Off the Normandy coast, Guernsey’s five Channel Islands – which include Sark, Herm, Alderney and Lihou – are surrounded by golden beaches and peacock-colored waters, and feature sandy paths, star-studded night skies, abundant produce and an array of wildlife. They are fertile ground for adventure, and with their small stature, it’s easy to pack them up for a quick break.
E-bike the island
See the Guernsey coastline in a day by hopping on an e-bike and exploring the island’s 48-mile circumference. The power-assisted bicycles make the ride more comfortable, especially when you reach the steep asphalt strips around St. Peter Port. Go Guernsey Land & Sea (go-guernsey.gg) has bicycles for adults and children by the day or by the week.
Alternatively there are public EVie bikes (eveondemand.com) stationed across the island, which can be rented for the first two hours via an app for £ 1 per 10 minutes.
Buckle up for a rib ride
Get a dose of ocean air with Island Rib Voyages (islandribvoyages.com), which offers a range of adrenaline-fueled boat trips from the Albert Pier in St. Peter Port. Dash from island to island, just a few inches above the water. There is the opportunity to dive into caves, marvel at beaches and observe wildlife along the way, with dolphins. One tour takes you to the spectacular lighthouse Les Hanois off the southwest coast.
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Try wild swimming
Everyone in Guernsey seems crazy about swimming and it remains popular all year round no matter the weather. The islands are blessed with 27 beaches and bathing areas, including sheltered bays on the south coast and the water that laps the wide white sandstrips to the north. At the La Vallette Bathing Pools, on the south side of St. Peter Port, the pools fill with seawater at high tide.
Kayak around Herm
Grab your paddle and see the Guernsey coast and the surrounding Channel Islands. Adventure outfitter Outdoor Guernsey (outdoorguernsey.gg) offers kayak tours, one of the most popular options being to circumnavigate Herm. Just 1.3 miles long and less than half a mile wide, this tiny island sits next to a seal colony and is home to one of the southernmost puffin colonies in Europe. The best time to spot the mandarin-billed birds is March through July.
Go to glamping
Guernsey’s lush landscape and temperate oceanic climate make it a great choice for camping. If you’re in the mood for a more comfortable outdoor experience, the island has some more luxurious options, including La Bailloterie Camping (campinginguernsey.com/glamping-zelts), in the middle of forests in the north. The safari tents come with lighting and kitchenettes and cost from £ 25 per night for adults and £ 15 for children.
Visit one of the smallest chapels in the world
The Little Chapel in the valley of Les Vauxbelets on Guernsey is enchanting like something out of a fairy tale. The tiny place of worship measures just 5 by 9 feet and is adorned with hundreds and thousands of shards and iridescent seashells. Step inside, say a prayer, and wind your way down a narrow spiral staircase to another sanctuary and out to a pretty rock garden.
Watch a cannon fire
Play a knight or princess within the walls of Castle Cornet (museums.gov.gg). This impressive fortress dates back to the 13th century, when Guernsey was still part of the Duchy of Normandy.
There are nooks and crannies to explore and the historic gardens are magnificent. A unique feature of Castle Cornet is the deafening gun at noon, which can be heard for miles. Cover your ears and enjoy a good vantage point to watch the gunners in traditional attire fire the 18th century cannon.
Familiarize yourself with algae
When the tide starts – Guernsey has one of the largest tidal areas in the world, up to 33 feet – you’ll spot algae in the colors of chameleon green and toad brown. Book a 90-minute tour (guernseyseaweed.com/seaweed-tours) with the head of Guernsey Seaweed, Ben Trustin. During the walk you will have the opportunity to eat different types of seaweed fresh from the beach.
Stay on a private island
Play with being a willing shipwrecked man on Lihou Island (lihouisland.com/lihou-house), off Guernsey’s west coast. The tiny 36-hectare outcrop is accessible via a dam at low tide.
The visit is free and there is a house that can be booked for overnight stays. The nine-bedroom property sleeps up to 30. There is no TV, but the view “changes constantly depending on the weather, light and tides”.
To go for a walk
Go on one of the 20 self-guided “delicious walks” (visitguernsey.com/see-and-do/walking-routes). The routes vary in difficulty and length. A cliff walk offers views captured and admired by artist Renoir Les Misérables Writer Victor Hugo, who spent 15 years in Guernsey during his French exile. Another walking tour has a historical theme with a stop at the La Vallette underground military museum, which covers the five-year German occupation during World War II.
Guernsey: Entry Requirements
There are no isolation or testing requirements for UK visitors who have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in Guernsey. Everyone has to register with the Travel Tracker: covid19.gov.gg/guidance/travel/traveltracker.