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Ile St Honorat, French Riviera

Ile St Honorat - Iles de Lérin - French Riviera

Ile St Honorat, 700 m from the Croisette, French Riviera

Ile St Honorat

The Ile St Honorat is situated off the bay of Cannes. The Ile St Honorat has been, for 16 centuries, a place of monastic life.

The Ile St Honorat is separated from the Ile Sainte Marguerite by an approximately 500 meter wide channel, the "plateau in the middle" or "Frioul".
Its surface area is 40 hectares.

Sainte Marguerite is the bigger of the two islands. It spreads out over 210 hectares, of which 170 ha are forest, 700 m from the tip of the Croisette.

The Iles de Lérins constitute a same biological reality. They share a common geological origin: they are formed for the most part of dolomite (calcareous rocks containing magnesium).

On its surface, the rock is covered with a red clayey alluvium. The Ile St Honorat is privileged by the presence of a fresh water spring. The Ile Ste Marguerite, more spread out and closer to the shore, has no natural springs.


The Ile St Honorat and Ste Marguerite islands form the Iles de Lérins archipelago off of Cannes.
The vegetation of the two islands is constituted of a forest of Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis) and a forest of holm oak (Quercus ilex), which indicates that a balance between different botanical species has been reached. On the Ile St Honorat, close to the Abbey, palm trees, European hackberry, wind-breaking rows of cypress to protect the vineyards, as well as diverse grasses, cacti, agaves and aloe grow.

The bush is made up of mastic trees and myrtle, mixing in spots with olive trees, white and pink rockroses and many creepers (honeysuckle, clematis).


Ile St Honorat - beach
Ile St Honorat - the sea


On the shores, rock samphire, cineraria and Aleppo pine shoots grow. On the rocks, a classic Mediterranean flora has developed bringing together samphire (or sea fennel), bird's-foot trefoil and statice, also called sea lavender.

You will also come across, on the two islands, many exotic species, imported over the centuries. By a Forest Code decree, all gathering of flora is forbidden.

©José Nicolas

Ile St Honorat, 700 m from the Croisette, French Riviera

Ile St Honorat - French Riviera

Ile St Honorat, French Riviera
Abbaye Notre Dame de Lérins
BP 157 - 06406 Cannes cedex - France

Phone : +33 (0)4 92 99 54 00 - Fax. : +33 (0)4 92 99 54 01

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