Imagine West Cornwall, an artist's paradise, with its ancient fishing villages, mild climate, coastline of coves and caves, sandy shores under vast blue skies, history of of smugglers and wreckers, myths and legends, and you have pictured Marazion. Charming and unspoiled, referred to as "Ictis" in classical literature, it is believed to be one of the oldest towns in Britain. Facing the wide, golden sandy beaches of the breathtakingly beautiful Mounts Bay, the little town is the gateway to the famous island of 'St Michael's Mount'. It is peaceful, with quaint, narrow streets, interesting shops and sea glimpses around every corner reminding visitors of its dramatic neighbour. The active artists community produce and sell paintings, pottery and sculpture in the local art galleries. The cafes, restaurants and pubs provide elegant dining or snacks for the beach.
Mounts Bay has clean sandy beaches offering safe bathing, clean water and excellent facilities. The beaches are ideal for families with very small children. For sailing enthusiasts, there are often major National Championship races which bring many hundreds of small craft to the town beach for week long competitions. The views along the coast towards the Lizard Peninsular, to the east, and Lands End, to the west, are awe inspiring. The great sweep of land surrounding this expanse of sea, with the dramatic sight of St Michael's Mount dominating the bay, is the first safe haven for sailors coming in from the Atlantic Ocean.
The island castle of St Michael's Mount has over a thousand years of history. Originally thought to be a Saxon religious settlement in circa 900, in 1075, after the Norman Conquest, a Benedict Priory was constructed on the site, which had religious links with Mont St. Michel in Brittany, and became a place of pilgrimage. The castle was later fortified and saw action during the English Civil War - its battery of cannons still exist. The island served as a major port in Roman times and was the centre for the export of Cornish tin and copper to Greece and the Roman Empire. Accessed by a granite causeway at low tide and a ferry boat at high tide, the island and castle is open to the public every weekday and most weekends during the summer and on a limited basis in the winter. There is an attractive little harbour with some shops, a cafe and restaurant. Follow the coastal path and you will enjoy many officially designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Escape and discover deserted coves where you can see seals, dolphins, sea birds, flowers and fauna and if you are lucky the occasional porpoise, marine turtle or whale. Between Marazion and Penzance lies Marazion Marsh, a RSPB reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is host to a wide variety of animal, bird and plant life and very popular with bird watchers. Guided walks are available.
For many of us, a holiday means lying on sun drenched beaches or relaxing watching the world go by and this is a perfect place for that but there are also exhilarating activities on offer including surfing, cycling, sailing, riding and golf. You can ride the Atlantic swells with surf board, body board or sail board on the nearby famous surf beaches. Kite surfing and wind surfing lessons are available on Marazion beach as well as sea fishing trips and sight seeing boat trips around the coast.
For lovers of the great outdoors, this area is a paradise. Surround yourself with blue seas, sandy beaches, friendly people, beautiful countryside, history and great historic masterpieces. Further along the coast you can watch open air theatre productions at the Minack Theatre, set dramatically in the cliffs above the sea. The great variety of attractions include the Lands End Experience and the Tate Gallery in St Ives, and other numerous parks, galleries and museums.
There are good road, rail and links with low cost flights to Newquay Airport (40 miles) and a mainline train station in Penzance (3 miles).