Îles de Lérins

Côte d'Azur

Although just 20 minutes away by boat, Cannes' tranquil islands feel far from the madding crowd. Île Ste-Marguerite, where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated during the late 17th century, is known for its bone-white beaches, eucalyptus groves and small marine museum. Tiny Île St-Honorat has been a monastery since the 5th century; you can visit the church and small chapels and stroll through the monks' vineyards.

Boats leave Cannes from quai des Îles on the western side of the harbour. Trans Côte d'Azur, Riviera Lines and Horizon all run ferries to Île Ste-Marguerite, while Planaria covers Île St-Honorat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Côte d'Azur attractions

1. Monastère Fortifié

0.41 MILES

The Monastère Fortifié, guarding the island’s southern shores, is all that remains of the original monastery. Built in 1073 to protect the monks from…

2. Belvédère du Dragon

0.73 MILES

Climb to the top of this platform on the island's south shore for long views of the coastline and the Mediterranean to the south.

3. Étang du Batéguier

0.86 MILES

Numerous migratory birds, including terns, gulls and gray herons, congregate on the banks of this lagoon near the island's western tip.

4. Musée de la Mer

0.89 MILES

This museum, inside Île Ste-Marguerite's 17th-century Fort Royal, features interpretive exhibits tracing the fort's history, with great displays from…

5. German Bunker

0.99 MILES

This abandoned WWII bunker sits on the southwestern shore of Île Ste-Marguerite, a reminder of the island's occupation by German forces in 1943 and 1944…

6. Z Plage

2.64 MILES

Expect to pay €60/45/70 in July and August (€40/30/50 in other months) for the blue sunloungers on the front row/other rows/pier of the super-stylish Z…

8. La Malmaison


On La Croisette, La Malmaison is a seaside pavilion in the former games and tea room of Cannes' grandest hotel of the 1860s, the Grand Hôtel (opened in…