On the 18th of August I turned (the big) 21!! Reason enough to take a couple of days to explore some parts of France that I didn’t know yet. My beloved boyfriend took me to a small island called Ile d’Yeu. You can take the boat from a small town on the mainland called Fromentine or… your man is the sweetest on the planet and takes you by helicopter!! -Talk about the best birthday present ever-.

After we arrived on the island which is about 30 min by boat and 10 min by helicopter, we went to look for our hotel. The biggest town is Port Joinville, where the harbor is, almost all the hotels are here and in walking distance. You don’t have many bikes in France but this island makes up for that. There are about as many bikes here as in Holland, it’s unbelievable! So the first thing you do after you checked into your hotel is walk to the nearest bike rental and rent a bike (or a scooter, a motor or one of the 4×4 cars they have).

At night, the harbor is all lit up by cute lights. People walk around enjoying the evening breeze (just kidding, it’s plane cold at night! Take a jacket) and breathing in the salty air. We ate a delicious pizza at a original pizza place, you know, the ones where the whole staff is related to each other?! After that we walked around town and got to know the place a little better.

The next day we rented a scooter to go and discover the island. You can also rent a bike of course but because we only had one day to see everything we took something a little faster. (small fact: the island of Ile d’Yeu is only 24 km2, so easily doable in bike when you take a day or two).

It’s hard to describe but this place is so incredibly beautiful!! You have a ‘wild’ side of the island, and a side where all the pretty beaches are. A lot of the prettiest small paths are only accessible by bike or scooter so I really recommend you to (if possible) not rent a car to see the most breathtaking places of this little island. The sea is so blue but very very cold since it’s the atlantic ocean, but we managed to dip our feet in it though and it was just wonderful!

We came across some archeologists who where busy trying to uncover some of the ancient gravestones buried in the sand of the island (in Holland we know them as ‘Hunnebedden’). Unfortunately they asked me not to take any pictures of them.

Some of the things that you have to see on the island are:

  • The old castle (Le vieux Chateau) – There is only one path to this pretty castle, and it’s forbidden for any vehicles with a motor so you have to walk (20 min) or bike here but it’s worth it! You can visit the castle with a guide or, from 1pm, on your own.
  • Les Points – You have two points, one at each side of the island with the most incredible view you will ever see and a lighthouse to make it even more perfect. There is nothing to do here other than taking gorgeous pictures but that should be enough.
  • Fort de Pierre-Levée – A big old fort in the middle of the woods, also only accessible by foot or bike. This is where sometimes big events and spectacles are organized. Check the calendar at the website of the ‘Office de Tourisme – Ile d’Yeu’ if there will be something fun to do when you’re there.

Other than that, just take your time and enjoy the beautiful nature and everything else this island has to offer! The people are great, the food is great, the place is breathtaking and you can get lost for hours and not be bothered about it.

After our two days on the island it was time to go and we took the boat back to the mainland. It was so pretty and I would love to go back there and discover some more paradise. I mean it’s right around the corner…

Header image by Steluma.