Bright blue water, fragrant forests, cool breezes, smugglers coves… Ile Sainte Marguerite may not have ice cream shops and parasols all over the place but it has far more character and hidden charms than your average beach.
The beaches nearest to the port are the busiest and the further you walk, the fewer people there are. None of the beaches are very big, so they don’t get too crowded and some require a bit of scrambling to get to which deters some of the crowds.
Access to the island is limited to boats, so there are many private yachts and dinghies bobbing about nearby; there is even a floating drinks bar that does laps of the island, just wave to the captain and he’ll bring it as close to shore as he can while you wade out to grab an ice cold can!
There are two restaurants on the island, including the seafood restaurant La Guerite, or you can always stock up at the Provencal market and take a picnic.
Setting & Location
The beaches on Ile Sainte Marguerite are tucked away in the curves of the twisting shoreline, waiting to be discovered. Paths leading through the sweet-smelling pine forests bring you to different parts of the small island.
Water Safety & Clarity
The sea here is fascinating; almost a mosaic of every shade of blue. Rocks, seaweed and plants beneath the surface create different shades and patterns that are so brightly coloured as to almost look unreal.
The beaches themselves are a mix of rocky coves, sandy bays and some a strange kind of wood-chip. They all have fabulous views either of the other island, Ile Saint Honorat, or of the Cannes to Antibes coastline. There is apparently also a nudist beach here but it is not signposted and, happily, we have not yet stumbled across it - maybe ask at the port if you want to seek it out.
Access to the island is only by boat. The ferry from Cannes to Ile Sainte-Marguerite costs 14.50€ return for an adult (€9.50 for a child) and runs from 07:30 to 18:00 daily. Alternatively, there are several boat trips that will take you to the island and may even include a stop off for some snorkelling or kayaking.