A coastal footpath hugs virtually the full length of Jersey’s northern shore, a trek that (if you start at Rozel in the east) begins with dramatic seacliffs (seabirds, including puffins, abound), and passes through heather-covered hillsides (and is lined with wildflowers in spring). The lovely stretch between Bouley Bay and the one-time smugglers’ cove of Bonne Nuit, an up-and-down affair through several small valleys, is a favorite with islanders.
A zoo well worth visiting for anyone interested in conservation, the Jersey Zoo was the brainchild of author-naturalist Gerald Durrell. Set in 25 acres of parkland surrounding his manor house, the 40-year-old facility is a breeding and research center for rare animals from around the world. The more than 100 animals here include orangutans, lowland gorillas, Andean bears, lemurs, macaques, and Montserrat orioles – in a natural setting that also includes rare and exotic plants and trees.
Take an hour ferry (or a very short plane ride) and you can be on another Channel Island (or even France, for that matter). Guernsey has been called a smaller, somewhat more easy-going version of Jersey (you can visit the home where Victor Hugo lived happily while writing Les Miserables). Plan on touring Sark, the smallest of the chain, in a horse-drawn carriage (there are no cars). If you liked hiking Jersey’s wild northern coast, you’ll find seacliff rambles to your liking on Aldernay.