Visit the beautifull church and hear the monks who live on thi island sing and pray. You can join the service. Please be respectfull and quiet during the service and towards the monks. The church is a beautifull building with a lovely garden and some impressive statues above the entrance.
Enter the abbey and take a look inside this old religious building. You will find some amazing photography sites because of the lights and shadows inside this mysterious building. Climb on the stairs (more than 100 steps) and enjoy the amazing view.
There is no traffic on this island at all. It's nice to make a walk on the island and enjoy all it's beautifull scenery's and it's rich nature. During the walk you can visit ceveral abbey's a garden and a church.
You can follow the coast to find the Castle once used to defend the island and the monastery.
Take a moment to walk all the way up to find a beautiful view over the island and the sea. If you are lucky you'll meet some priests along the way.
The munks need - in their wish to isolate themselves - to get a certain independance from the surrounding sea and land. Therefore they created acres and grow crop on the island's land. The plants are - as you can imagine - subtropical, but also just grane and vegetables are grown here. Now-a-days, in a little shop, they sell also their products to visitors. Varieting from deliscious jam to own baked bread.
As said, the habitation of the island by christian monchs dates back to the first centuries after the birth of Christ. First the monchs built small chapels and seven of them (or the ruins from what they used to be) can be found throughout the surface of the island. One is from the 4th century and one of the oldest buildings from this period in the whole region. It clealy shows Byzantian influences, as in that time the West Roamn empire was crumbling apart and the East Roman empire (Byzantia) roose in power.
The castle was built on a place where ships had to pass to reach the safe landing grounds of the island (and it has few). The castle walls are thick and from the top one can see very far (useful when you want to know out front when the enemy is coming). Now the view is also great towards the isaldn, looking over the monastry and the trees towards Ile Sainte-Marguerite (the other island).
That munks are peaceful is well known, but when the stakes are high and the danger near, munks are protecting their sanctuary well. In medieval times, pirats roamed the mediterranean sea and did not have respect to religion, as long as they could get what they want. The monastry was plundered several times and as an answer to this thread, the munks built a castle on the rocks in the water from where they could defend themselves with canons against these roaming scavangers.
The monastry is - as seen from the place where the boat arrives - on the other side of the island. Through the fields where the munks grow their crops, one reaches it in just a few minutes walk. Here the most pictoresque thing is for sure the monastry's gallery, running along the centre of the main building from the gates towards the church. Halfway a dome is covering the gallery, splitting it in two parts.
When you visit here in summer you can spend some time on one of the lovely small and quiet beaches and swim in one of the idylic bays.
When you arrive at the island you can feed the fish near the boat. As soon as you leave the boat and look into the water you will see many fish waiting for someting to eat ;-)
Take a few hours to wander around the island and admire the rocky beach formation all around it. Many places will invite you to stop for a photo or lay down for a while.