TRIPS

The Channel Islands Discovery – 8 Days

$ 1,750.00

The Channel Islands (Les Iles de la Manche, in French) have a fascinating history, leading to their current semi-independent state. These lovely islands offer a range of experiences, from wildlife sanctuaries to military museums to breathtaking scenery.

8 days visit Jersey and Guernsey, explore the history and culture of these unique islands.

Description

Day 1 Arrive in Jersey
Upon arrival, you will be met by your local representative and transferred from the airport to your chosen hotel.

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Temperate year round, the island has a unique English/French flavor and jet-set/family resort character. Scattered around the island are early Neolithic carvings, remnants of a medieval heritage, and every kind of attraction, from Castles to golden beaches.

The balance of the day is free at leisure. Suggest dinner in hotel on first evening.

Moderate
* * *
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Superior
* * * *
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Luxury
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Day 2 Jersey – Historical St Helier(B)
After breakfast, meet up with your guide as we walk through Jersey’s vibrant capital St Helier on foot, exploring the cobble lanes and the bustling high street.

Visiting some of the most historical parts of the town to include Liberation Square where there is a 17 foot high bronze sculpture commissioned to celebration 50 years of Liberation. The Parish Church of St Helier where generations have worshipped including Charles II. The Royal Square where is situated the islands parliament as well as the statue of George II. The Victorian Markets to see the famous Jersey Royal potato, Black Butter, the Jersey wonder and the Jersey Lily. Crossing the road to the fish market to learn about the salted cod and the fishing industry of the Gaspe. View the sculpture of our world famous cows and learn what makes this small breed of cow so famous.

Continues through French Lane and if time permits for a beer or a coffee at the traditional market pub the Prince of Wales. Finally you visit the Jersey Museum which presents history from 250,000 years ago when the first people arrived in Jersey and continues through the centuries to explore the factors that have shaped this unique island and the people who live here. Find out why Jersey remained loyal to the English Crown despite being so close to France; listen to Jersey-French being spoken; learn about the Island’s traditional farming industry and watch fascinating archive footage of the early years of tourism.

Time at leisure in town for lunch (own expenses) or a little shopping.

This afternoon, we will continue for a guided tour to include St. Matthews Glass Church and the Jersey War Tunnels.

The attraction of St Matthew’s lies in its glass, not the stained glass associated with the windows of ancient churches, but the moulded white glass, or verre blanc moulé-pressée, formulated by Lalique and used by him to make much of the furniture of the church normally associated with wood and stone.
Both these materials are present but only to complement the glass.

Take in the font, windows, screens, communion tables and cross that all part of Lalique’s craft, many of which are illuminated at times; all examples of his interest in the electrical enhancement of his work. The Lady Chapel, ceiling and lights plus The Vestibule also feature René Lalique’s work. Lalique began the work in 1932, commissioned by Florence Boot, Lady Trent, the widow of Jesse Boot, Baron Trent, the founder of Boot’s the Chemist. Lady Trent’s principal residence was Villa Millbrook, but also had a residence in the South of France situated next door to that of René Lalique. Lady Trent encouraged her friend and artist/craftsman neighbour to design and create new fixtures and fittings for the interior of St Matthew’s as a dedication to her late husband. The magnificent works were completed in 1934.

The Jersey War Tunnels are a permanent reminder of the German Occupation of Jersey, which lasted almost five years until the island’s liberation on 9th May 1945. The tunnel complex, formerly known as Höhlgangsanlage 8 (Ho8), now plays host to a series of galleries detailing Occupation history through the diverse experiences of those who lived through it. Visitors will be led through the events of evacuation, deportation, captivity and siege, to eventual liberation.

The tunnel complex of Ho8, which took almost three and a half years to build, was excavated by forced and slave labourers from all over Europe, some of whom died from the terrible hardship they were made to endure. In addition to the main ‘Captive Island’ exhibition, Jersey War Tunnels is home to the Garden of Reflection, War Trail, Visitor Centre, Research Centre, Shop and Café. The latest addition to the tunnels is a sculpture by internationally renowned artist, Paul de Monchaux. Entitled ‘Silence’ it has been commissioned to commemorate the suffering endured by forced and slave labourers who worked on the construction of the Ho8 complex.

