Only 420 meters from the shore, the Île Verte (green island) is the only wooded island in Bouches-du-Rhône.
The island was once a paradise for rabbits. Today, they have been replaced by seagulls, which nest here almost all year long. The dominant Aleppo pines give the island its emerald appearance. Other typical species, such as myrtle and wild olive, asphodel and thyme grow alongside mushrooms, which are plentiful on days after rain.
Covering an area of 12 hectares, the island has its highest point at Fort Saint-Pierre, 49 meters above sea level. At its longest, it measures 430 meters in length and its greatest width is 260 meters. In season, two regular shuttles carry visitors to the Île Verte. The island offers breathtaking views over La Ciotat bay.
Until the early 19th century, agricultural activity reigned on the island.
During the First World War, from 1914 to 1918, artillerymen took up position here. Two gun turrets were built on the heights, and four cannons were unloaded in the Calanque de Saint Pierre. But it was the Second World War that left more permanent traces. The island’s position made it a strategic point in the Mediterranean. Realizing this, the Germans made the Île Verte into a fortified camp in 1943. They built blockhouses linked by a network of underground tunnels. The remains of the blockhouses can still be seen today. Bearing witness to the war, the pine forest is pockmarked with craters blasted out by shells.
The Aquilade shuttle takes you to the Île Verte between April and October.
Quai du Général De Gaulle
Telephone: +33 6 63 59 16 35
Prices (round-trip ticket): €13 for adults, €9 for children aged less than 10