Îles De Lérins

The sunshine twins

Simply Captivating

The two Lérins islands swim in azure seas one kilometre from Cannes. Ile St Honorat and Ile Ste Marguerite are car-free, stress-free and - after 5pm - solely accessible by private boat. You can smell both islands - eucalyptus, lavender, pine - before your RIB crunches beach on a deserted shore. These Natural Park islands are more Caribbean than Cote d’Azur. At sunrise and sundown the only sounds are lapping waves, sighing trees and the chirp of very lucky cicadas.

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Your Guide to the Îles De Lérins

Bahamas-blue Seas

Both islands are trimmed by Bahamas-blue seas. There are coves for kids. Hanging branches for hammocks. And a sandy lagoon between the two islands for a swimming race. Need an adjudicator? Your crew will track competitors by drone. A longer distance swim? Stronger swimmers can front crawl to uninhabited Ile St-Féréol, a tiny islet 150m further out to sea. Although your yacht’s seascooter will get you there in half the time.

Car-free. Carefree.

Thank God for Ile St Honorat. Quite literally. Because French saint Honoratus retired on this 1.5km island and inspired the seaside castle you can climb inside today. 20 religious brothers still tend grapevines, bee hives and lavender groves. Rare island wines (Clairette, Viognier, Mourvèdre) can be purchased in their island shop. Taste them in La Tonnelle, a waterside restaurant that overlooks Cannes. This island eatery has long been popular with Cannes Film Festival glitterati. If only because St Honorat’s Cistercian monks have taken a vow of silence, meaning they couldn’t talk to Vanity Fair even if they wanted to.

History. Tranquility. Nature.

At 3km long, Ile Ste Marguerite is bigger, wilder and hotter than Ile St Honorat. Shielded from breeze by the Cap d’Antibes, it’s the place to unleash the inflatables or tumble of a monoski. A private guide, arranged by your Y.CO Charter Specialist, can bring history alive at Fort Royal. The fort’s former prisoner was the infamous Man in the Iron Mask. He could only gaze over a lazy island ringed by snorkel spots, which are alive with sunfish and gilthead bream.