18 days
Duration
British Isles
Destination
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Activity

Walking the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark & Herm.

This fully escorted, small group walking tour, takes the active senior on a journey of discovery through the fascinating small Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. This tour gives you the chance to walk the islands while learning about their history, unique culture, landscapes and wildlife.

The walks on each of the Channel islands suit a range of abilities

The walks have been organised so that they suit a number of different abilities. Although, on average, the group will be walking for about 10km per day.  It will be possible for participants to skip segments of the walks if they so desire.

 

On this small group tour to the Channel Islands, there will be a variety of activities included to supplement the walks. The five islands that we visit have, not only a long and interesting history, but also beautiful coastal scenery and an abundance of birdlife, particularly on the smaller islands. They are brim-full of medieval castles, military fortifications, stately homes, gardens and museums. There is even a well preserved Roman Fort!

 

About the five Channel Islands; Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark & Herm.

 

The Channel islands are not part of the United Kingdom but are British Crown Dependencies with their own distinctive culture and history. Situated only a few kilometres from the French coast, but controlled from Britain for many years. This collection of Islands are a delightful mix of English and French culture. Jersey and Guernsey boast charming historic ports and towns such as St Helier and St Peter Port. Tiny Sark is like a medieval hereditary time warp with its formal gardens of La Seigneurie and lack of motor vehicles.

Measuring less than 120 square kilometres, the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, and together with the Bailiwick of Guernsey (less than 80 square kilometres) it forms the grouping known as the Channel Islands. These are separate possessions of the British Crown and are not part of the UK.

Channel Island History and the influences of Britain & France and others.

Their history and culture are influenced by their strategic location between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England. Formerly under the control of Brittany, invaded by Vikings, and annexed to the Duchy of Normandy, they emerged as miniature self–governing territories. The islands were transferred to the English crown when William of Normandy conquered England in 1066. Although Britain lost Normandy in 1204, the islands remained a possession of the British crown.

The islands of Jersey & Guernsey have a seafaring tradition and their trade with the Newfoundland fisheries gave rise to the name New Jersey in the US. Trade further laid the foundations of these attractive islands’ prosperity as well as agriculture (Jersey and Guernsey cows are recognisable the world over), milling, fishing, shipbuilding, and financial services.

 

Channel islands  occupied by Nazi Germany.

During World War II they were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi Germany. This caused considerable suffering to the locals. Some locals were deported as slave labourers.  Jews sent to concentration camps. Reprisals for partisan activities were harsh, and many islanders were reduced to near starvation by the end of the war. Accusations of collaboration and cover-ups poisoned relations between many islanders for decades. While on the islands it is possible to visit sites, such as the War Tunnels on Jersey. The tunnels and other features are a present-day reminder of the occupation.

Home to a famous author.

Both islands boast charming historic ports. St Helier and St Peter Port have been home to  famous residents like the actress Lillie Langtry and Victor Hugo. The author, Vitor Hugo wrote some of his best-known works while in exile in Guernsey.

 

About this walking tour of the Channel Islands.

Odyssey Traveller offers a range of walking tours each year.  The collection of walks are for active mature and senior travellers. People  who seek out  walking tours that are typically off the main circuit. Click through to see the  complete list of small group walking tours offered.

This eighteen day tour is based in just two locations for the duration of the program. The group spend 7 nights in St Helier, Jersey and then 10 nights in St Peter Port, Guernsey. Each day this small group learns about the history, the culture and the wildlife that is unique to the Islands. The walking is reasonably easy. Each day the group walks between 4km to 11km on a variety of terrains.

Odyssey would suggest that you also read this article on footwear and walking shoes to be useful as well as this article on what to pack when travelling 

The day by day itinerary sets out the touring and learning activities for the group for the duration of the tour of  Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark & Herm.

For more details about the Channel Islands small group walking tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour offered by Odyssey Traveller New Zealand, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: You arrive at the hotel in St. Helier on Jersey by own arrangements – a welcome dinner in our hotel is included tonight.

Accommodation for the next seven nights will be in the same hotel in St Helier.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de France, or similar

Overview: Today we have a full day of sightseeing in and around St. Helier. This will allow you to orientate yourself and find out more about Jersey before setting off to walk its perimeter in earnest on Day 3. Our sightseeing today includes entrance to the Maritime Museum, and to the War Tunnels in nearby St. Lawrence.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de France, or similar.

Overview: The group will begin the day with a visit to the Elizabeth Castle, perched upon a tidal island in St. Aubin’s Bay accessible by a short ferry shuttle – if timing is right, the group may be able to walk across instead.

We begin our walking tour with an easy-going day to warm up. We follow the curve of the bay round to St. Aubin’s Bay (3km), with some free time there to have lunch and to visit the Harbour Gallery.

Lunch is included at a local restaurant.

