How to get to the Channel Islands?

Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm: our suggestions for getting there
Photo, © Jersey

Just a few kilometres from the coast of la Manche, the Channel Islands provide a unique setting for a complete change of scenery.

Set sail for Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark or Herm and find yourself in Britain, or almost! With glorious scenery, great shops, pubs, and a vibrant atmosphere, there’s something for everyone. To get there, several options are available from la Manche. Ferries, sailing boats with or without skippers, or motorboats: we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Are you not sure which island to choose for your getaway? Here are our suggestions.

How to get to the Channel Islands?

Take a ferry to the Channel Islands

From the ports in la Manche, you can take a ferry with the DNO shipping company to visit the Channel Islands.

  • Set sail for Jersey from the port in Granville or in Barneville-Carteret
  • If you want to explore Guernsey or Alderney, you’ll need to head to Dielette.
  • As for Sark, you’ll need to change onto another ferry in Jersey.

Depending on the island you want to get to, the distance is not the same from the coast of la Manche. The crossing takes 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on your destination.

When do you want to go to the Channel Islands? There are departures almost daily between April and September. The crossing times vary from day to day, depending on the tides.

Note: You can take your bike on the ferry (at an additional cost), but not your car. Pedal off to explore the paths, greenways and cycle routes!


Cruise to the Channel Islands

with a professional skipper

For a day trip or for several days, head to the islands on board a yacht. From the ports in Granville and Barneville-Carteret, skippers propose different options to get to Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and Alderney: crossings, all-inclusive trips, and longer cruises. You’ll discover the pleasures of navigation and participate in the tasks on board before arriving at your destination.

Photo, © Captain Yvon

Hire a pleasure boat

to get to the Channel Islands

Do you know how to sail? Do you have a boat licence but not a boat? Don’t worry, in Granville and Barneville-Carteret you can hire a sailing boat or a RIB. Get ready for an adventure! See boat tours and boat hire companies at the Granville Terre et Mer tourist information office.

More information


Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Sail to the Channel Islands on the Neire Maôve

From Carteret, the crew of this schooner will take you to Jersey, Guernsey or to the Ecrehou islands, a small uninhabited archipelago close to Jersey. You’ll learn the ropes on this replica of an early 20th century fishing boat. You can also prolong the adventure for a weekend, as the Neire Maôve has eight berths.

More information on trips on the Neire Maôve 

Photo, © Isabelle et Simons, Jersey Neire Mâove

For your getaway to the islands, don’t forget your passport, which has been compulsory for everyone (adults, children and babies) since Brexit.

French school groups benefit from relaxed post-Brexit measures and can still use their ID cards.

The Channel Islands: which one to choose for your getaway

Are you still not sure which destination to choose among the different islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark or Herm? Our suggestions, depending on what you want to do.


the island of flowers

The biggest of the Channel Islands has an extraordinary variety of landscapes, including fine sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, coastal paths edged with wild flowers, and picturesque villages. With its incredibly diverse scenery, Jersey is the perfect place for hiking.

In St Helier, stroll through the pedestrian streets and browse the luxury and pop-up shops, visit the markets or enjoy a drink in one of the pubs.

We recommend visiting Jersey in spring to try the freshly picked Jersey Royals. You’ll find these delicious new potatoes in local restaurants or for sale on roadside stalls with charming honesty boxes.

Visit Jersey

Photo, © Andy Le Gresley - Jersey


the green island

Guernsey is a welcoming place, with gorgeous landscapes and exceptional heritage. The “green island” is a name that suits it perfectly, with its woodlands, nature reserves, paths and beaches. The capital, St Peter Port, is a picturesque little port town with a fascinating mixture of styles: a maze of houses tumbling down to the sea, terraced gardens, old flights of steps and secret lanes. Don’t miss Hauteville House, the famous residence where Victor Hugo lived during his exile.

Every year in late August, the Guernsey North Show and Battle of Flowers takes place, when you can admire a parade of beautiful floral floats.

Visit Guernsey

Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey


the wild island

This paradise for birds is also the perfect place for nature lovers and walkers. As you hike around the island, watch out for puffins and gannets. Another way to visit Alderney is to hop aboard an old London Underground train for a ride along the only railway line in the Channel Islands.

In August, Alderney week will show you the festive side to the third largest Channel Island, with live music, a carnival, shows, and fireworks.

Discover Alderney

Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey


timeless beauty

Sark is one of the smallest of the Channel Islands. Cars are banned there, and you get around on foot, by bike or in a horse-drawn carriage. The coastline is fabulous, with creeks, cliffs, bays and picture-perfect landscapes. Walk along the sunken lanes edged with wild flowers and admire the rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias in the La Seigneurie gardens. At night, look up and gaze at the stars: Sark has been named as a Dark Sky Island by the International Dark Sky Association.

Visit Sark

Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey


a place to unwind

Situated in the heart of the archipelago, Herm is the smallest of the Channel Islands. There are no cars or radio there, just idyllic beaches reminiscent of the Caribbean. Far from the daily hustle and bustle, this island is a perfect place to enjoy some peace and tranquillity in a breathtaking location.

Discover Herm 

Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey
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    Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey
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    Photo, © Images courtesy of VisitGuernsey
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    Photo, © Jersey
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    Photo, © Andy Le Gresley - Jersey

The characteristics of the Channel Islands

A visit to the Channel Islands gives you a complete change of scenery just a hop away from mainland France. The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are British Crown Dependencies and share the same characteristics.

  • The Channel Islands are in a different time zone to France (they’re one hour behind), so don’t forget to change your watch!
  • The currency there is the British pound, and you can also pay in Jersey or Guernsey pounds (which can only be used in the Channel Islands). Euros are not accepted. You can withdraw pounds from the cash machines there.
  • The official language is English, although some Norman words are still in use.
  •  Driving is on the left side. If you don’t want to hire a car, opt for a bike or public transport. In Sark, you can take the tractor bus or a horse-drawn carriage. In Alderney, hop on the old London Underground train.

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