Day 3 Jersey – Full day scenic Tour(B)
Depart by car with your guide for a full day’s scenic tour including stopping at some places of interest along the way. There will also be opportunities for photograph stops and refreshments.

Heading in land through the heart of the countryside the first stop will be La Hougue Bie, the site features one of Europe’s finest passage graves where you can learn about life in Jersey’s Neolithic community 6,000 years ago. A medieval chapel sits on top of the prehistoric mound and dolmen dominating this tranquil and spiritual site. Unlike many other dolmens you can stand inside the chamber of the passage grave and feel the heart of this place of worship.

Ancient treasures are waiting to be found in the geology and archaeology museum, including coin hoards, axes, swords and spears. You’ll also discover a command bunker built during the German Occupation, housing a unique memorial to the slave-workers who were brought to the Channel Islands by invading Nazi forces during the Second World War.

The tour crosses the island to the north coast where the landscape changes dramatically, with rugged cliffs, footpaths and traditional Jersey granite farmhouses The drives continues to St Catherine’s breakwater (the harbour that never was) to arrive at the picturesque harbour of Gorey. Take the short walk along the pier to Mont Orgueil Castle where your guide will explain the history of the castle.

History comes to life at Mont Orgueil Castle, which for over 600 years protected Jersey against French invasion. Explore the network of staircases, towers and secret rooms to discover hidden treasures. Mont Orgueil Castle is an exciting place to visit.

After your visit to the castle time will be at leisure for lunch where there are a number of restaurants and cafés along the pier for every taste and budget.

The afternoon tour takes in the east, south and west coasts of the island. The first stop being the Noirmont headland, this area was extensively fortified during the German occupation of the island. Gun Battery Lothringen was the only gun battery on the Channel Island of Jersey, built by the German Kriegsmarine. The guns were four 150 mm. German naval guns from 1917. They were originally produced by the firm Krupp AG for reinforcement of several German warships, including S.M.S. Lothringen. The range of the guns was 18 km and they became operational in the summer of 1941.

The next stop is the picturesque bay of St Brelade with its Mediterranean ambiance where there will be time to visit both the parish church and also the tiny Fisherman’s Chapel. The chapel, now dedicated to St Mary and to fishermen, is older than the parish church, alongside which it stands. It is thought to be on the site of an earlier church of Anglo-Saxon date; the chapel originates from the 11th century. (Excavations have revealed remains of an earlier building) It survived the Reformation which swept Jersey, and was used for a variety of secular purposes, before being restored as a building for prayer and worship in the early 20th century. Its main feature are the frescoes, dating from the late 14th century, which were discovered during this restoration. The most clear is the Annunciation scene on the east wall.

It is just a short drive to the most south westerly point of the island. La Corbiere lighthouse guards this very dangerous coastline where many shipwrecks have occurred. Look across this dramatic coastline where on a clear day there is a good view of Guernsey and the smaller Channel Islands beyond. Why not treat yourself to a Jersey ice cream from the small kiosk.

The lighthouse was the first in the British Isles to be built of reinforced concrete and its light is visible for 18 miles (29 kms) in clear weather. The lighthouse is connected to the shore by a causeway that is covered at high tide. The rush of the tide around this part of the coast can be very dangerous but it is a beautiful place, whether in broad daylight or at sunset.

The drive continues along the west coast which is now designated as Jersey’s National Park. Here many species of plants and animals thrive, including rare orchids and the green lizard. Returning through the heart of the countryside for a late afternoon arrival at the hotel.

Day 4 Jersey to Guernsey (B)
Depart the hotel for short drive to the airport for flight to Guernsey. Upon arrival in Guernsey, you will be met by your guided and taken on a walking town tour of St. Peter Port.

