Often feted as one of the prettiest harbours in Europe, a walking tour of the flower-filled lanes and steep cobbled streets of St Peter Port is a great introduction to the island and there are plenty of great pitstops along the way.
Along the seafront, the Liberation Monument at St Julian’s Pier marks the main arrival point for ferries. Nearby, Victoria Pier and the old harbour and warehouses still retain many original features and are full of good eateries. At the southern end of the seafront Castle Cornet provides a spectacular backdrop to the town and with its museums, gardens, theatre productions and musical events is a popular attraction. Close by, Hauteville House, once home to French writer Victor Hugo during his exile from France and where he wrote Les Misérables, gives a wonderful insight into his character through the extravagantly decorated rooms. Walking from Town Church to Hugo’s house, look out for the plaque dedicated to three women who lost their lives after being accused of witchcraft, once a common practice in the island.
Within the town, Market Square’s Fresh Friday Market (Friday, 8.30 – 14.30) is a good place to pick up delicious local food. Beautiful parks and gardens line the town’s high points with Les Cotils Gardens, Cambridge Park, and restored Victorian Candie Gardens offering some great panoramas over St Peter Port harbour and beyond to the neighbouring islands. The views can be best appreciated from the top of Victoria tower. Built to commemorate a visit paid to the island in 1846 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Victor Hugo carved his name and that of his mistress here, the place they would secretly meet.