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Why You Should Visit Porquerolles

Minutes away from the Cote d’Azur shoreline, this tiny outcropping is a world away from the glitz and glamour of Saint-Tropez. Porquerolles is one of three islands that form the Îles d’Hyères Archipelago. Only a 10-minute ferry ride from terra firma this spit of land is only 7 km (4.3 miles) long and 3 km (1.9 miles) wide, but larger than its two neighbours, Port-Cros (National Park) and île du Levant (a military installation and a nudist colony). Porquerolles attracts day-trippers from Hyères and vacationers who are looking for an escape from the crowds and hoping to experience the more “native” side of the Cote D’Azur.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles Cote d'Azur @PerfProvence

Located between Toulon and Saint-Tropez, Porquerolles and the other two islands are also known as les Îles d’Or (Golden Islands). Roman ruins dating from the 3rd-century offer proof of early inhabitation on Porquerolles, however, the village was only established in 1820 and even today the permanent population barely hovers around 200 people. In 1912, François Joseph Fournier bought the island as a present for his bride. Fournier was an adventurer who explored parts of Mexico, where he amassed his fortune in gold and silver. He eventually died on Porquerolles, but not before converting roughly 500-acres of land into vineyards, and planting olive trees and citrus groves. Today, there are three vineyards on the island that produce wine under the vin des Côtes de Provence classification.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles Cote d'Azur @PerfProvence

Why should you plan a visit to Porquerolles?

In 1971, the French state purchased 80% of Porquerolles with the intent of protecting the island from over-development. Since 1988, the islands are safeguarded and managed as part of Port-Cros National Park. The park status limits the number of annual visitors and strictly regulates development on the island and within the protected marine boundary.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles Cote d'Azur @PerfProvence

The sandy beaches on the north side of Porquerolles are beautiful and isolated. In the off-season, you might even find one to call your own for the day.

The south side of the island is the drama-queen where rocky cliffs protect azure inlets and pebbled shores.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles Cote d'Azur @PerfProvence

There are very few cars on Porquerolles, offering a refreshing chance to explore the trails at your own pace. There are 60 km of hiking and biking trails, but since everyone is doing the same thing the number of available bikes might be limited, so it is best to reserve in advance. Here is a link for bike rentals.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles #Cycling @PerfProvence

Enjoy a drink in the village square – Place d’Armes – and get a feel for what the Cote d’Azur was like before the mega yachts and supermodels arrived. Here is a link to the restaurants in Porquerolles.

Poquerolles #Poquerolles Cote d'Azur @PerfProvence

Tempted to stay over on this slice of paradise where Mediterranean breezes caress pine and eucalyptus trees?  Here is a link for accommodation options on the island.

Now, that we have peaked your interest…

How do you get to Porquerolles? The ferry service runs all year from La Tour Fondue. Be warned that summer months can be busy, so advanced planning is highly recommended.

 

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    July 9, 2016 at 7:17 am — Reply

    I first read about Porquerolles in Simenon’s ‘Mon Ami Maigret’, which is set there. And then again in Deborah Lawrenson’s ‘The Sea Garden’. It sounds a fabulous place to visit and I’d love to go one day – my appetite is whetted by your post and photos. I also traded in the business suits for SW France 19 years ago and have never looked back!

    • CKAdmin
      July 12, 2016 at 12:05 am — Reply

      Hello Vanessa! Thank you for the book recommendations related to Porquerolles; more to add to my “can’t get enough of Provence” stack. Do visit the island one day you will not be disappointed. Thanks for reading Perfectly Provence.

  2. Phoebe
    July 19, 2016 at 2:25 am — Reply

    I am constantly amazed at myself that I still haven’t been to Porquerolles which I hear form everyone is stunning. There just isn’t enough time in life to do and see everything…but one day I will get there. Thanks for inspiring me even more to go and for linking up to #AllAboutFrance

    • CKAdmin
      July 19, 2016 at 6:41 am — Reply

      Hi Phoebe: I know the feeling, the problem with Provence is there are so many beautiful areas to see and things to do…the bucket list keeps growing.

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