This island, that represents the only woodland island in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, is only 420 meters away from the coast. In the past, the Green Island was a paradise for rabbits. Nowadays, the “gabians” (seagulls in Provencal) have taken over the island and nest in there all year long. The Aleppo pine tree is the main tree and gives the island its emerald color. Other typical plant types include oleaster, asphodel, thyme and mushrooms.
The island is 12 hectares wide; its summit is 49 meters high at Fort Saint-Pierre. It reaches a length of 430 meters and a width of 260 meters at its largest points. During the high season, a regular boat shuttle transfer takes you to island from the Old Port. From the island, you can behold a beautiful view over the Eagle Beak (Le Bec de l’Aigle) and the bay of La Ciotat.
A Bit of History
Up until the beginning of the XIX century, the island would be used for agricultural purposes.
During the First World War, artillery men settled camps in the island. It was at this time that two turrets were built there. Four canons were also brought to the island. However, it is the Second World War that really left its mark on the island. Being used as a strategic place in the Mediterranean area, the Germans made the island a barricaded camp. They built blockhouses that were connected by underground tunnels. Until today the remains of those blockhouses can be seen along with other marks left by the war such as bomb craters in the pinewood.
You might also want to read about the fascinating story of The Green Island’s Christ Statue.
The regular shuttle service to Ile Verte operates from April to October.
The company Alquilade takes you from the Old Port directly to Ile Verte that is only 420 meters away from the coast.
Quai du General du Gaulle
Tel: +33 (0)6 63 59 16 35