Guernsey’s capital has been a busy port since Roman times. With its cobbled streets and picturesque seafront marina, it is easy to see why St Peter Port is considered one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns. Heading along the promenade our first stop will be at Castle Cornet. Once cut off by the tide, it now provides a spectacular backdrop to the town. Castle Cornet, Guernsey’s ancient royal fortress, has stood guard over the town and harbour of St Peter Port for nearly eight centuries. The story of the Castle and other aspects of Guernsey’s past can be found in the five museums housed within the Castle: The Story of Castle Cornet Museum, The Maritime Museum, The 201 Squadron (RAF) Museum, The Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum and The Royal Guernsey Militia Museum.

St Peter Port’s centrepiece is its beautiful church, which is believed to be the closest church to a pub in the British Isles. St Peter Port takes its name from its parish church and the ‘Town Church’, as it is known throughout the island, is also the mother church of the Bailiwick. Channel Islands churches have a style which is all their own. There is little to be seen of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic. Stand beneath the tower with its massive granite piers, sturdy ribs and central oculus, through which bells are hauled up, and the building looks all of a piece.

St Peter Port is said to have one of the prettiest harbours in Europe and is where you begin this walk. The Second World War had a huge impact on the island and this route will take you past the site of a 1940 bombing that claimed the lives of 33 islanders. Two days later, the island would start a five-year long German occupation. As we meander to the top of town, you will discover beautiful parks and gardens, once the private residences of wealthy merchants in the 18th century. They offer spectacular views across the town and beyond to the neighbouring islands. This walk takes you past the capital’s finest buildings, including Victoria Tower. When French author Victor Hugo lived in exile in the islands in the 19th century, he carved both his name and that of his mistress, Juliette Drouet, into the wall at the top of the tower, a place where they would secretly meet.

Moderate
* * *
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Superior
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Luxury
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Day 5 Full day excursion to Sark (B)
The Island of Sark is just 9 miles away from Guernsey, but until recently was still steeped in a feudal constitution dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1.

You will be transferred from your hotel to the Sark departure point for the 45 minute boat trip to Sark
Arriving on Sark, a tractor affectionately known as “The Toast- rack” will transport you up the steep harbour hill. Your horse and carriage will be waiting for you at the top to take you on a 2 hour gentle exploration of this unique island. During the tour your will visit the beautiful gardens at La Seigneurie, the family home of the current Seigneur or Lord of Sark, which welcomes visitors who delight in the informal setting. The Gothic dovecot which was the Lords prerogative to keep during the past history of the island is still very much in evidence, also the ponds filled with colourful Koi Carp.

Explore the paths between the wonderful scented roses within the high granite walls, and see the ever changing selection of fruit and vegetables grown for the manor table.

After a relaxing time spent exploring the manor garden, you will continue the ride at a lazy trot to visit La Coupee, with magnificent views from this high natural land bridge which stands approximately 100m above the sea.

The carriage tour will finish back at the crossroads at the top of Harbour Hill and there will be enough time left to wander into the little silver and glassware shops which line the main avenue. A good choice of restaurants and tea gardens are situated along this main avenue.

The Toast- rack will be waiting outside the Bel Air pub to return you to the harbour for your return boat trip back to Guernsey. On arrival back in Guernsey your driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.

Day 6 Full day island tour (B)
Experience historic sights and beautiful scenery as you are taken on a circular coach drive around the island.

You will be met at your hotel and take you to experience the woodland garden and sculpture park at historic Sausmarez Manor. After an interesting visit to this mature Mediterranean garden your coach will travel through country lanes to the high cliff top at Icart Point. Here you have the opportunity of a short cliff walk with spectacular views over Saints Bay. Your driver will then drive to the Little Chapel which is the smallest consecrated church in the world, built as a labour of love. The design is based on the Grotto at Lourdes and decorated as a mosaic with shells and donated fragments of Wedgewood and Royal Doulton china.

Next you will be driven across to the west coast where there will be a short stop for photos to capture the beautiful seascape from the high vantage point of Pleinmont cliffs. See the ruins of an ancient watchtower where the French author Victor Hugo received his inspiration for his epic work “Toilers of the Sea.”Les Hanois lighthouse is easily viewed from these cliffs.

