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About Channel Islands
The Channel Islands have enough quiet hikes, beaches, and coves carved into its granite cliffs to make you feel as though you’ve escaped everything. White-washed English cottages with red tiled roofs, hikes along the seashore, carpets of wild flowers, cows chomping in meadows, signs in French, harbors filled with yachts---it’s this relaxed atmosphere that brings travelers to the five Channel Islands.
Here are some tips to help guide you on your trip to the Channel Islands.Located in the southern part of the English Channel, the islands are a mix of French and British culture. English is predominantly spoken. The two main islands, which are the easiest to access, are Jersey and Guernsey. Three smaller islands, Alderney, Sark, and Herm, are part of the Guernsey district. All islands are served by ferry, and it takes around 3 hours from England, 1 hour from France, and around 50 minutes to get between Jersey and Guernsey.The islands are generally 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than England. Taxes are very low, and the islands have “tax haven” status as a result.
Jersey is the most developed, with a bustling marina and many of the best museums and seafood restaurants. You’ll find quiet beaches and plenty of cycling just outside of the capital of Saint Helier. Guernsey’s capital, St. Peter Port, has a beautiful old town with cobble streets. The three small islands provide the most privacy (Sark island does not allow motorized traffic). Important sites on the Channel Islands include the Elizabeth Castle, which is located just off of Jersey’s shore (it is only accessible at low tide), and the German occupation museums, especially the Underground German Hospital, which reveal the horrors of WWII. Popular activities include kayaking, coastal cruises, hiking, cycling, and spas.
As of May 2011, U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days. The currency of the Channel Islands is pounds, which feature the islands’ own unique designs. The money of the Channel Islands cannot be used in stores in England.