Stress can be overwhelming when you’re working hard every day, both at home and at the office. When you have the opportunity to relax, you can enjoy life and even improve your health. Just a short distance away, nestled in the English Channel, sits the small yet inviting Channel Islands. With the ease of access through a beautiful scenic ferry ride, the charming islands offer a quaint getaway even for a relaxing day trip.
Planning a vacation to the Channel Islands can be a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy day-to-day of everyday life. There are four main islands to choose from when planning your getaway: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark. Each island has its own incredible activities, fascinating histories, and unforgettable island charm.
Sark, the smallest of the Channel Islands, is only 24 miles from the northern coast of France and 80 miles south of England, it can make you feel as if you’re traveling to another place in time. The island is considered the crown jewel of the Channel Islands and is a popular destination for those looking to explore the island. Read on to learn more about just how this small island in the English Channel can offer you a getaway you won’t soon forget.
What is the Size of Sark Island?
The main Channel Islands consist of four main islands, with Sark being the smallest inhabited island. The charming island has banned the use of cars and is easily accessible by foot or bike and even horse-drawn carriage. The size of Sark Island is 3 miles (5 km) long and 1.5 (2.4 km) miles wide at its broadest point. There is a smaller island nearby that is privately owned and is separated by the narrow Le Gouliot Channel. Sark itself sits at its highest point at 375 feet tall (114 meters), and the area makes up a small 2.10 miles (5.45 km).
Never judge the island simply by its size. What it lacks in area, it makes up by being surrounded by incredible cliffside views, sandy beaches, and a small-town charm that can’t be beaten. The island of Sark first appeared in history when it was given as a gift from William of Normandy to the Mont-Saint-Michel abbey around the year 1040.
Sark passed through the ownership of the Vernon family, who designated the island as a dependency on the abbey of Montebourg. In 1204, Sark was ruled under the English Crown, with a brief French occupation from 1549 to 1558, reverting back to English control. During World War II, Sark Island was under the control of the Germans, creating a troubled time for many on the island. There has been a lot of ownership and conflict over the Channel Islands, and many owners have made the Sark landscape it is today. Sark has a unique and storied history that has added to its incredible charm and has drawn thousands of visitors annually to experience it.
What To Do on Sark Island?
When you plan a trip to the small island, there is plenty to do and see as you explore the island. You can spend an entire day making your way along the coast exploring caves, swimming pools, and incredible beaches swimming with wildlife. The Venus Pool is one of the more popular spots with great views and calm waters for a unique swimming experience among intricate rock formations.
Take some time to explore The Avenue, where you can find restaurants, pubs, cafes, and shops featuring local art, wares, and great eats. As you explore the shops, you can rent a bicycle to ride along the carless trails and get from one end of the island to the other in no time. As you ride, you can check out some of the incredible rock formations visitors love to see, including the window in the rock overlooking La Seigneurie. The Buddhist Rock at the north end of the island was carved by a Tibetan Monk who visited in 1999 with a carving that translates to “Behold – The jewel in the lotus.“
Take a ride over to La Coupee, the causeway that separates Big Sark from Little Sark by way of a narrow path with a steep 300-foot drop on both sides. You can visit the famed Gouliot caves, a designated RAMSAR site known for the variety of wildlife, including sea sponges, anemones, and more found on the cave walls during the low tides.
How to Get to Sark Island
Getting to Sark Island can only be done by a private charter or ferry from Guernsey or Jersey. Getting to Guernsey or Jersey can be done by ferry or you can catch a flight from England or France. There is no airport on the island as it is too small for any aircraft to safely land and it would bring noise that the residents would prefer not to have to endure. There are ferry services operated by The Isle of Sark Shipping Company from Guernsey or from Jersey by way of Condor ferries which operates through the spring and summer months.
You can rent a boat or a private charter and moor at any of the locations on the coast of Sark on the west or east coast of the island and enjoy the pristine beaches, cliffside pools, and more.
The trip to and from Sark is around an hour ferry trip, and you want to be sure to arrive for your ferry departure when you’re ready to head back with enough time to ensure you don’t miss the ride back and catch any connecting ferries or flights.
Sark may be a small island, but it has a lot to offer. Many people make the trip daily during the peak season to experience the rustic charm, learn about the history, and visit with locals.