Top 10 things to do in Guernsey

Visiter Guernesey : que faire et que voir à Guernesey ?

Travelling to the French coast? Follow the guide to discover our must-sees for visiting Guernsey, the famous green island!

Guernsey is the Channel Island furthest from the French coast. A true gateway for all sailors, it has long been renowned as a safe anchorage. Guernsey is also known as the home of Victor Hugo during his fifteen years of exile.

Tranquil, Guernsey is a world apart, where time seems to stand still. Its rich cultural heritage is as surprising as it is seductive. Whether on foot or by bike, Guernsey invites you to stroll and relax along its coastline, discovering its somewhat Celtic landscapes.

So today, we’re taking you to this tranquil island. Here’s our selection of must-sees and must-do’s for a visit to Guernsey.

1. Cobo Bay

Cobo Bay, Guernesey

Photo credit: Shutterstock / natasa sears

Cobo Bay is one of Guernsey’s treasures. It is located in the north of the island. Its long, sandy beach, crystal-clear blue water and pinkish rocks are what give it its charm. Some even compare it to a Caribbean beach – minus the heat. So if you’re in the mood for romance and wondering what to do in Guernsey, head for the sunset. It’s breathtaking.

2. Cornet Castle

Château de Cornet, Guernesey

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kiev.Victor

Located near Saint-Pierre-Port, Château Cornet takes up residence on an islet. Since the 13th century, it has been attached to the island by a dike. After serving as a defensive structure, it was inhabited by the island’s governor until the 17th century. A few centuries later, during the Second World War, German troops took up residence here.

Today, Château Cornet is home to several museums dedicated to the history of Guernsey. Every noon, a small ceremony takes place, with two guards firing a cannon. During your visit, make sure you take advantage of the castle’s breathtaking view of the town: it’s well worth a visit! The gardens await you for a stroll.

3. Hauteville House

It’s impossible to visit Guernsey without stopping off at Hauteville House. And with good reason, Victor Hugo made it his home for fifteen years, between 1856 and 1870.

To find out how the writer came to live here, we have to go back to 1851. After Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte’s coup d’état, Victor Hugo openly opposed the Second Empire. He left France, moved to Belgium and then settled in Jersey for a few years. This lasted until 1855, when he was expelled from the country after making inappropriate remarks about Queen Victoria. Victor Hugo then bought Hauteville House in Guernsey, on the heights of Saint-Pierre-Port. He took charge of its furnishings and decoration, and thought out and carried out every detail. d

While living at Hauteville House, the writer gave birth to numerous works. These included Les Misérables and Les Travaillers de la mer, a tribute to the inhabitants of the Channel Islands. In 1870, Victor Hugo took advantage of the fall of the Second Empire to leave Guernsey and his home.

In 1927, the writer’s descendants bequeathed Hauteville House to the city of Paris. Today, the capital still owns the property.

4. The Little Chapel

Petite Chapelle, Guernesey

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kiev.Victor

Inspiring and inspired, the Petite Chapelle was born in 1920 in Saint-André. Erected by Brother Déodat-Antoine, it was inspired by the Lourdes site. On his arrival in Guernsey in 1913, Brother Déodat-Antoine sought to create a place similar to the grotto at Lourdes and the Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire. Inspired, he began building the chapel. With an eye for detail, he went over it three times before finalizing the site in 1923.

Since then, the Petite Chapelle has remained intact. Only the people of Guernsey have contributed to the edifice, by depositing bits of porcelain.

A visit to Guernsey also means a visit to this place of meditation, typical of the region.

5. The islands of Herm and Sercq

Île de Sercq, Guernesey

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Peter Csakvari

The islands of Sark and Herm are part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. You can explore them on foot, by bike or in a horse-drawn carriage. Sercq has an incredible green setting, ideal for hiking. Herm is the smallest of the Channel Islands, famous for its heavenly beaches. Getting there couldn’t be easier: ferries depart daily from Saint-Pierre-Port. A sea link is also available between the two islands.

6. Victorian Candie Gardens

Candie Gardens, Guernesey

Photo credit: Wikipedia – enrapture

If you love flowers and are wondering what to do in Guernsey, the Candie Garden is a must-see. This magnificent two-level park is home to many different kinds of flowers! From all over the world, they take full advantage of Guernsey’s favorable climate.

