You want to go on holiday in England and in France and be on an island at the same time? and you think you are not going to be able to fulfill your dream? Well, you can! The Channel Islands in the English Channel bring together English feeling and French Laissez-Faire as well as island flair and guaranteed days of relaxation away from the noise of the big cities.
All of the Channel Islands were a part of the continental mainland before the post-glacial sea-level rise (approximately 5000 BC) and so were populated relatively early.
The oldest findings from our ancestors come from the cave of La Cotte de St. Brelade. Before the arrival of the megalithic culture you can still see 15 of the original 60 Dolmen and some Menhir. Since the 100 year war between England and France (1337-1454) the Channel Islands belong to the British crown but not to the parliament. They have their own legislation, administration and their own fully independent tax system that attracts many wealthy people. However, don’t worry! The prices are not high due to the fact that VAT is not applicable. Green hilly countryside, rugged cliff tops, secluded bays and very friendly inhabitants await any visitor. Those of you that have car hire will be pleased to know there are plenty of small, modern roads that make the islands easy to discover. Tranquility is the buzz word and you will be quickly infected by the serene quiet of the islands with the gentle ebb and flow of the tide. Some of the inhabitants speak in a special dialect which has been named Jersey French.
Of course there are also corners where there is lots going on and where particularly the summer night-life can be found. Beautiful restaurants, lively pubs and chic clubs await in the capital of Jersey, St.Helier which can be easily reached in your car hire.
With its area of 116 square kilometres, Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and lies 20km (12 miles) off the west coast of northern France. Approximately 80,000 people live there, mostly in the capital. Due to the fact that Jersey is a tax haven, 160 international banks have opened branches here but it is difficult to recognize as the most are hidden in small offices. The island is much more than wonderful with its mixture of French architecture and English design. Jersey has mile long beaches to which some of them are a surfer’s paradise.
A little further along you will find the next island, the island of Guernsey, a little smaller than Jersey, beautifully picturesque with its rugged cliffs and green hills. The island is a paradise for nature lovers, hiking, horse-riding and golf in the refreshing Atlantic air. In addition you can observe numerous curious creatures and types of plants. Well worth seeing are the numerous remains of the megalithic culture on the island- the typical changing of the guard at Castle Cornet and the former German fortifications from the Second World War.
Those of you that would like to visit the other islands from Guernsey- Sark and Herm are just as beautiful.
Those of you that really want solitude should travel on the ferry from Guernsey to the island of Alderney. Wonderful, deserted sandy beaches await every visitor.
It doesn’t matter which island you visit. Once you have visited one island- you will fall in love with this unique mixture of elegant English and stylish French, French street signs and English pubs, British cream tea and French croissants- wonderful Breton beaches and English city life. Book a car hire and discover them all!