Both islands, Pomègues and Ratonneau were connected by a dike in 1825. In the 17th century it was used to put ship’s crew in quarantine to protect the city from The Plague and Yellow Fever, as well as military posts to protect the coast from invasions from the sea.
The archipelago has small beaches for those wanting to escape the crowds. However, the main feature of these islands is the variety of coves, its rich sea life and various wrecks …attracting divers from around the world.
Frioul: a military site turned Natura 2000 zone
The islands of the Frioul archipelago have often been invested in view of their strategic position in the bay of Marseille. As a result, they have long been used as advanced defenses like the Château d'If.
Until 1975, the islands of the archipelago of Frioul were prohibited to the public and priopriety of the National Defense. It was only after the intervention of the former mayor of Marseille Gaston Deferre, that Frioul was downgraded to a simple marina and that houses and businesses were built on the island.
All the islands that make up the archipelago were then ceded to the city only in 1995.
On the environment side, human modifications have changed the face of this archipelago of Marseille. However, endemic species typical of the Marseille coast are still present as well as rare floral species. In contrast, the fauna of Frioul is impoverished: many animals have deserted the place and only seabirds still predominantly populate the islands.
Today, the government has helped to place the Frioul islands site in the European Natura 2000 network to preserve the natural space as much as possible.
Discover the island of Friuli by privatized boat !