The Frioul archipelago points to the coast the relief of its 4 islands: Pomègues, Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen.
Calanques, beaches, sandy creeks, impressive cliffs, the light quality and the water transparency make the islands a spot of great beauty. Still a conservation area, it is an authentic encounter in the Mediterranean sea. The microclimate generates original and rare floral species, adapted to the conditions of aridity that characterize the spot. Furthermore, the Mistral is the great actor of the islands, it sculpts, gnaws and arranges them.
The islands are also the kingdom of plants called “sclérophytes” because of the dryness and “halophytes” because of the salt and their strange forms. 350 species can be observed and some are protected.
These islands are also a refuge for numerous birds. They are, for example, the favorite domain of the Caspian Gull, called “gabian” in Provence.
The history of these islands goes back to the Quaternary period when they were united to the continent : the discovery of bear- and dear-bones confirm this theory. But it is in the 6th century before JC that the islands history really begins, in the same time as the history of Massalia. During all the centuries, the islands are stops for the Mediterranean sailors, warriors or adventurers. Later on, the sanitary function takes a large part in the protection of Marseille, espacially in the beginning of the 19th century when the Caroline Hospital was build on the Ratonneau island to treat patients suffering from the yellow fever.
More information : www.ilesdemarseille.fr/html/frioul.html