All information in this blog post is correct as of the publishing date, 17.06.19.
For those of you who have booked your holiday to Jersey this summer or are about to do so and are already excited about hopping onto one of the frequent ferries to Jersey, the next step is planning. Jersey is a summer holiday destination like no other; a place to connect with nature, spend quality time with loved ones, experience a unique adventure or just to sit back and relax.
We have put together what you need to know for your summer holiday to Jersey, from exciting activities to the best attractions and beauty spots to seek out. If you want to know the best places to eat and the biggest events taking place throughout the coming months, we have the information you need to know.
Jersey has a range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities. If you are seeking something exhilarating, there is coasteering and blokarting. For those who are looking for something a little simpler, then walking or cycling around the island may be better. If you want to discover the island’s wonderful wildlife and hidden treasures, scuba diving is the perfect option for the summer months.
Blokarting is an adrenaline fuelled activity combining go-karts with windsurfing. Ride across the beaches on the wind-powered yachts; the five miles of compact sand is the perfect location and the westerly wind will effortlessly power you along. The activity is suitable for individuals, and also great fun for a group, as you compete against each other around the course. There are a few companies to choose from that offer blokarting, such as Absolute Adventures based Le Braye at St. Ouen’s Bay and Jersey Adventures at St. Aubin’s Bay. Whether it’s your first time or one hundredth, the experience of blokarting is one you’ll not soon forget.
Jersey’s interesting coastline of cliffs, caves and rocks makes it ideal for coasteering. All you need is trainers or aqua shoes, a towel and swimwear. Coasteering is an increasingly popular adventure activity and you can explore hidden caves and tunnels by climbing, swimming and cliff diving – if you dare! With Absolute Adventures, you can pick from two types of coasteering, classic or RIB. RIB Coasteering allows you to access the remote Gorselands, accessed by RIB from the sea and is available on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Classic coasteering of climbing, swimming and scrambling are done at Greve De L’ecq on Mondays.
The English Channel may not seem like the location for scuba diving, but the coastal waters of Jersey offer many delights for those who want to try the activity. There are World War Two wrecks and aquatic species to discover on the seabed. You can learn how to dive with entry-level courses, and those with experience can make use of the facilities, all through Scuba Diving Jersey. If diving is not an interest to you, the company also offers snorkelling courses, stand up paddleboarding and boat trips.
One of the best ways to explore any holiday destination is by foot, and Jersey has a plethora of routes which have made it a walker’s paradise. If you are in the mood for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there is something for everyone. For the culture enthusiasts, there are guided walks with experienced ramblers taking you through a journey of Jersey’s past, stopping off at many points of interest. You can also opt for self-guided walks, as there are many trails and paths taking you through the countryside, or along the coast. You can’t get lost either, as you are never far from a bus – or a local to give directions!
A network of cycle paths covers the whole island, meaning locals and visitors can explore the whole with ease. Routes are signposted, and when you come to any Green Lanes, the speed limit is 15mph and cyclists and pedestrians are given priority. There are advanced routes if you want to get your blood pumping, or if you’d rather a more leisurely approach, you can cycle solo or as a group with many pit stops to rest at. Alternatively, choose a group tour with an experienced guide so you won’t miss a thing and best of all, you don’t need to worry about bringing your bike with you as there are plenty of hire shops.
Beaches and Attractions
The joys of an island mean beaches and attractions are never far away and Jersey has an array of both. There are the rugged cliffs in the north towering over sheltered bays, silky golden sands on southern shores, pebbled coves with turquoise waters in the east of the island and crashing waves and dunes in the west – be sure to read our beach guide to find out locations, how to get there and the types of beaches. Of the many attractions to visit, there are historic buildings, animals and museums to choose from – perfect if a rainy day arrives!
Greve de Lecq
On the north coast, this sheltered sandy beach is popular in the summer, due to the nearby cafés and pubs, parking and regular buses. The high cliffs offer shade in the afternoon and the water is warm enough for a swim. You can also easily launch a kayak from the sloping beach and find secret coves further along the coast.
St. Aubin’s Bay
Sprawling from St. Helier to St Aubin’s Harbour is St. Aubin’s Bay, a sandy beach which catches the sun from dawn to dusk. The loose golden sand feels wonderful underneath your feet and the adventurous can hit the water on jet skis or water skis. When the tide is out, you can still splash about in the Victorian bathing pool.
Young families will love visiting Grouville Bay, known locally as Long Beach, due to the easy parking, regular bus services and local amenities. The golden sand is ideal for sandcastle building and the calm waters in summer mean you can head out for a swim, hire a motor dinghy or try wakeboarding!
