Guernsey Travel Guide
Castle Cornet in Guernsey © Joe Quinn
Guernsey is the most cosmopolitan and second largest island of the territory. Perhaps, its worldly image stems partly from the fact that an internationally acclaimed French novelist, Victor Hugo, made his home here after being exiled from his homeland, and wrote Les Misérables at his beloved Hauteville House. The famous artist Renoir was also a resident at one point in time.
Today Guernsey is a magnet for beach and watersports enthusiasts. The island has 27 fine beaches varying from rocky coves in the south to long sandy beaches on the west coast. Here the sunsets over the Atlantic are superb. The Portelet, L'Eree, Port Soif and Pembroke beaches are considered among the best in the United Kingdom.
Away from the sea (but not too far away, because it is difficult to ignore the ocean on this tiny island) there are several attractions to explore. Most notable among them is the historic capital of St Peter Port. It is the oldest settlement in the Channel Islands and this is obvious from its architecture. Visitors can wander around the town's Roman archways and coloured granite buildings set along its narrow medieval alleyways, with a patchwork of roofs rising all the way from the harbour. It is truly amazing that such a small town has so much to offer.
If the fact that the £1 note is still in circulation in Guernsey does not take you back in time, then one of the guided 'medieval' walks around St Peter Port undoubtedly will. Low-duty shopping is also a fun occupation in the town, and wining and dining in the cafes, bistros and restaurants is pure gastronomic pleasure.
The most popular event of the year is the annual week-long St Peter Port Carnival, held in July. At this event the town's quayside becomes the backdrop for musicians and street entertainers and the wharf turns into an alfresco party. However, remember that this is just one of many events, gleaned from a full calendar of fun and frolics ranging from tennis tournaments to dragon boat races.
Additionally, the island of Herm is a short boat ride away and an ideal place for a day trip away from St Peter Port. After all the excitement at Guernsey, take time out from the 21st century at this little isle's tranquil beaches and in its tiny village. It is certainly worth a visit before returning to have some more fun on Guernsey.
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