Our little Jersey may be a small spec on the world map, but it’s home to many curious creatures just waiting to be discovered. So if you’re an animal lover and can think of nothing better than planning an island adventure around some wildlife spotting, then check out our two day itinerary for a wild weekend in Jersey.
- Spot a puffin (if you’re lucky!) and take in the island’s breathtaking scenery.
- Keep an eye out for our famous Jersey cows and thriving red squirrel population as you travel through Jersey’s countryside.
- Swing into the Jersey Zoo and ‘hang’ with the sloths, orangutans and gorillas.
- Take a thrilling RIB ride to the offshore reef of Les Ecréhous, where you might be lucky enough to spot a playful pod of dolphins or some sleepy seals.
Today takes you to the north-west corner of the island and pretty Plémont, where you might be lucky enough to spot one or two of the island’s puffins. If you don’t catch the real life ones, then our giant puffin sculptures, constructed from willow and steel and intended to highlight the plight of the depleted species, still provide an epic photo opportunity.
1. Pack your binoculars
After breakfast get your walking boots on and set off on your first adventure to the far north-west corner of the Island to stunning Plémont (remember to pack your binoculars!) On your way through the island’s countryside, keep an eye out for our pretty and world-famous Jersey cows. They produce some of the best milk and cream you can find with high levels of protein, calcium and other important minerals and vitamins. Chances are you’ve already had some at breakfast.
When you reach Plémont, set off on the cliff path towards Greve de Lecq. Puffins are shy little birds and you will need luck and patience to spot one of the small number of breeding pairs. Use your binoculars and scan the headlands. Take your time and soak up the stunning scenery along the way. If you are a bird lover or a wildlife lover generally, then check out Jersey Birds to see the other feathered friends that can be spotted in the island skies.
2. Puffin's aplenty
If you’re not lucky enough to spot any real puffins, then don’t miss the opportunity to have your photo taken next to Jersey’s newest arrivals: a set of giant puffins made of willow and steel and commissioned to highlight the plight of puffins in the islands. They really are worth seeing. The puffin population in Jersey has been depleted through predation and disturbance by humans. It is hoped that an increased awareness by islanders and visitors will see the number of pairs grow. And these giant puffins are making the case in a BIG way!
3. Fuel up with a view
Head towards beautiful Plémont beach, down the winding steps from the cliff path and find your way to the fabulous Plémont beach café. Tuck into tasty, hearty fare, delicious cakes or a cup of coffee and take in the breathtaking views across the bay. If you’re feeling energetic after your pitstop, walk down another set of stairs down to the beach where you can breathe in the sea air, explore the caves and watch the waves come in. You might even spot a Chough – a stunning black bird with a red beak that was extinct in Jersey until a project to reintroduce them to the island. They are most commonly seen in the skies above Sorrel Point and Devil’s Hole but can be seen anywhere along the north coast. Just remember to check the tides, as they roll in very quickly at Plémont and it’s easy to get caught out!
4. Sample the local seafood
Time to head back to base after a big day of bird spotting! As you’re winding your way through the beautiful Jersey countryside keep an eye out for our little red squirrels. They often run across roads or scamper up trees so travel with care! Here in Jersey, red squirrels haven’t been depleted by the presence of dominant greys and they are anything but a rare sight in the island. They can be spotted in woodland areas or even in islanders’ gardens, foraging for nuts, seeds and other food.
For dinner, may we suggest sampling some of Jersey’s delicious seafood? From Oysters to Spider or Chancre Crab and mussels to locally caught Sea Bass.
Conservation and exploration
If Gerald Durrell is a name that means something to you, then today’s excursion to Jersey Zoo will be a memorable one. This centre of excellence for breeding and conservation, works to prevent extinctions and recover populations of highly endangered species. In the afternoon hop aboard a RIB to Les Ecréhous where you might spot playful dolphins en route.
1. Go wild at Jersey Zoo
This morning, head to the northern Parish of Trinity. You’ll no doubt already know of Gerald Durrel who founded Jersey’s renowned conservation Zoo. When you arrive check out the feeding times of the various residents which range from entertaining orangutans to slippery snakes. There are also frequent talks by the zoo experts. Take your time to make the most of this centre of excellence for breeding and conservation of many endangered species.
The enclosures are carefully thought out to create the best possible environment for the occupants. You will see lowland gorilla’s relaxing, orangutans, often with little ones, up to all kinds of antics, sloths, giant jumping rats, all kinds of amphibians and exotic birds. There are over 100 species including some very entertaining meercats, who, whilst not endangered, love their home at Jersey Zoo and keep the humans amused. The zoo has a good café for a pit stop before heading on.
2. Hop aboard
Next, head out east to St Catherine’s for an unforgettable trip on one of Jersey’s sea-faring RIBS. The friendly and knowledgeable crew will take you out around the headland to Les Ecréhous, a breathtaking offshore reef that sits between Jersey and the coast of France. En route, you’ll have a very good chance of seeing dolphins playing around the bow of the boat. Rest assured that Jersey and its waters are not places where dolphins and other sea creatures are fed in order to encourage their appearance. If the wildlife joins us, it’s down to them and it makes it all the more special when they do. If they don’t you will still have an amazing time on these trips. You might also be lucky enough to spot a seal or two relaxing on the rocky outcrops of Les Ecrehous – your crew will know where you’ll have the best chance of seeing them. They will also fill you in on all you need to know about these fascinating reefs. Make sure to book in advance as the trips are very popular.
An ice cream at St Catherine’s Breakwater Café is also must before or after your trip. But be warned … even the small is enormous!
3. For the little ones
If you have children with you who are too young for a sea adventure, then a good alternative is at the aMaizin! Adventure Park where your little ones can mingle with Dougall the minature Shetland, several friendly but cheeky goats, fluffy rabbits and Kunekune pigs, lambs and sheep. The friendly keepers like nothing more than to chat about the feeding patterns of the animals, what they do to keep the animals in top health and explain where the animals have come from as they have mostly been adopted or retired.
4. Relax and unwind
You’ve had a jam packed weekend of wildlife adventuring, so we imagine you’ll be looking forward to an evening of chilling out, relaxing and reflecting on all the ‘wild’ fun you’ve had during your short stint on the island. Take a wander into St. Helier for a drink or two before dinner – we love The Porter’s Store and The Watchmaker. Then tuck into tapas style sharing plates at buzzy Botana, located in the bustling Weighbridge area of town.