ile de porquerolles

Guide to the Île de Porquerolles

The beautiful Île de Porquerolles in the South of France is an incredible natural reserve. Unknown to many tourists who visit the Riviera, it’s one of the South’s hidden gems and it’s absolutely stunning.

A Hidden Gem in the South of France

Part of the Îles d’Hyères, the island is the largest and is home to about 200 inhabitants. Popular with French tourists, the island is mostly a natural reserve and has some stunning beaches to visit. I’ve been lucky enough to visit yearly for the past 7 years that I’ve lived in France. It’s great to go over by ferry for the day or, if you’ve got a boat licence, rent a boat and explore the stunning coast line.

If you’re staying in Marseille or nearby Toulon, I’d really recommend going for a day trip to hike, cycle around the island and swim in the beautiful bays. If you want to stay for longer than a day then you can stay on one of the hotels on the island – there’s more information on this below.

How to Get To The Île de Porquerolles

Getting to the île de Porquerolles is easy with daily ferries running from all over the South of France. The quickest ferry to get is from Hyères, or the La Tour Fondue, which takes around 20 minutes. During the summer a return ticket for 1 adult is €24. In Spring and Summer the prices are lower at €22 p/person. You can buy advanced tickets here.

Tip: If you’re driving to the La Tour Fondue then you’ll need to arrive very early to get a parking space. It fills up extremely quickly and there’s little to no alternative parking for miles.

Alternatively, you can get ferries to the island from:

  • La Londe
  • Bormes les Mimosas
  • Bandol
  • Sanary
  • Toulon, St Mandrier & Les Sablettes
  • Le Lavandoum, Cavalaire & La Croix Valmer
  • Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime & Les Issambres
  • Saint-Raphaël

Is it Worth Visiting?

Yes! Absolutely. It’s a stunning island that’s mainly unknown to the majority of tourists who visit the South of France. If you’re wanting to keep away from the tourists, hike and visit some wild, natural beaches then the île de Porquerolles is definitely worth a visit.

ile de porquerolles south of france

As it’s a protected reserve, the majority of the island is untouched by development allowing it to keep its natural beauty. Only service cars for the hotels, fire service and port are allowed so bike is pretty much the only form of transport. There’s plenty of bike rental shops and you can be at one of the beaches in under 15 minutes from the port.

Finally, there’s a great selection of cafés, bars and restaurants across the island so it makes for a fantastic day out if you’re in Toulon/Hyères area.

When’s the Best Time to Visit?

In my opinion the best time to visit is around late Spring (late May-early June) and in September.

I’d avoid visiting mid-late July and August as this is peak summer holiday season in France. It also gets very hot (around 30-35c/86-41f) so walking and cycling around the island can be unpleasant! If you do visit during this time then you’ll need to arrive very early to be able to park and get a ferry!

How to Get Around

The best way to properly explore the island is by bike. You can rent a bike at the port and there are several bike rental shops. Expect to pay around €19-25 per adult for a normal bike and €40+ for an electric bike.

You can walk but expect there’s a minimum 20 minute walk to the nearest beach (the Plage de l’Argent) from the port. If you do decide that you want to hike, bring proper hiking shoes as the roads from lead off from the main port quickly become paths.

Beaches & Viewing Points on the Island

There’s over 15 natural beaches to visit with the majority on the north east and north west sides of the island.

Plage d’Argent

The Plage d’Argent (the Silver Beach) is the closet beach from the main port of Porquerolles. You can access the beach by foot in about 20 minutes. Here, you’ll access a beautiful beach with fantastic views across a small bay. There’s free public toilets, showers and a great little restaurant that’s open in the summer months.

plage de l'argent

Plage Notre-Dame

The Plage Notre-Dame is a large, thin beach on the north-east side of the island. You can walk there but it’ll take around 50 minutes so I’d recommend going to this beach if you rent a bike (which takes around 12 minutes cycling). There’s no public amenities here (and definitely no shops or restaurants!) – it’s 100% natural – so make sure to bring everything you need! This beach has incredible views over to the boats in the bay and across to the mainland.

plage notre dame

Batterie des Mèdes

The Batterie des Mèdes is an old fortress and artillery placement built by the French army in the early 1800s. Located on the very north tip of the island, this view point has incredible views down to the wild and rocky coastline. If you’re visiting by boat, you can’t anchor here but you can take in the views and anchor to the south of the Piscine des Medes.

batterie des mèdes viewing point

Where to Eat

There are some great little restaurants on the island with the majority being located next to the port in the town of Porquerolles. I’ve eaten a few in the town and you can get great grilled steak and fresh fish at L’Orangeraie and L’Escale Porquerolles.

If you’re wanting to have lunch with a view then I’d definitely recommend going over to the Plage de l’Argent. You’ll find the Restaurant ‘La Plage d’Argent‘ overlooking the beach. It’s also a great spot for a drink at the end of the day before heading back to catch the ferry.

Wanting to know more great restaurant recommendations in the south? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in the South of France.

Hotels on the Île de Porquerolles

There are few hotels on the island and I’d recommend staying at either the Hotel Residence Les Medes or the L’Oustaou De Porquerolles. These are both reasonable 3* hotels that are in the main town of Porquerolles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ultimate British Mushy Peas
mushy peas recipe

Ultimate British Mushy Peas

This mushy peas recipe is an authentic British side dish perfect to go along

Sous Vide Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Sous vide asparagus

Sous Vide Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Using the Sous Vide method to cook asparagus is an easy way to get perfect

You May Also Like