As one of the few places left in the world where there are no cars, the island of Sark is the place to be if you wish to escape the stresses of modern day living. Transport yourself back in time to a place where horse-drawn carts still rule the road, and where the only noise pollution comes from the occasional rumbling of a distant tractor.
Sark is one of the smaller Channel Islands, covering an area of a little over 2 square kilometres. Despite this, it offers a great many sights and attractions to explore.
Its unspoilt landscape and spectacular coastline is wonderfully scenic, while its status as the world’s first ‘Dark Sky Island’ makes it an excellent place for stargazing. About 500 people live on the island permanently, and it is well geared up to tourists, with many opportunities to indulge your taste buds in delicious locally-produced food.
Isthmus on Sark
Ancient prison on the island Sark
Accommodation – Sark has a wide variety of accommodation options available, despite its small size. You can choose from hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and campsites, as well as others. Campsites charge as little as £7.50 per night if you bring your own tent, or around £25 per night if you’d like to rent a fully-equipped tent. Prices for B&Bs on the island start from around £95 per night, while hotels tend to be more expensive.
Food – With numerous cafe’s, hotel restaurants and other eateries, Sark is a great place for culinary experiences. A typical meal with a drink at an average restaurant will cost you around £16, making it a little more expensive than some of the other Channel Islands. Groceries are generally pricier too and can be limited in their variety.
Transportation – There are no cars on Sark, so transport options are limited to walking, cycling or horse and carriage. However, the island is very small, so it is very easy to get around using any of these methods. Bicycles can be rented out for about £8.50 per day, with several companies offering these services.
For the authentic Sark experience, 1.5 hour tours of the island by horse and carriage can be purchased from £14 per person. Sark can be accessed via ferry trips from nearby Guernsey, costing £29.50 for a peak adult day return.
Suggested Daily Budget: 82 – 90 EUR / 100 – 110 USD / 71 – 78 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 island of Sark is made up of two sections – Sark and Little Sark. They are connected by a narrow isthmus known as La Coupee, which has steep drops of 260 feet on both sides but is topped by an impressive pathway. As cars are banned from the island, the local ambulance and fire engine are both pulled by tractor, to ensure help can be offered quickly when needed.
In 1990, a nuclear physicist from France arrived on Sark and attempted to take control of the island single-handedly. After putting up posters outlining his intentions, he armed himself with an automatic rifle, but was quickly arrested by the local police constable. Some think his desire to take over the island is a testament to its beauty. Sark also has its very own language, Sercquiais, although just a handful of people still speak it.