We then head south onto the peninsula of Noirmont Point, to visit, opening times permitting, the CIOS sites of Battery Lothringen and Marine Peilstand Tower (entrance included but usually only open on weekends), and continue around St. Brelade’s Bay(5km). There will be free time to explore the seafront town before returning to St. Helier.

Accommodation: Overnight, Hotel de France, or similar.

Overview: Today we pick up where we left of the previous day.  After breakfast in our hotel we will be transferred to St. Brelade’s Bay. We will then head west along the coast to the south-western corner of the island, Corbiere Lighthouse (6km). One of the most scenic and secluded beaches in all the Channel Islands can be found en route at Beauport.

After walking the causeway at Corbiere, the group will transfer away from the coast to experience some of Jersey’s best inland walking, taking a walk along the scenic Waterworks Valley and following the leafy woodland path along the Chemin des Moulins to the Hamptonne Country Life Museum, which provides insight intro traditional rural life in Jersey (3km).

Dinner tonight is included and will be in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight, Hotel de France, or similar.

Overview: Today’s walking (13km) will take in the main features of the western and north-western coasts – beginning at St. Ouen’s Bay, a long sweeping sandy beach which stretches virtually the entire length of the west coast. After the beach, the walk climbs the Plémont headland, which is scattered with numerous military buildings and ruins and stark coastal features such as Le Pinacle outcrop. The undulating cliff path continues to Plémont Bay, where the group will then be shuttled to the sheltered cove of Greve de Lecq to have some lunch (own expense) and recharge.

This afternoon’s walking will include a visit to the collapsed cave of the Devil’s Hole and end at Sorrel Point.

Accommodation: Overnight, Hotel de France, or similar

Overview: After breakfast, the group will head to Bonne Nuit Bay to continue walking the north coast on this day. The more rugged and severe north coast makes for some of the more challenging but of course also most impressive walking on Jersey, with the coastal path to Bouley Bay snaking along the top of some of the island’s highest cliffs (10km).

Our coach will collect us at Bouley Bay and transfer us to Rozel.

The Hungry Man shack in Rozel is one of the island’s famed eating spots offering some of the freshest seafood on the island, with their signature crab sandwiches filled with crabs caught that very day so a light lunch here has been included.

En-route back to St. Helier from Rozel, we have an included stop at La Hogue Bie Museum – home to one of the world’s ten oldest buildings (older than the Pyramids of Giza), one of Europe’s finest passage graves.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de France, or similar.

Overview: This morning, the group will transfer to Flicquet Bay at the island’s north-eastern corner to begin their final day of walking on Jersey, completing the coastal route. Today’s walk down the east coast includes a stop at the scenic bay next to St. Catherine’s breakwater, and the imposing hilltop castle of Mont Orgueil at Gorey, whose scenic harbour offers a multitude of dining options for lunch (own expense).

The walk continues down Grouville Bay to the south-eastern corner of the island, at La Rocque harbour. The coach will then take the group back to St. Helier, or those who are keen can continue walking the extra 5km.

Dinner tonight is included and will be in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de France, or similar.

Overview:  The group will transfer by local coach to St. Helier harbour to catch the ferry to Guernsey, with standard class foot passenger tickets included. Please note that ferry departures are subject to last-minute time changes or even cancellation due to weather (so the itinerary may be subject to change).

Transfer to our hotel will be provided.

The remainder of the day will be free to explore St Peter Port.

We have 10 nights in St. Peter Port as the island is again so small, that there is no need to move the between hotels. Return excursions from St Peter Port to Herm, Sark and Alderney are also all easily achievable as day trips by boat from Guernsey.

Dinner tonight is included and will be in our hotel.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: Today we have a full day of sightseeing in and around St. Peter Port to allow us to orientate and find out more about Guernsey before setting off to walk its perimeter in earnest. Our local tour will include entrance to Castle Cornet, Hauteville House and the James Dorey Centre.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or simila

Overview: This morning we head south out of St Peter Port to Fort George, with a visit to La Vallette Underground Military Museum which provides good insight into the island’s military history.

From here we begin our anticlockwise perimeter walk of the island, heading towards Icart via Sausmarez Manor and Jerbourg Point (7km).

This south-east corner of the coast is a haven for seabirds and wildflowers, with rugged cliffs and great panoramic views out to sea. This walk is slightly more rigorous than most of our other walk so is a little shorter in length.

Along the way we will stop for entrance to Sausmarez Subtropical Gardens and a guided tour of Sausmarez Manor.

From Icart, we will return to St Peter Port by coach.

Accommodation: Overnight Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: This morning we begin our day’s walking from the picturesque Petit Bot Bay, where the German Occupation Museum provides further insight into this turbulent period of the island’s history. Entrance to the museum is included. The group can also get up close to one of the island’s 15 famed loophole towers, built during the 18th century to defend against potential French attacks.

