Ile Sainte-Marguerite Vacation Packages

See the ancient fort where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned when you tour this picturesque island off the coast of Cannes.

The largest of the four Lérins Islands, Ile Sainte-Marguerite is a woodland retreat with a fascinating history. Stroll along trails among pine and eucalyptus trees and visit the fortress prison of one of the most enigmatic figures in French history.

The island is a short boat ride from Cannes. Once you have docked, walk east for 10 minutes to reach Fort Royal. This is where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned under the orders of King Louis XIV. To this day, the identity of the prisoner is still unknown. Some, including the writer Alexandre Dumas, speculated that he was the king's twin. Look inside the cell where the mysterious historical figure was kept for several years before being transferred to the Bastille.

The fort is also home to the Musée de la Mer, which chronicles the area’s maritime heritage. See the remains of boat wrecks and study Roman and Saracen ceramics. There is also a model of a Roman water system. Tour the rest of the fort, including the ramparts, barracks and watchtowers. Stand on the terrace and enjoy the superlative views.

After your visit, go for a stroll around the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) long island. Walk along well marked trails through dense forests. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy spotting the numerous species of migratory birds. Note that bicycles, scooters and other vehicles are not allowed on the island.

Seek out some of the beaches for sunbathing, swimming and water sports, such as water skiing and parasailing. Many beaches are narrow strips and occasionally rocky. The island also has the only official nudist beach in the Cannes area.

Just off the coast of southeastern France, Ile Sainte-Marguerite is an easy place to reach. Ride one of the regular ferries from Cannes Old Port, which take around 15 minutes. Enjoy a trip filled with scenic beauty and fascinating historical discoveries.

Accommodation in Ile Sainte-Marguerite

While Expedia's up-to-date booking page doesn't feature any places to stay in Ile Sainte-Marguerite, it does have listings in Mougins, located 6 miles (10 kilometers) away. The Le Mas Candille and the Mas du Grand Vallon are among the more upscale options here. If you're after something slightly cheaper, the Royal Mougins Golf Club or the Les Rosées are also worth looking into.

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