The Channel Islands, which form an archipelago just off the coast of Normandy in France, are home to a staunchly British population and incredible natural beauty. Visit archaeological and historic sites dating as far back as the Neolithic era and coastlines perfect for walking and cycling. Enjoy food and wine tours and plentiful wildlife for an intriguing getaway.
These islands are the only British soil occupied by Hitler’s forces during World War II. Understand the history of German occupation on the isles in the War Tunnels and the Channel Islands Military Museum on Jersey. Learn about the people who lived here in Neolithic times at La Hougue Bie Museum. Watch for the imposing Elizabeth Castle that sits atop its own island in St. Aubin’s Bay and has defended Jersey from French occupation since the 17th century. Try local seafood in a gourmet pub or a restaurant overlooking the water.
Go shopping at St. Peter Port on Guernsey, where family-run boutiques, gift stores and outdoor cafés line the cobblestoned streets. Take a short walk to the beautifully appointed Hauteville House where French author Victor Hugo once lived and wrote. Visit the La Vallette Underground Military Museum and the Guernsey Aquarium. The port overlooks the 800-year-old Castle Cornet, with five museums where you can watch vivid reenactments of Guernsey’s historic moments.
Explore the natural wonderland of Alderney. Here puffins nest between March and July. Look for Northern gannets with wingspans of 6.5 feet (2 meters). Find beautiful songbirds in the island’s woodland and nature reserves.
Take a horse-drawn carriage or tractor ride from the ferry dock through Sark’s wildflower-covered hills to the village. Both Sark and Herm are car-free, providing a tranquil place to spot wildlife, laze on the beaches and enjoy an active vacation exploring on foot or by bike.
Enjoy the balmy weather as you ferry hop among the Channel Islands to discover their individual flavors, history and incredible coastal scenery.