My girlfriend's sister and cousin were in Nice to visit. And, so, accordingly, we were under pressure to entertain them. Just two weeks before, my mother had come over from England. Keeping her entertained had been a bit of a breeze as there are lots of things to do in Nice and lots of beautiful places to just sit and relax. However, whereas it was my mum's first trip to the Cote d'Azur, my girlfriends family had been before. As a consequence, Old Nice and many of the regular tourists spots were old news. So, we had to look further afield.
I suggested a trip to either Cannes or Antibes. However, they had visited both of these places on their previous vacations here. Thankfully, though, the suggestion triggered something in my girlfriend's memory and she came up with the idea of visiting Isle St Marguerite – an island about 5km off Cannes. I have to admit, I knew nothing of the place. But, she assured me it was very beautiful and had a nice beach. It sounded perfect for a day out. And, so it proved.
To get to Isle St Marguerite we needed to take a ferry form the far corner of the port of Cannes, away from the expanse of beautiful yachts in the marina. The ferry cost 10Euros each and took approximately 20 minutes to reach the island. The crossing was, in the main, rather dull. It was a rather grey day and the bay was crowded with cruise liners anchored for the afternoon. However, just as we pulled into St Marguerite, the skies cleared and the sun began to shine. It was a rather beautiful way to arrive.
The island itself is perfect for a day out as it has both beaches and forest. We arrived and headed up into the woods for a picnic, As we were quite early, we were lucky enough to find a nice secluded glade where we could tuck into our sandwiches in peace and enjoy the shade of some rather cool pine trees. After out lunch, the woods were perfect for a nice stroll with soft ground underfoot and nice shade overhead.
Like most of the Cote d'Azur, St Marguerite does not boast a beach made of sand. On the south of the island, it is rather rocky with the beach being made up solely of pebbles. This didn't seem all that enticing to us. So we opted to find a spot close to the small port where the beach was made up of leaves that had fallen from surrounding trees to form a bizarre soft bed that led down into the water. It was a very nice place to spend the afternoon. Not only was the beach very soft, but the sea was unbelievably calm. It was like taking a dip in a small pond. It was so flat and easy to swim, that it was possible to get out and swim amongst the yachts that were anchored in the bay.
Ferries run from Cannes to Isle St Marguerite from the morning until 19h00 in the evening. It is advisable to take a picnic because food and drink on the island is a little expensive.