Tatihou Island

Tatihou Island

the history of a very special island

If the history of Tatihou Island had to start from a single point, it would be the date of 1692 and the naval battle of Barfleur where the French army was defeated. In response, two years later, two towers, one on the island and the other on the mainland, were built to act as an impassable rampart. This construction by Vauban, the most famous architect in French history, was fortified over the years. This impregnable defensive position has given a special importance to the island.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the military fortifications were used by numerous garrisons or refugees such as those from the Spanish War. The National Museum of Natural History of Paris took advantage of the particular setting of Tatihou to install the first laboratory of marine biology between 1887 and 1923.

Nature then took over at the end of the 20th century, until 1992 when the buildings were rehabilitated to give Tatihou a new face.

Tatihou Island, discover who it is today

Yesterday and today are intimately linked on Tatihou Island. The Vauban Fort, with its tower listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a perfect example.

Some of the buildings constructed over the years are now part of the "Maisons de Tatihou". The museum, the natural history gallery and other places to discover to learn more about the maritime history of the region.

If the island has kept its wild aspect, if the tranquility of the place is part of its charm, one takes pleasure in plunging into the history of this small piece of Normandy land through its buildings and their development. But beyond Tatihou Island itself, it is the whole Cotentin region and its history that you will discover during your stay.

Tatihou Island

So much to do on such a small island

On 28 hectares of surface, nature has regained its rights thanks to its isolation. Between magnificent coastal landscapes and an exciting ornithological presence to observe, this biodiversity has a lot to offer.

For couples discovering Tatihou, the walks on the beach will undoubtedly be a privileged moment. With the waves as a backdrop, you will see in Tatihou Island a magical place to find yourself. You will then continue your stroll in the gardens.

Disembarked on the island of Tatihou with the children, you will not lack activities either. The Fort Vauban and the maritime museum will be as many opportunities to learn, to tell the great History and to be passionate about the region.

Other activities on the island are linked to the human presence. The discovery of the Fort Vauban, the museum, the gardens are as many hours spent in an exciting and unique setting in the region.

Maritime museum of the island Tatihou

The maritime history of Tatihou and its region as well as some remains of ships that ran aground in the 17th century offer magnificent collections to discover. Many temporary exhibitions complete the visit.

Access is free for visitors to the island from 10:15 am to 5:45 pm in season. Interested in what the Maritime Museum has to offer? We invite you to find out more at the ticket office on the island of Tatihou.

The gardens

There are two types of gardens in Tatihou:

The acclimatization gardens: more than a hundred species of atypical and exotic plants make up the acclimatization gardens. It is a real botanical treasure, a feast for the eyes but also a sanctuary for the preservation of biodiversity, both of plants and insects that live there.

The maritime botanical gardens: enter a harmonious landscape of three hectares where woody plants reign. You will discover the flora of the Channel-Atlantic-Mediterranean coastline as you walk through this green space organized into thematic gardens.
If nature is beautiful in Tatihou, the hand of man has been able to sublimate it through several landscaped gardens. The regional horticultural species are honored in superb arrangements that will take you on a journey.

The Vauban Fort

Vauban built two defensive towers in the harbor of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, one of which is on the island of Tatihou. They offer an incredible panorama on the whole roadstead and the coastline.

The Tatihou crossings

Every year, the "Traversées Tatihou" festival is a musical event that takes place between land and sea, offering a musical scene inspired by world music. An unmissable event in the Cotentin region. The festival takes place in August.

How to reach Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue

Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue is only 4 hours drive from Paris, and about 30 minutes from Cherbourg, your landmark in the Cotentin region. But above all, once you arrive in Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue, you are only a few minutes away from a great change of scenery on a surprising little island, Tatihou.

To reach it, nothing could be easier with the amphibious boat. Book your ticket on www.tatihou.manche.fr.

Crossings are available to the general public from April to November from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (7:00 pm in summer) from the Vauban quay in Saint-Vaast-La-Hougue.

It is possible to come on foot by passing by the oyster beds which make the link between the mainland and the island itself. Of course, precautions must be taken concerning the tide times. If you have any questions, the team of the ticket office and the Tourist Office of Tatihou remain at your disposal.

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