French Riviera Secrets


Îles d'Hyères - the Golden Isles

The Îles d'Hyères consist of three gems : Île de Porquerolles, Île de Port-Cros and l'Île du Levant.
The town of Hyères lies about 25 minutes east of Toulon; these islands are only a 15min ferry ride away, from Hyères harbour, called "La Tour Fondue".
Note that this harbour lies about 13km (9 miles) south of Hyères, and that this stretch of road can be extremely busy in summer.
These islands are protected nature reserves, no cars are allowed, and offer plenty of opportunity for walks and swimming.
Tickets can only be purchased on-site.

Île de Porquerolles

Plage d'Argent, or Silver Beach, Porquerolles Plage d'Argent, or Silver Beach, Porquerolles

Porquerolles is the biggest of the three islands. The northern side has beautiful beaches, whereas the southern side of the island is a bit more exposed ( to the frequently blowing Mistral).
There are various walks criscrossing the island, and around the coast. The island is not big, measuring around 7km from east to west, and 3km from north to south (4 by 2 miles); most people hire a bike to get around, in the town of Porquerolles there are various outlets renting out mountain bikes and child carriages for towing.
For more information visit the official Porquerolles website (in French).

The pictures you can see here were taken on Easter Sunday 2017 (April 16th), when I went out there for a day trip.

Plage d'Argent, Porquerolles Plage d'Argent, Porquerolles
Porquerolles - south side Porquerolles - south side
Plage Notre Dame, Porquerolles Plage Notre Dame, Porquerolles
Porquerolles - Pointe de l'Aiguade Porquerolles - Pointe de l'Aiguade

Île de Port-Cros and Île du Levant

The other two islands are smaller, and can be reached by ferry from Porquerolles and from Hyères.
Port-Cros is a national park and covered in forest; Levant is much rockier. Both islands have restaurants and provide tourist accomodation. And if you like skinny dipping, Levant is popular with nudists.
I have not yet been to either of these two islands, will have to go soon!

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