This part of the south coast again offers more challenging but rewarding walking, as the group follow the undulating cliffs along one of the least-walked parts of the coastal path. Our walk from Petit Bot Bay to Pleinmont (10km), will curve around the south-western peninsula of Pleinmont, where a well-preserved stone circle ‘Fairy Ring’ offers evidence of Guernsey’s superstitious history. We then have some free time to relax at Portelet Beach before returning to St. Peter Port.

Dinner tonight is included and will be in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, this morning our coach takes us to Rocquaine where we have entrance to the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum.

The reward for some more challenging walking over the preceding days is today’s easy walking (about 11 km) along the western seaboard, from Rocquaine right up to Rousse, where the island’s most picture-perfect white-sand beaches, such as Cobo, Vazon and Point Soif, line up one after another. Lihou Island is a tidal island, which the group will be able to walk across to, if the timing is right. There are also countless small nature reserves and conservation areas along the coast such as Shingle Bank and Colin Best Nature Reserves.

At the end of our day’s walk our coach will return us to St Peter Port.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: DAY TRIP to HERM – The group will make a return day trip to Herm on this day. It is the smallest of the main Channel Islands and the closest to Guernsey, taking just 15-20 minutes to reach by ferry. A guide will meet the group upon arrival on Herm and lead an easy and leisurely half-day walking tour encircling this tiny island, whose northern half is entirely bordered by white sand.

We return by ferry to St Peter Port and transfer to our hotel.

Dinner tonight is included and will be at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: Today’s day of walking will complete the group’s circling of Guernsey island, beginning from Mont Cuet and following the coastal route along the northern and eastern coasts all the way back to St. Peter Port, with highlights en route including the harbours of Beaucette, Bordeaux and St. Sampson’s and the fortifications of Fort Doyle and Vale Castle.

The first leg of the walk to St. Sampson is around 10km; if some of the group prefer not to walk the remaining 4km to St. Peter Port, they can transfer to the hotel on the coach. The north coast has long stretches of wild coastline but with gentle terrain, making for fairly easy walking.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview:  DAY TRIP to SARK – Today the group will make a return day trip to Sark by ferry. Sark is within easy reach of Guernsey and is served by a regular ferry service.

The group will be met upon arrival at the port by our guide for the day, and embark on a full day of exploring on foot – no cars are permitted on Sark in any case. Sark is a rockier affair than some of its neighbouring islands, meaning fewer beaches but some impressive coastal scenery and cliffs. After a steep ascent from the harbour, the island is largely a raised plateau, so the walking should still be relatively easy-going.

We will head first to the southern edge of the island, crossing the ‘La Coupée’ isthmus to Little Sark, before returning to the main village for lunch. We will then head to La Seigneurie for a guided tour, and stop to view ‘The Window in The Rock’ on the western coast, before walking back to the ferry terminal and returning to Guernsey.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview:  DAY TRIP to ALDERNEY

This morning, after breakfast, we transfer to the port and take the fast ferry to Alderney. This still takes 1.5 hours!

The group will be met at the ferry port on Alderney, and embark immediately on a full day of exploring on foot. Alderney is very flat and makes for very easy walking – the first walk will take the group east of the Braye to Mannez Point, past the lighthouse and the island’s most scenic beaches, before returning for an included lunch in a local restaurant (8km).

For those in the group still with energy, there is the opportunity after lunch, to take a second walk (7km) heading west out of town, taking in the sights of Fort Clonque and Fort Tougis and spotting much of the seabird fauna for which Alderney is particularly famed.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: This morning, after breakfast, our local coach will transfer us to Le Preel where we’ll begin our final walk together.

Today will be a quieter and more restful day with just a short 2km stroll from Le Preel to Les Vauxbelets. This will be a chance to explore the inland highlights of Guernsey, walking along the Talbot and Fauxquets valleys and stopping to visit the fascinating Little Chapel and German Military Underground Hospital in Les Vauxbelets area.

The group will then return to St Peter Port and have the remainder of their final day at leisure.

Our included farewell dinner tonight is in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight, Duke of Richmond Hotel, or similar.

Overview: End of services after breakfast.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 17 nights of accommodation.
  • 17 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 7 dinners.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International flights and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.

Jersey Guernsey

Castle, Gorey - England, Jersey - England, France, Grouville
Elizabeth Castle Jersey St. Helier
Plemont Beach, Jersey UK
St Peter Port, Jersey
Alderney Lighthouse - Quenard Point
Castle, Gorey - England, Jersey - England, France, Grouville
Sark, Channel Islands
Corbiere Lighthouse and Rocky Coast, Jersey
Archirondel tower, Jersey, U.K.
Guernsey village seaside
Le Pulec Wildflowers, Jersey, U.K.
Elizabeth Castle, Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK.
Jersey UK
Jersey country side
Jersey UK
Elizabeth Castle, Jersey - Channel Islands
Elizabeth Castle , Jersey
Jersey port channel islands
Channel Islands UK Jersey Sark
Saint Peter Port at sunrise, Guernsey
Sark Isthmus, Channel Islands UK
Saint Peter port, Guernsey

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.