Provence

Porquerolles

With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, white beaches and Mediterranean maquis, the island of Porquerolles is a little paradise reminiscent of the Caribbean.
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Theisland of Porquerolles is located in the Mediterranean Sea and belongs to the Hyères archipelago in the Var department. The largest of the three Golden Islands, it is part of the Port-Cros National Park, one of France’s eleven centres for the protection of nature and biodiversity.

Shaped like a crescent moon, Porquerolles is very reminiscent of the remote tropical islands of the Caribbean, with its hidden treasures and dreamy beaches that make it so enchanting. Its main activities are hiking, cycling, diving and visiting its heavenly beaches. In fact, Porquerolles is a little jewel that holds many monuments with a fascinating history, to be visited during a walk.

Things to do in Porquerolles

Visitable only on foot or by bicycle, which you can rent as soon as you disembark, Porquerolles immediately reveals itself to be a paradise immersed in the Mediterranean maquis and covered with pine trees. The island is characterised by a jagged coastline to the south, with imposing cliffs plunging into the blue immensity, and a much gentler profile to the north, where sandy beaches of incredible beauty follow one another.

Take at least a day to see all the wonders of the Archipelago’s largest island, cycling at a good pace, basking in its cool, crystal-clear waters, savouring its exceptional wines or discovering its perched forts.

Porquerolles lighthouse

1Chem. du Lequin, 83400 Hyères, Francia

Located at the southernmost tip, the lighthouse offers the best vantage point on almost the entire island, as it rises 84 metres above sea level.

Built in 1830, it is now a listed historical monument on the island. It is one of the most powerful lighthouses in the Mediterranean. Although it is closed to the public, it is interesting to reach it to observe the magnificent panorama of the sea below.

The island’s forts

The island of Porquerolles is dotted with military forts. The most important is Fort of St. Agatha2. Built in the 16th century, during the reign of King François I, it now hosts the Porquerolles Jazz Festival every year , one of the most sought-after events on the island. The fort is only open from June to October.

Fort de l'Alycastre3 was erected under the authority of Richelieu around 1640. At that time, its construction was intended to counter enemy attacks and ensure the defence of the island’s coastline. It is currently closed to the public but offers beautiful views.

In contrast, Fort De Repentance4 is located in the eastern part of the island. The construction of this fort was completed around 1893, with a basement development. Since 1995, it has been converted into an Orthodox monastery: it is closed to the public but offers beautiful views of the island.

Church of Sainte-Anne de Porquerolles

5Pl. d'Armes, 83400 Hyères, Francia

Built as a military chapel, it only became a parish church in 1929. It houses a special treasure: in fact, a soldier convalescing at the Porquerolles Sanitary Shelter in 1869 engraved the fourteen Stations of the Cross in solid walnut wood. A truly unique testimony.

This is why the church has been classified as a historical monument and its access is totally free.

Moulin du Bonheur

61 Chem. Sainte-Agathe, 83400 Hyères, Francia

Located very close to the Fort of St. Agatha, it is a typical example of a Provençal windmill. Built in the 18th century, it lost its blades over time and the tower was damaged. Restored in 2007, it is now accessible again thanks to guided tours, organised from June to September, three times a day.

From here, one can admire a magnificent view of the port of Porquerolles. Admission is free for those under 18 years of age.

Carmignac Foundation

7Piste de la Courtade Île de Porquerolles, 83400 Hyères, Francia

This old farmhouse converted into a museum and surrounded by vineyards houses works by great artists from different periods such as Botticelli and Warhol. Surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean scrubland, it offers 2000 square metres of exhibition rooms, surrounded by a garden populated by some fifteen sculptures.

Inside the villa, the spaces expand and unfold in the shape of a cross. Visitors can wander freely in an idyllic setting that offers magnificent views of the vineyards and the cobalt-coloured sea.

Calanque de L'Indienne

8Calanque de l'Indienne, 83400, 83400 Hyères, Francia

It is an exceptional vantage point, especially early in the morning. The cliffs are of an impressive height and can be reached from the village in about 25 minutes on foot and 7 minutes by bicycle.

It is very difficult to descend to the bottom of the calanque, where bathing is not recommended because of the raging currents: we recommend admiring it from above.

Gorges du Loup

9Gorges du Loup, 83400 Hyères, Francia

After a long ride to the south, you will arrive at this almost lunar landscape of sharp, jagged rocks, battered by the winds and the sea.