St. Ouen’s Bay
Five miles of golden sand at St. Ouen’s Bay affords sunbathers plenty of space to lie in the sun or head into the waves for a surfing session. There is a mix of busy stretches and quieter spots, where you can fire up a barbecue as the sun sets over the sea. The beach is also part of the Jersey National Park, and every angle offers stunning views. As St. Ouen’s Bay is so popular there is sufficient parking available, though you may have to look a bit harder in the summer!
Jersey Zoo is the island’s best-loved attraction and is open all year, giving visitors the chance to encounter some of the world’s most endangered species. There are over 1,400 birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians within the 32 acres of the zoo and animal experiences are held throughout the day, where you can meet some of the favourite animals at the zoo. The zoo was founded by conservationist and author Gerald Durrell and has become an international charity and conservation trust since it opened 60 years ago.
Mont Orgueil Castle
Mont Orgueil Castle dominates the east coast of Jersey and protected the island from French invasion for 600 years. The public can now explore the staircases, towers and secret rooms of the medieval castle, with highlights including the Wheel of Urine, the Dance of Death Statue and Witches in Hell. The whole family can enjoy the “living history” days the castle hosts in the summer, where actors bring the history of the castle to life.
A visit to the Jersey War Tunnels on your summer holiday gives you a chance to learn more about one of the most difficult periods in the island’s history. An unforgettable experience, the War Tunnels details the German occupation of Jersey and features galleries and exhibitions that tell stories of those who lived through it. Visitors can also enjoy the Garden of Reflection, visitor centre and café, the war trail and dare to try out the escape room experience.
aMaizin! Adventure Park
The award-winning aMaizin! Adventure Park is the perfect attraction for a packed day out for all the family. The park offers over 30 activities from go-karting to crazy golf, a toboggan run and tractor rides. The park also features a themed maze which is open during the summer months. Planted in April, it is open by July 1st, and you are given instructions when you enter the maze about the challenges and scavenger hunts inside. All the activities in the park are covered in the entry ticket, and there are indoor activities if the weather turns wet or cold.
Places to Eat
While a few nights in on your holiday to Jersey is an excellent way to unwind after a busy day exploring the spectacular island, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to dine out at one of the many fantastic cafés or restaurants during your stay. Some of our favourites are listed below, but you can find out more under dining and bars.
The Watersplash overlooks St. Ouen’s Bay and is a popular beachside eatery for locals and visitors. The fish and chips are famous, and the lunch snacks are also a favourite with salads, pasta and sandwiches available. After a day on the beach, The Watersplash is the perfect place to unwind and watch the sunset.
Located in St. Helier, Casa Mia is a delightful restaurant serving up Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Expect to find seafood, pizza, pasta and homemade desserts on the menu along with a warm, friendly atmosphere. Explore the wonderful wine pairings and delicious dishes on your visit to the restaurant and see why it is so popular with island residents.
Overlooking the Victorian breakwater at St. Catherine’s Bay, Breakwater Café welcomes back patrons time and time again who want to indulge in the simple but tasty English lunch food. Regular menu items include English breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, afternoon teas, cakes and the biggest ice creams on the island!
Bohemia Bar and Restaurant
Another St. Helier favourite is Bohemia Bar and Restaurant in The Club Hotel and Spa and is highly recommended by critics as a culinary must. The one Michelin Star and 5 AA Rosettes are a testament to its amazing food and there are several options to suit everyone’s taste buds, with vegetarian, seafood, a tasting menu and signature dishes to choose from.
There is always something happening in Jersey, especially in the summer months. There are festivals celebrating all your favourite things, spectacular sporting events and family-friendly events, so no matter what time of the year you visit you can be sure there will be something taking place. We have rounded up some of the unmissable highlights of the summer.
Jersey Surf Film Festival (11 – 14 July)
With its beautiful coastline, it’s no surprise one of the island’s favourite festivals is the Jersey Surf Film Festival. It is not just about screenings of short films and surf films, as those who attend can enjoy a wide range of activities for those who love the sea and surf, with music sessions, swimming and surfing lessons.
Jersey Battle of Flowers (8 – 9 August)
The Battle of Flowers has been one of the biggest and best-loved events in Jersey for over 100 years and when visiting in August you won’t want to miss out on such a special event. There will be an array of colourful floats paraded down the streets and countless displays of flowers. The parade on the second day is held at night and the twinkling lights is a truly amazing sight.
Jersey Regatta (6 – 8 September)
The Jersey Regatta at the beginning of September is the last of Jersey’s nautical events of the year and is co-hosted by three of the island’s yacht and sailing clubs, offering a selection of race categories to suit every captain. Race categories include everything from catamarans to dinghies, and spectators are welcome to watch the races from St. Aubin’s Bay. Watching the colourful boats racing in the regatta is a fantastic way to round off summer in Jersey.