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Located across from the Bay of Cannes, the Isles of Lérins form an archipelago of four islands, the two largest of which are Saint-Marguerite island and Saint-Honorat island, site of the lovely Lérins abbey.
From the ferry dock, only a short distance from the Croisette and the Hôtel Martinez, one can get to Saint-Marguerite island, the first stop for visitors from the mainland. Inhabited since the 6th century B.C., then invaded by the Romans in 154 B.C., Sainte-Marguerite island still retains some vestiges of its ancient period. Endowed with a splendid historical and natural heritage, this island is largely covered by forests of pine trees, eucalyptus and rare oil plants, easy to discover along a self-guided botanical walk created for this purpose. Rising on the western part of the island, the Saint-Marguerite Fort, a former prison built by Richelieu, is today home to the Museum of the Sea and the place where the famous Man with the Iron Mask, as legend has it, was incarcerated.
Smaller than Sainte-Marguerite island, Saint-Honorat has been home to the Cistercian monks since the 5th century A.D. The Lérins monastery is still in operation today.