Your fatigue will be amply rewarded by the beauty of the views, which you will enjoy in almost total solitude: in fact, most tourists concentrate on the gentle sandy beaches in the north.

The vineyards of Porquerolles

Not everyone knows that Porquerolles is home to two renowned wineries. The Domaine de la Courtade10 is an enchanting vineyard bordered by the sea. Today, it produces Côtes de Provence in three colours: white, red and rosé. In Porquerolles, the special soil composed of schist, combined with a favourable maritime climate, enables the farmers to produce an exceptional wine.

On the other hand, Domaine de l'Ile11 is a vineyard classified AOP Côtes-de-Provence and certified organic since 2015. The company produces whites and rosés with special notes. There are 34 hectares on terraces with classic Mediterranean vines. The Chanel house bought the estate and intends to produce exceptional wines of great value.

Best beaches of Porquerolles

The island of Porquerolles has two very different geographical connotations: on the southern side, the coast is made up of steep cliffs and secluded coves, accessible only to hikers. The northern side, on the other hand, offers fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters, strikingly reminiscent of the Caribbean.

Plage de la Courtade

12Tour Fondue - Porquerolles, 83400 Hyères, Francia

La Courtade is the closest beach to the village: only 15 minutes on foot and 5 minutes by bicycle. It is the longest beach on the island, about 1 km.

Facing north-east, the beach is ideal for families, thanks to its gently sloping shallows. It also offers an alternation of sand and pebbles. It extends with several coves to the east, where you will be sheltered from the easterly wind.

The eucalyptus forest, which borders the beginning of the beach, will provide you with a fragrant shady spot, much appreciated in the intense heat of the summer season.

Plage de Notre-Dame

13Plage Notre-Dame, Île de Porquerolles, 83400 Hyères, France

In 2015, Notre Dame was voted the most beautiful beach in Europe by the European organisation for the promotion of culture and tourism in Europe. It is located 3.5 km from the village, calculating about 45 minutes on foot, 25 minutes by bicycle.

Facing north-east, in the extension of the Courtade, its fine sand and the translucent colour of its waters make it an emblematic place on the island. Sheltered from the mistral to the west and the east wind to the east, it is bordered by pine and oak trees: a wooded bay in an enchanting blue setting.

Plage de Langoustier

141350 Chem. du Langoustier, 83400 Hyères, Francia

Located at the western end of the island, on the northern side of the Isthmus of Langoustier, is a wonderful white beach.

At 4.5 km from the village, it can be reached on a rather bumpy track in about 1 hour and 15 minutes on foot or 45 minutes by bicycle: only the most daring will make it this far. But the reward is guaranteed. A cove sheltered from the east wind, with golden sand and shallow waters awaits you.

Plage d'Argent

It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and enchanting beaches on the island. Its crystal-clear, shallow waters, its fine white sand, the shady pine forest behind it and its position well protected from the mistral wind make it the ideal beach for everyone.

In high season, there is a bar-restaurant, a rescue station and toilets. The beach can be reached in 25 minutes on foot or 10 minutes by bicycle from the village.

Plage noir de Langoustier

16Plage noire du Langoustier, Chem. de la Pointe Sainte-Anne, 83400 Hyères, Francia

On the southern side of the isthmus, the black sand owes its colour to slag spilled in the 19th century from an old soda factory.

It is undoubtedly one of the least known beaches on the island, although it is very beautiful and sheltered from the wind. Its southern position protects it slightly from the force of the mistral and completely from the east wind. For this reason, it is one of the most pleasant beaches to visit in summer.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article.

Where to stay in Porquerolles

You can find all kinds of accommodation on the island of Porquerolles: hotels, residences, holiday flats and B&Bs.

Whether it is a romantic getaway, a family holiday or a trip with friends, you can easily find the type that suits you best. In fact, the hotel offer in Porquerolles is sufficiently diversified to suit all budgets. Most of the accommodation is concentrated in the main village.

It is essential to book in advance, especially for the high season, as accommodation sells out quickly.

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How to get to Porquerolles

The only way to reach the island of Porquerolles is to take a ferry.

The boats that leave all year round from Tour Fondue, located on the Giens peninsula, are operated by the company TLV-TVM. They take about 15 minutes and you will also have the possibility to take your bicycle with you for a small extra charge.

Only in high season, Porquerolles can also be reached from other towns on the Côte d’Azur:

Where is located Porquerolles

Porquerolles is the largest island of the small archipelago of the Hyères Islands, the westernmost and the most touristically developed.