L'île Tatihou: Managing the flow of visitors

La Manche General Council -


  • Area of the island: 28ha
  • Ownership status: Coastline conservation authority
  • OPerator: La Manche General Council
  • Number of visitors (2013): 63 866
  • Open to the general public: every day from 5 April to 5 October, more restricted the rest of the year
  • Available accomodation: 35 rooms
  • Amphibious boat capacity: 58 people
  • Number of daily passages: 8
  • Number of annual crossings: 1 100
  • Crossing time: 5 minutes
  • 2014 adult return fare: 6€

A resource-rich but fragile environment
Tatihou lies off the coast opposite Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue. Vauban’s Tower, built in 1694, together with its twin standing on the La Hougue peninsula, defends access to the harbour. It completes the grassy defensive system surrounding the island, still clearly
visible from the north coast, protecting it from floods.
Since it was opened to the general public in 1992, the La Manche General Council has provided a wide natural and cultural offering through permanent and temporary exhibitions, a range of different activities and educational visits, hosting seminars, accommodation and eating outlets as well as an annual music festival.
The fragile natural environments of Tatihou require tailored ecological management and the strictly controls with regard to the flow of visitors.

An innovative means of access: the Tatihou II
amphibious boat
Since opening the site to the public, the General Council has put in place a shuttle service using an amphibious boat. At low tide, it drives through the oyster farms, on the Rhun, a long sandbar.
At high tide, it sails between the Tatihou and Saint-Vaast jetties in around five minutes.
Built in Marennes-Oléron, the new amphibious craft is 13.66 metres long. Its design construction is inspired by the oyster-farming barges in the Bay of Cancale. Tatihou II weighs 21 tonnes and is hydraulically powered with two 150 hp engines.


Positive aspects

Although the amphibious boat provides undeniable appeal, the number of crossings and capacity of the Tatihou II ensure the flow of visitors to the island is properly controlled. Furthermore, visitors are made fully aware of the fragile nature of the local environment by the large number of information documents handed out.
Being managed by the General Council ensures the flexibility required to determine the frequency and times as well as its operations for the personnel working there when the site is closed.