Les Minquiers are a group of small, uninhabited islands located about 9 miles south of Jersey. They are known as the ‘Minkies’ in local English and are made up of a group of islets and rocks. The largest of the islands is known as Maîtresse Île, and is about 50 m long by 20 m wide.
A collection of stone buildings can be found here, which are mainly used by fishermen and local hut owners. No permanent residents live on the islands, and they are therefore quite beautiful in their remoteness.
Interestingly, the rocky shelf which surrounds Les Minquiers actually has a larger surface area than Jersey – the largest of the Channel Islands. However, rising sea levels have long since submerged every part of the shelf besides the islands and rocks which now remain. They can be a great place to visit during the summer months and are popular amongst yachtsmen and kayakers.
Accommodation – There is no accommodation on Les Minquiers. Therefore, your best option is to stay on Jersey and travel to Les Minquiers from there. Jersey’s capital, St. Helier, is a good base, as the majority of boat tours sail from here. There is a range of accommodation available in St. Helier, with many hotels and BnBs. Hotel rooms during summer can be booked for as little as £70 per night, while BnBs can be more budget friendly, with prices from around £50.
Food – There are no places to eat on Les Minquiers, with St. Helier being the closest source of restaurants and other eateries. Luckily, the town has some great dining opportunities, with fantastic seafood restaurants and quaint little cafes. A meal with a drink at a typical restaurant in St. Helier will cost you around £17, though it is easy to find cheaper options if you search around.
Transportation – Les Minquiers is only accessible by boat. You can charter your own, although the seas around the islands can be dangerous due to the shallow waters and jagged rocks. Alternatively, there are several companies which offer tours to the islands. For example, Jersey Seafaris offer 2.5 hour trips, which cost £49.99 for adults and £45 for U16s.
Suggested daily budget : 105 – 116 EUR / 127 – 142 USD / 90 – 100 GBP
(Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
The Minquiers toilet – located on Maîtresse Île – may not sound like a glamorous destination, however it takes the crown as the most southerly toilet in the entire British Isles. It is therefore something of a tourist destination. The toilet is formed of a stone shack and is quite possibly one of the most peaceful places to go to the bathroom anywhere in the world.
Les Minquiers is mentioned on several occasions in Victor Hugo’s novel, Ninety-Three, where he notes how treacherous the waters around the islands can be. The French writer spent a large part of his life in the Channel Islands and was very appreciative of the islands’ beauty.
In 1950, The UK and France entered into a dispute over which country Les Minquiers should belong to. Although the French fished in the surrounding waters, Jersey exercised administrative control of the islands and was therefore awarded the islands.