Situated on the south coast of Jersey and away from the bustle of busier beaches, Portelet is a charming bay with golden sands and clear shallow waters, perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The centre and focal point of Portelet Bay is a small grassy islet accessible to explore at low tide and locally known ‘Janvrin’s Tomb’, it being the final resting place of a local sailor who came close, but thankfully not too close, to bringing the bubonic plague to Jersey in 1721. Having died while in off- quarantine on his ship, he was transferred to the small Ile au Guerdain in Portelet Bay to be buried, with the service read aloud by a minister who wisely remained at a safe distance on the shore.
Accessed by over 200 vertigo-inducing stone steps down from the cliff above, a trip to Portelet is not for the faint hearted, but the intrepid are rewarded with almost unbelievably picturesque views and a beach that is never too busy. In the summer months Portelet Bay Café serves excellent wood-fired pizza and drinks right on the beach, while one of Jersey’s best loved pubs, the Portelet Inn, stands at the top of the cliff and offers a range of refreshment to those in need after the long walk back up.
There is a public car park at the top of the bay, and visitors travelling by bus can catch the route 12a the Portelet Inn. There are no public toilets in the bay, but patrons of the Portelet Beach Café can access the facilities there.