How to Spend a Week in Jersey
You need a break? Are looking for sunnier weather? Want to stay remote but not too far from home? A short term break on a little island is exactly what you have in mind?
Well, there is one place, you should really visit – Jersey, a hidden gem in the British Channel.
Although a tiny spot on the world map, Jersey has a lot to offer and will surprise everyone with the variety of activities that are just waiting to be discovered. Here is some basic information you need to know if you plan to travel to Jersey or want to learn more about the island.
How to get to Jersey?
As we are talking about an island, there are basically 2 options to get to Jersey: by air or by sea. Jersey does have an international airport with regular flights coming in from and leaving to the UK on a daily basis. The airport is very central and well connected with a bus shuttle to the main places to visit in Jersey and the capital, Saint Helier. Due to the size of the island mainly every place is in a driving distance below one hour.
The second option is to arrive by ferry, daily departing from Poole and Portsmouth and connecting the UK mainland with the channel islands in around 4.5 hours twice a day. The plus using the ferry of course is more flexibility for day trips during your stay, as you can bring your own car to the island.
Where to stay?
The capital is Saint Helier, located in the south of Jersey and therefore also the place with the highest population. Jersey does have around 99,500 inhabitants with most of the people living on the south and east coast. The north coast is far more remote with cliffs and stunning walk paths whilst you can find beautiful long beaches in the south. The majority of hotels, covering the whole range from low cost to high quality spa hotel, are mainly in Saint Helier. Across the island there are a lot of B&Bs and plenty of accommodation options for everyone’s taste.
How to spend a week in Jersey?
For outdoor addicts: Jersey offers many walk paths like the south west coast foot path that is passing the famous white lighthouse La Corbière pictured above. Another wonderful foot path is located in the north of the island, mainly a cliff walk to enjoy the beautiful rough scenery and the rich nature and wildlife. It is also possible to walk around the complete island.
For wildlife lovers: The perfect place to visit is Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey inland established in 1959 by Gerald Durrell. It is a zoological park run by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with a focus on endangered species and conservation projects all over the world. There is a guided tour through the park available with interesting information and a more educational background.
If you are interested in birdwatching, the north coast foot path mentioned above is the perfect place with a range of different species to see, especially between Grève de Lecq and Plémont. The north coast is the most southern point in Europe where puffins are known to bread in summer.
For botanic fans: Fantastic guided walks are on offer through the seabed during low tide to explore the marine flora and wildlife of Jersey. The tides there are amongst the highest in the world with around 30-40 ft. Therefore seabed walks are recommended to be done with local guides only.
The Eric Young Orchid Foundation in the parish of Trinity, close to Durrell Wildlife Park, is a wonderful trip for all orchid fans. They are regularly winning medals on exhibitions with their orchids all over the world. The opening hours vary from time to time, therefore better check upfront on the Jersey website.
For history enthusiasts: History is present everywhere in Jersey that had been occupied by the Germans during World War II. There are bunkers across the whole island, in nearly every bay and in every single corner. A former German Underground Hospital is open to the public as a museum today and one of the must see attractions in Jersey. They guide the visitor through the incredible tough times and the role the channel islands played during the war, how people survived the occupation and celebrated the independence. Further historical sights are the many castles, like Gorey Castle on the east coast or Elisabeth Castle in Saint Helier. There are also some neolithic sites to discover in Jersey like the Faldouet Dolmen that is a little hidden in a field close to Faldouët village northern to Gorey in the east.
For gourmets: There are four Michelin-starred restaurants in and around Saint Helier and plenty of more high quality dining options across the whole island. Jersey is famous for products like the Jersey New Potatoes, Jersey Dairy products, Jersey Cows as well as for delicious seafood. Oyster farms benefit from the high tide that keep oysters naturally filtered and up to the best quality. You can find oyster beds in the Royal Bay of Grouville on the east coast. There are tours to walk through the oyster beds during low tide to enjoy this unusual scenery including oyster tasting. Look out for the farms market days and the French market in Saint Helier that offers French produces like sausages, cheese and wine.
Or would you simply love to enjoy the sea & beaches? As Jersey is close to the French mainland this is the most southern part of the British isles with one of the best sunshine records. Weather you want to relax by the sea, soak up the sun or walk along the coast line, there are endless golden beaches in the south and east along with beautiful hidden bays in the north waiting to be discovered. Day trips to the French mainland by ferry or to the neighboring islands Guernsey and Sark are also readily available.
Discover Jersey and start planning your trip, it will be worth it!