There are loads to ways to enjoy yourself on the island of Guernsey but the crystal clear waters around the coastline are also pretty tempting.
Swimming, snorkelling and poking around in rock pools will keep you amused for hours – the most popular beaches are Cobo Beach (great for sunsets), Fermain, L’Eree, Pembroke, Petit Bot, Portelet, Port Soif and Vazon.
The island is a magnet for anglers - about 20% of British shore records were caught in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. There's never a bad time to fish from the shore in Guernsey as we hold such a wide variety of species in our waters – you can catch Mackerel, Bass, Ballan Wrasse, Grey Mullet, Black Bream and Garfish, depending on the season. More recently the increase in water temperatures has also encouraged such varied species as Couches bream, Gilthead Bream and Trigger fish to visit our shores.
You can also take angling trips out of St Peter Port with professional skippers who know the local waters and the best fishing marks. These range from the rich sandbanks and mid channel wrecks of the northern island of Alderney to the varied coastline and reefs of Sark, which are home to just about every species that can be caught. Depending on the month you can expect to come home with Pollack, Turbot, Brill, Tope, Bass, Skate, Cod, Ling, and Conger Eel, to name but a few of the species around our fruitful shoreline.
Guernsey has a number of popular surfing beaches. If you are relatively new to the sport there are well marked zones to surf in at Vazon Beach. Beginners (i.e. first year of surfing) should stay between the check flag painted on the wall and the large dot on the wall by the Martello tower.
The main surf spots are Vazon beach (great for learning), Vazon Reef/Totherside and Centres at Richmond. Expert surfer also go surfing at Portinfer and Perelle.
All these spots are very dependent on tidal conditions as well as, obviously, swell. Vazon, for example works best 2-3 hours before and after high water. The reef only works at high tides and centres only on Spring Highs. Portinfer is only for experienced surfers. Lots of rocks and boulders, usually only works on a dropping tide from about 2 hours after high water.
There’s also an excellent surfing school at Vazon Beach – all the instructors are qualified Beach Lifeguards and accredited Surf Coaches who are friendly, patient and extremely committed to what they do.
The clear waters around Guernsey are great for diving and there are several excellent diving schools. The visibility is definitely better than UK waters with up to 10+ metres and also, the waters are slightly warmer by some 2-3 degrees. Literally hundreds of ships having been lost in these waters so there’s some excellent wreck diving, plus reefs, walls, steep pinnacles and open ground.
Kayaking is a fantastic way of exploring the coast and bays around Guernsey and there are several companies that hire out the necessary equipment, as well as conducting courses. The instructors will share their knowledge of the environment, history and wildlife of Guernsey whilst allowing you to experience the excitement of the sea in a kayak, safely and at your own pace.
Coasteering is a unique adventure sport in which you can experience the exhilaration of sea level traversing, rock scrambling, jumping, and swimming in gullies and caves. It is a fun and exciting coastal exploration along the wild and beautiful Guernsey and Sark shorelines. Again there are several local companies that offer coasteering explorations with experienced instructors and all the necessary equipment.
Not strictly a water sport, but you’ll be on the cliffs overhanging the water, so it almost counts!
Guernsey has some great climbing. Good rock and thousands of routes at all grades with virtually no-one using them. The West coast crags at Port Soif, Grandes Rocque and Pembroke offer many easy access short routes. The South coast offers dramatic scenery to complement some fantastic and thrilling climbing.
Courses are run by Outdoor Guernsey and there’s also a climbing wall.
A variety of companies offer boat trips and rib rides around the coast and to the neighbouring islands. You can visit deserted beaches and coves, admire the soaring cliffs, and spot seals, puffins, dolphins, plus a huge variety of seabirds including oyster catchers, shags, cormorants, gulls, egrets, fulmars, razorbills and guillemots, amongst others.
The island has a well-established RYA recognised sailing school that offers courses for all levels. You can hire and charter anything from a sailing dinghy to an ocean going yacht.