That’s settled, we’re spending the day on Embiez Island. The weather is good. Not much wind and a nice sunny day in sight. After getting our picnics and beach stuff ready, we head for the pier at le Brusc harbour, in Six Fours Les Plages. The crossing is quick, but we already feel as free as a bird. On the shuttle deck, children are gazing at the coast. The sea is reflecting the light and water is transparent.
Let’s go to the isle of flowers
We are now at Embiez harbour. Everything is calm. No cars or trucks here. Only electric vehicles, bikes and the little tourist train coming back with travellers. We start our visit with an island tour on the little train. The bell rings, we set off approximately for a 35 minute discovery tour of this preserved island. Daniel, the train driver, tells us passionately – and with a strong southern accent – about the island’s secrets and charms: the vineyard, the marine tower, the life of Paul Ricard… The sublime view upon the Cape Scié headland and the nearby island of Grand Rouveau. We are dazzled. We notice a few beaches below. Which one shall we go to later?
We now have a better understanding of the sea and its biodiversity.
Back at the harbour and it’s time to rediscover the Mediterranean sea! We head to the Fort St Pierre where the Oceanographic Institute is located. It was established by Paul Ricard and Alain Bombard in 1966 to increase public awareness about marine fauna and flora. The aquarium is filled more than a hundred species: octopus, grouper, seahorse… We are immersed in the heart of the sea world. How lucky are we to find out about all this!
Beautiful wild criques teeming with fish
So, the children have got a bit peckish. It’s time to sit down on the beach and have some lunch. We savour our picnic, and we can’t wait to get into the water. Dad is proud to show his children the Chinese hat shell on the rocks. They are called “arapèdes” in the south of France! The children go for a swim with their diving masks and snorkels and they discover the island’s preserved seabed. What a spectacle! You can’t see that in Paris! Oh, a nice wrasse is hiding behind the rock!! They might even glimpse an octopus if they are lucky. You have to mind the sea urchins, don’t forget your water shoes because nature rules here.
Traveling around on a rosalie pedal car
Enough of the beach. It’s getting a bit late. While we were walking around the island, we run into some strange quadricycles which look like Asian tuk-tuk taxis. What is this strange vehicle? We are intrigued, so we decide to rent one for the next 30 minutes and go off to discover more of the island. This quadricycle is called a rosalie. It is much more fun than an ordinary bicycle! And the children can go in front!
An ice-cream break on a cafe terrace
It’s nearly time to go back to the boat. But we can’t go back without eating an ice cream on the terrace of the restaurant Chez Charles ! Now we’re back. The family is tired, but heads are filled with memories. It really was a great day.