This is also where you’ll find the statue in tribute to Victor Hugo. Sculpted in 1914 from a block of granite by the artist Jean Boucher, it is a symbol of the area.

7. The sandy beaches

Why not get your swimsuit wet? For a relaxing break in Guernsey, head for its superb beaches!

Baie du Petit Bot: in the south of the island, surrounded by cliffs and greenery.

Port soif: to the north of Guernsey, this is the ideal beach for summer bathing.

Vazon Bay: to the west of the island, this beach has been voted the cleanest in the UK. Perfect for water sports.

8. The Fouaillages site

Generally speaking, the Channel Islands are a benchmark for megalithic sites. The surviving sites are incredibly well preserved. So it goes without saying that you can’t visit Guernsey without discovering the site of Fouaillages. Considered Europe’s oldest megalithic site, it dates back to the 5th millennium BC.

Fouillages is Guernsey’s archaeological site. A tumulus formed by two dolmens, it bears witness to an ancestral time and culture.

9. Moulin Huet Bay

Moulin Huet Bay, Guernesey

Photo credit: Flickr – DJANDYW.COM

Are you a painting fan? Take the Renoir trail! Moulin Huet Bay invites you to follow in the footsteps of the famous painter Renoir. Take an hour-long stroll and discover the different viewpoints that inspired the artist’s paintings.

10. A boat trip

Une balade en bateau

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Allard One

Need to fill up on oxygen? If you’re not seasick, opt for a boat trip. You can tour the island from Barneville-Carteret, a town on the Normandy coast. It’s a great way to discover Guernsey and its landscapes from a different perspective than from the mainland!

Find a boat rental to explore Guernsey

How to get to Guernsey

By plane

Guernsey has its own airport. From France, you can visit Guenersey by air. However, the flight won’t be direct: depending on your departure city, you’ll have a stopover in London Southend or Southampton. The island is about an hour’s flight from the UK. To find the flight best suited to your trip, consider using a flight comparator like Ulysse. You’ll find a selection of the best fares according to your departure dates.

By boat

If you want to visit Guernsey, you can also opt for a boat trip. Several French coastal towns offer this service:

From Saint-Malo: direct route, 2-hour crossing.

From Diélette: direct route, 15 days a month in summer, 1 hr 10 min. crossing.

From Granville: stopover in Jersey, 2 h 30 crossing.

Take advantage of your crossing to do some shopping at the Duty Free or change your currency into pounds sterling. To get your trip off to a good start, plan to arrive one hour before your boat departs for customs formalities.

Book your ferry to Guernsey

But you can also choose to get there by boat, on your own! All you have to do is hire a boat in Barneville-Carteret, and sail to Guernsey for a day or a weekend.

Getting around Guernsey

By bus

Guernsey’s bus network serves all the island’s attractions. Tickets cost £1 per journey. For bus timetables, simply visit the tourist office or bus station.

By bike

Cycling is a great way to visit Guernsey. You can hire one on site. If you’re not used to pedaling, an electric bike is the best way to get the most out of your ride!

By car or scooter

You can rent a car or scooter to get around Guernsey. You’ll need to be over 21 and have a valid driving license. Road speed is limited to 56 km/h – and you’ll often need to slow down further to drive safely.

For parking, there is a disc system on which you need to indicate your arrival time. These are available from newsagents and the tourist office. Instructions are given on the back of the discs.

Where to stay in Guernsey?

Now that you know what to do in Guernsey, the next step is to find your accommodation. If you’re planning to go during the high tourist season (mainly between June and September), you’ll need to book your accommodation. There’s a wide range on offer: you can choose a campsite if you’re staying for a week or more. Please note: unauthorized camping is prohibited.

For short stays, bed & breakfasts and hotels are ideal. As far as hotels are concerned, the Guernsey tourist office visits the establishments every year. It awards them a number of stars according to their rating. You can also compare hotels using a hotel comparator to get your room at the best price!

Now you can plan your Guernsey discoveries! Where do you start?

Map of hotels and accommodation – Guernsey