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PORQUEROLLES, PORT-CROS, ILE DU LEVANT, jewels of the Mediterranean

Port-Cros voiliers © Hyères Tourisme
Written by Sarah Meneghello Published May 31, 2015 Sarah Meneghello

Journaliste.
Spécialisée dans le secteur touristique et culturel.
Doctorat en arts du spectacle.
Auteur de nombreux articles et ouvrages sur ces sujets. Responsabilités pédagogiques (notamment du Prix Icart-Artistik Rezo).

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porquerolles,National Botanical Garden,

Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Ile du Levant: the Iles d’Hyères are nicknamed the “îles d’or”, or golden isles. Fine sandy beaches and coves with crystal-clear water, cliffs and pine forests, luxuriant nature… We understand why: it’s quite simply paradise on earth! (Pitctures : © Hyères Tourisme © Turtle Prod – Nicolas Barraqué © Giland.)

Porquerolles is ideal for families, Port-Cros brings joy to walking enthusiasts and Ile du Levant is perfect for naturists. Indeed, each island has its own particularity. The five islands, three large and two small, of the archipelago constitute Port-Cros National Park, created in 1963 following the bequest of their owners to the State. The first national marine park in Europe and the only one where the State owns almost all of it. It represents within the Pelagos sanctuary*. Its insular forest and underwater meadow are also remarkable sites.
There are many paths and trails to discover, on foot or by bike, and even in flippers, snorkel and mask! Divers, like amateur sailors too, are accepted but strictly supervised.

*Pelagos: a protected area for marine mammals of the high seas, including France, the principality of Monaco and Italy.

Porquerolles

Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Les îles d’Hyères, les îles d’or, parc national, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Domaine Heliopolis, La Palud, Fort de l’Estissac, Conservatoire botanique national, Fort Saint-Agathe

This is the longest island (7km). Adored by tourists, it offers varied landscapes. Black beach to the south. The white beach to the north, sheltered from the wind, is said to be the most enjoyable. The vineyards are also worth a detour.

Porquerolles village © Hyères Tourisme

The village
Created in the 1820s to attract military families, this is a very popular holiday destination. The Place d’Armes, surrounded by plane trees, marks the centre of the island. And not simply because of its game of bowls! The port lives at the pace of the daily arrivals of visitors, and there are many in summer.

The National Botanical Garden
450 acres of agricultural land and collections of rare species endemic to the Iles d’Hyères, as well as old varieties of fruit trees. Presentation of activity through a permanent open-air exhibition with garden and orchard visits.

Fort Saint-Agathe
An old fort built in the 16th century, in a perfect state of conservation, it offers an unobstructed panorama. As well as an exhibition on the patrimonial wealth of Porquerolles and Hyères harbour, don’t miss the Porquerolles Jazz Festival in July, which brings all the big names together.

Fort de Port-Man
Located on the far eastern side, the fort overlooks the Port-Man bay. Constructed under Richelieu, the tower and battlements have deteriorated a lot over time. In the face of the urgency and importance of the restorations to be carried out, the National Park has granted a 40 year long lease to photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand who has restored it by the book. Closed to the public but can be visited on Heritage Days.

 

 

 


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