The South of France conjures up an image of glamour. A-list celebrities, clad in colourful swimsuits, flock over each year to bask in the heat of summer and attend the Cannes Film Festival. Popular destinations like Marseille and Nice are packed with tourists and day-trippers, hoping to escape from cosmopolitan settings. However, the South of France hides its beautiful gem off its coast. Porquerolles is located near Hyères and is part of a group of three islands.
The western-most island is the most well-known and is barely crowded during the May to June and September to October periods. Incredibly great weather with a mild winter and warm summers, coupled with cool ocean breeze makes this hideout the perfect location to get away from the crowded mainland.
Getting there and getting around
From the town of Hyères, on the mainland, ferries are available all year round. Ferries are also made available from Toulon and La Londe-les-Maures, amongst other locations. From the ferry, get off on the island and hop on a bike to commute around as cars are not allowed. You will be able to hire bikes and bicycles at the port and head over to some of the beautiful beaches on the island.
What to see and do
Soak in the sights of beautiful landmarks that encapsulate the history of this little island. Fort Sainte Agathe, Eglise Sainte Anne and the Cap d’Arme lighthouse date back to centuries ago and are still standing tall on the island. Past these monuments, the picturesque scenery is what captures the hearts of those who visit. Flanked with white beaches and limestone cliffs, tourists are often found basking in the beauty of it all.
The crystal clear waters of Plage Notre Dame and Plage de la Courtade glitters as the sun hits the water surface. Plunge into the cold surface and soak in France’s untouched beauty. Take walks on any of the cobblestone paths on the island, shaded by a leafy canopy, and enjoy the panoramic view as you stand on a cliff’s edge.
Blazing sun and tropical beaches? This means that your packing list will be pretty standard. Pack copious amounts of sunscreen, a couple of bathing suits, bottles of water, rain gear (yes, it might rain!), comfortable clothes to bike in and suitable walking shoes. With a sparse number of shops on the island, you want to be packed and prepared. If you are a reader, much like I am, a book is an essential as you lay on the sandy beaches.