Château d'If and Frioul Islands

Provence Côte d'Azur
Landmarks and Historic Buildings

Although originally built by François I in the early 16th century as a fortress with strategic importance, the Château d'If soon became used as a prison for Republicans and Protestants. Best known as the setting of the Count of Monte Cristo, it is now a popular tourist destination with regular boat excursions from the Old Port to the island throughout the day. Wander through the old corridors, see the cells and be captivated by the legend of this historic place.

On the Frioul islands many rare floral species flourish in its microclimate and they are considered conservation areas with many birds refuging here also. With lovely beaches, sandy creeks and impressive cliffs, the islands are definitely worth a visit to stroll in the sunshine. On Ratonneau island are the remains of the Caroline Hospital where patients with yellow fever were kept in quarantine.

Places to visit nearby

Marseille in Provence Côte d'Azur is the second largest, and the oldest, city in France and is situated on the sunny south coast.

Nîmes in Languedoc Rousillon is the home of some of the best preserved Roman monuments in the world and is especially famous for its amphitheatre.

St Tropez in Provence Côte d'Azur is a sophisticated resort that is popular with the European and American jet set.

Nearby attractions

On the other side of the quay is the impressive Fort St Nicholas, which was constructed during the 1660s and was used as much to keep the locals in line and loyal to the throne, as to deter invaders.

The Fort St Jean is an imposing structure built between the 15th and 17th centuries to guard and protect the port from attack. It was used as a garrison but later became a prison during the Revolution.

The Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology contains a vast collection of important artefacts from ancient Mediterrenean civilisations.