of wildlife to spot on the way including Atlantic grey seals, basking sharks and bottlenose dolphins. There is a recommended code of conduct for visitors to allow the bird breeding season to go on without disruption. It is possible to stay overnight in basic accommodation in the Customs House bookable with Jersey Customs.
You may also be interested in:
- Walks from Rozel Harbour to St Catherine’s Breakwater or Bonne Nuit Bay
- Discover Jersey’s Occupation story
- Walk to tidal L’Islet (Elizabeth Castle) from St Helier
- Discover the horrible histories of Mount Orgueil
- Go glamping at the Durrel Wildlife Park
- Try some of the best seafood in the Channel Islands
- Swim or walk on the best beaches in Jersey
- Enjoy a seafood BBQ in a WW2 bunker
- Visit one of the ten oldest buildings in the world
The other Channel Islands are also excellent walking destinations and, together with Jersey, walks around their coast paths form the 110 mile Channel Island Way.
Guernsey – find out about walking in Guernsey, Guernsey’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Sark – find out about walking in Sark, Sark’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Herm – find out about walking in Herm, Herm’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Alderney – find out about walking in Alderney, Alderney’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Other islands in the British Isles
We have explored nearly 600 islands in the British Isles and are trying to write them up as fast as we can. Check more here or contact us as we are happy to share our info.
Our two books are stacked with more ideas on what to do in the Channel Islands and more more info here