If someone suggests that you should walk on water to stroll in the middle of the Seine, don’t trust him! My proof? The Isle of Swans. Join me in this peaceful walk in the busy heart of the city and I will take you to an unexpected green oasis right in the middle of the Seine!
Hi, guys, it’s me again, Anna. Your Paris Insight provider. On today’s menu? An island trip! Put on some comfy shoes and let’s go discover this cultivated mini-jungle that floats like a raft on the river…
The Isle of Swans (L’île aux Cygnes) is my favourite break from the noise and crowds, just a few minutes away from the Eiffel Tower. Formed in 1827 to protect the port of Grenelle, this artificially created island is now your matchless hideaway from the summer heat! Its modest surface (850 m length, 11 m width) offers a surprising amount of ways for you to enjoy yourselves. Just choose the type of Robinson you want to be!
The contemplative rambler. Don’t miss your chance to walk under 3 bridges! Take the tree-lined walkway, named Alley of Swans (Allée des cygnes). It runs the length of the entire island and will gladly take you under Le pont de Bir-Hakeim, Le pont Rouelle and Le pont de Grenelle.
The peaceful lunch breaker. Take a break from the post-Eiffel tower euphoria and come eat your sandwich here, on one of the river-facing benches, with the soundtrack of the Seine’s dress gently rustling in your ear.
The pensive reader. Flip your book under the shadows of Byzantine hazels, Indian chestnuts, Japanese apples or American poplars. Last time I checked, a total of 322 trees adorned the alley, 61 of which were of different species.
The swift jogger. Ready, steady, go! Accompanied by your fave music track (or not), come prove that running on water is possible! The river breeze is so refreshing here and the surroundings are no less attractive…
The carefree dog-walker. Yes, you absolutely can walk your dog there (as long as it’s on a leash). And trust me, he/she will love it!
The tireless sight-seeker. Not only movies have sequels. Some statues do, too! Come live your moment of “New York in Paris” in front of the replica of The Statue of Liberty on the western end of the island. The French “Lady Liberty” (a gift by the American community of Paris) commemorates the centennial of the French Revolution and faces west in the direction of her larger sibling in New York City.
For the perfect ending to this story, take a boat trip or simply go one bridge down (to pont Mirabeau) and make a mental snapshot of an impossible horizon! The Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty living in the same framework, sharing the glory of Paris!
I did go and I loved it, because, well, “impossible horizons” are just my cup of tea…
How to get there:
Metro line 6 / metro station: Bir-Hakeim (then take the stairs down from the bridge Bir-Hakeim to get to the island)