Top 20 most beautiful French islandsPublished on 7 septembre 2022
Whether in mainland France or in the four corners of the world, France has many absolutely heavenly islands to discover at the first opportunity of travel. For an unforgettable getaway and to explore some of the most beautiful treasures of the French natural heritage, here is a top 20 of the most beautiful French islands.
Table of Contents
- 1. Corsica
- 2. The island of Guadeloupe
- 3. The Friuli Islands
- 4. The Mont Saint-Michel
- 5. The island of Santa Margherita
- 6. The Kerguelen Islands
- 8. The island of Port-Cros
- 9. The island of Bréhat
- 10. The island of Levant
- 11. The island of Sant'Onorato
- 12. The island of Embiez
- 13. The island of Oléron
- 14. The island of Sein
- 15. The island of Belle-Île
- 16. The island of Tromelin
- 17. The island of Martinique
- 18. The Chausey Islands
- 19. The island of Molène
- 20. The island of Porquerolles
Let's start with the one that is so rightly called the island of beauty: Corsica. Offering an absolutely unique panorama and countless beaches, summits and absolutely splendid tourist sites, Corsica has managed to preserve nature.
And even if they count some typical cities like Bastia, it is indeed Mother Nature which dominates the island. Monte Cinto, Calvi, Saleccia, the Scandola nature reserve, etc. the list of exceptional sites is very long!
2. The island of Guadeloupe
For a maximum of change of scenery, it is impossible within this classification to miss the island of Guadeloupe. This one is the biggest of the French Lesser Antilles but it is in fact two small islands separated by a channel.
To appreciate the place at its true value, it is better to go there between February and April to avoid the hurricane period. Composed of paradisiacal beaches, this island is also an opportunity to experience the local gastronomy.
3. The Friuli Islands
Having still escaped the influx of tourists, the Frioul Islands are located in Provence only a few kilometers from the city of Marseille. For a taste of sensational landscapes and impressive cliffs, these islands are definitely worth a visit, especially since they are located in a nature reserve that is very popular with birdwatchers and sailing enthusiasts.
Among these is the island of If, which is the setting for the plot of the Count of Montecristo by Alexandre Dumas.
4. The Mont Saint-Michel
Located in the North of France at the mouth of the Couesnon river, the Mont Saint-Michel is without doubt one of the most famous islands in France. Surrounded by one of the largest tides in Europe, the site is transformed into a real island when the tidal range is at its maximum.
During a visit to the site, you should not miss the Abbey of San Michele.
5. The island of Santa Margherita
Located just opposite Cannes, in the Gulf of Napoule, this island is the largest in the entire Lerino archipelago. If the place enjoys worldwide popularity, it is as much for its splendid natural landscapes as for the famous fortress of Fort Royal which hosted one of the most legendary prisoners in history: the Man in the Iron Mask.
Therefore, visiting the island of Santa Margherita is a dive into the history of France as much as a great breath of fresh air.
6. The Kerguelen Islands
A radical change of scenery for these islands located in the south of the Indian Ocean and distinguished by their wild character. Despite their difficult access, the places promise a breathtaking panorama between crystal clear water, rocks bordering the coastline and sceneries at the limit of reality. You have to take a ferry from Reunion Island to get there.
8. The island of Port-Cros
For a relaxing and peaceful interlude, this island is a reference. Having escaped mass tourism until now, this island of seven square kilometers is located on the southern side of France and opposite the town of Hyères.
With a historic national park and many hiking trails leading to all its points of interest (Port-Man beach, Fort de l'Estissac, etc.), the island of Port-Cros is a must-see.
9. The island of Bréhat
Among the most wonderful places to visit in Brittany, the island of Brehat is at the top of the list. This small piece of paradise is also called "island of flowers" because of the pink granite of the coast.
Between its very rich vegetation and the typical houses of its inhabitants, it is a real village worthy of a fairy tale which awaits the traveler. The famous Peacock Lighthouse is one of the most important tourist attractions.
10. The island of Levant
Located off the French Riviera, the island of Levant also offers a total change of scenery with its sublime and very colorful natural environment. It is one of the three islands making up the archipelago of the city of Hyères and to enjoy a moment of calm where only the sound of the waves can be heard, this is the place to be.
11. The island of Sant'Onorato
Let's stay in the south-east by going to the gulf of Napoule where the archipelago of Lerino is located. This is where the island of Sant'Onorato is located, a site completely out of time and where Mother Nature dominates.
A special point: it is a private island that belongs to the monks of the Abbey of Lerino. Of course, it is open to tourists with beautiful paths to walk and monuments of the Napoleonic era to admire.
12. The island of Embiez
Belonging to the archipelago of the same name, the island of Embiez can be reached by ferry and is an absolutely fantastic place where the crystal clear water and numerous romantic coves will make this visit unforgettable. Between its rocky coasts and its abundant vegetation, it is enough to lose the notion of time.
13. The island of Oléron
Located off Rochefort, this fabulous island is the largest on the French Atlantic coast. Incredible beaches and majestic forests are on the agenda for this visit.
During an excursion on the spot, you should not forget to explore its port as well as its impressive lighthouse. Some tourist addresses are worth knowing, such as the Maison de l'huître.
14. The island of Sein
Among the most popular tourist attractions in Brittany, the island of Sein is in a very good position. Just for its lighthouse or for its characteristic houses where fishermen live, the trip is worthwhile. If you want to get in touch with nature, this place is absolutely sensational.
15. The island of Belle-Île
For travelers who want to admire warm harbors and charming beaches, the island of Belle-Île is an obvious choice. Located near Quiberon, this destination will delight photography enthusiasts with its majestic cliffs and incredible wilderness scenery.
16. The island of Tromelin
Located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, this island has the particularity to have an impressive historical heritage. Indeed, it is on this place that a ship, the Utile, was wrecked in 1700.
Only 122 crew members survived and about 60 slaves were left on the island. When a ship commanded by the Knight of Tromelin came to rescue them 15 years later, only 7 women and one child were left. Splendid and wild, this island with a terrible past hosts one of the most important weather stations in the world.
17. The island of Martinique
Located in the heart of the Caribbean, this island is full of endless beaches and incredible tropical forests. Also known as the "island of eternal summer" since it is possible to go there without any problem at any time of the year, this destination has an impressive number of points of interest such as Mount Pelee, the botanical park or the Salines. A corner of paradise to discover without further delay!
18. The Chausey Islands
These places are known as the most important granite archipelago of the European continent and are located in the English Channel. One of the particularities of this destination is that it is possible to admire up to 365 islands and rocks during the low tide period and only 52 during the high tide. Note that these granite rocks were used to build the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.
19. The island of Molène
From far, the island of Molène looks like a huge rock rising out of the water. Located in Brittany, this island offers a wild nature except for some fishermen's houses. For a trip to the edge of reality and to escape the everyday life, there is no better destination.
20. The island of Porquerolles
This is the largest island of the Hyeres archipelago. With an area of 1254 hectares, it is the second largest French island in the Mediterranean, just after Corsica. Both wild and sublime, this island offers breathtaking panoramas and welcomes travelers to its local village where tranquility reigns.