Descending the hill, you will see nestling inside the natural fishing harbour of Rocquaine Bay, the Martello Tower of Fort Grey which was built to deter Napoleon’s invasion forces.A stop will be made at La Grande Mare Country Club where lunch will be served. The restaurant is situated in a lovely scenic area set amidst 100 acres of countryside, with its own 18 hole golf course surrounding it. After lunch your will continue along the west and north coast past the glorious sandy beaches of L’Eree and Vazon, and huge granite rock formations at Cobo Bay. The next stop is at Pembroke Bay, where your guide will walk with you across the common to see inside a prehistoric Passage grave.  The coach tour continues along the east coast of the island, with views of the neighbouring islands of Herm and Sark. The last stop will be at Candie Gardens where the town of St Peter Port can be viewed from above.

Return to hotel late afternoon.

Day 7 – Day trip to Herm Island (B/L)
Just 3 miles off the coast of Guernsey, and a quick 20 minute boat ride away, lies this beautiful little island paradise. Herm island has all you could wish for, friendly cliffs, wild flowers, sparkling blue sea, pretty harbours and white sandy beaches.

You will be met at your hotel and transferred from your hotel to the Herm departure point for the 20 mins boat trip.

On arrival at the harbour, take an easy walk across the common to Shell Beach, where you will not be able to resist walking along the strand looking for shells. The path continues to Belvoir Bay, a little sandy lagoon, perfect for relaxing with a quick paddle on a hot day. A steepish woodland path now stretches up to the top of the island where you can visit the little church of St Tugual, dating from the 11th century.This whole wander around the island will take approximately 1 hour at a gentle pace. Descending the hill, The Mermaid Tea Garden is always open to enable you to purchase a light snack, before you wander across to the mezzanine of little shops above the little harbour which stock a variety of gifts and souvenirs.

A lobster lunch will await you in the conservatory at The White House Hotel after which there will be time for a relaxing stroll across Fishermans Beach before departing from either the harbour or the Rosaire steps, depending on the height of the tide, for the return trip to Guernsey.

Day 8 Departure (B)
Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight.


Privately customized tour
ON REQUEST
Quote will be based on the season of travel, number of passengers, category of the hotel used.

Additional information

OVERVIEW

The Channel Islands (Les Iles de la Manche, in French) have a fascinating history, leading to their current semi-independent state. These lovely islands offer a range of experiences, from wildlife sanctuaries to military museums to breathtaking scenery.

DEPARTURE

Private arrangement based on minimum 2 travelers.

HOTELS

As indicated in the itinerary.

INCLUSIONS

Arrival and departure transfers from/to airport
Sightseeing tours and excursions with transport and guide during tours shown in the itinerary
Entrance fees to the attractions included.
Ferry crossing Guernsey / Sark / Guernsey
Ferry crossing Guernsey / Herm / Guernsey
Accommodation at selected class of hotel
Daily Breakfast

EXCLUSIONS

International Airfare/train ticket, Call 1-888-887-1688 to get a quote from your home city
Travel insurance. visa fees, gratuities, drinks, personal spending and optional activities.
Personal expenses, extras in the hotels, tips to guides and drivers and beverages
OPTIONAL TOURS
• 4-hour excursion to Zarskoye Selo and visit to Catherine’s Palace: EUR 70.00 pp
• Visit to folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace: EUR 50.00 pp
• 4-hour excursion to Peterhof and visit to the Grand Palace: EUR 75.00 pp
• 3-hour visit to the Hermitage Art Museum: EUR 50.00 pp
• Russian dinner at Restaurant Russian Kitsch: EUR 40.00 pp
• 3-hour guided channel cruise: EUR 50.00 pp
• 3-hour Moscow metro and Arbat tour: EUR 25.00 pp
• 3-hour Moscow by night tour and river cruise: EUR 50.00 pp
• 8-hour excursion to Sergiev Posad: EUR 80.00 pp
• Visit to Old Russian Circus: EUR 70.00 pp
• 6-hours tour of Suzdal and visit to the Nativity Cathedral, Museum of Wooden Architecture, St. Ethymius Monastery and the Transfiguration Cathedral: EUR 80.00 pp

QUESTIONS

Should you have any further questions, please call 1888-887-1688 for assistance.

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