If you are visiting the Côte D'Azur in southern France, then the little island Porquerolles, just south of Hyères is a must visit for a day trip.
The island Porquerolles has been protected by the French government since the 70ies. The result is a very beautiful island which is still covered with a lot of eucalyptus and pine trees.
Almost all traffic on the island is by bike. In summer sandy roads take you from the harbour to the beaches or to forests on the island.
At the little harbour, there are a lot of bike rental shops where you can rent mountainbikes.
The Notre Dame beach is one of the most well known beaches on the island. During summer months, you'll not be alone, but the experience is still great. The sea temperature is very warm (27 degrees C) and you can get some shade from the pine trees.
No beach side shops or cafés are on the Notre Dame beach (luckily!), so be sure to bring your own food and drinks. (take your garbage with you when you leave!). Food and drinks can be bought in the harbour shops.
During summer we advise you to make a reservation for the bikes because most sell out at 10am before noon. You can walk but cycling is much more fun, especially if you have small kids which love to sit in a bike trailer.
Depending on where you take the ferry from the main land to Ile de Porquerolles, the ferry will arrive after 10am in the morning. Two good options for the Ferries are:
- Hyères: only a 20 minute boat trip. During summer months every 30 minutes a boat leaves. Try to go as early as possible before the Parking lot is completely full. Reservations are also recommended/Required
- Toulon: We used the ferry company Les Bateliers de la Rade – the trip takes around 1h30 and leaves at 9h30 in the morning. (back at 6.15PM) You can park in any of the nearby paid parkings. You'll also see some of the military vessels lying in Toulon's harbour.