My love for France is not a secret. I’m a nerd for all things Paris related for sure, but I’ve also got a big soft spot for areas less known to the masses. If you read my posts regularly you know how much I enjoyed exploring some of the French islands on the Atlantic coast for example – Île de Ré & Noirmoutier. The first ‘unknown’ French island I discovered however was Porquerolles, an absolute beauty in the south of France.
I’ve got my former colleagues to thank for this discovery (yet again). It’s not unusual for Parisians to spend their (long) weekends on one of the many islands their country has to offer. As soon as the first three-or four day weekends in April or May start popping up, many swap the busy capital for a few days of sunny southern bliss. And that’s how I first heard about Porquerolles.
About a year later the male and I were on holiday in the south of France, in Sanary-sur-Mer to be exact. I remembered the stories my colleagues had told me about this little island called Porquerolles and that it was ‘somewhere along the coast between Marseille and Nice’. It turned out to be only 50km away so we pretty much jumped into our car as soon as we found out.
Now, as relatively unknown as Porquerolles might be among the non-French, it does get super busy during the summer. We were lucky enough to be there in June when it’s still more or less quiet. But July and especially August are not the best months to visit the island; you’ll probably end up in a massive traffic jam on your way to the ferry. So if you can, try to go either before or after those peak months.
Cars are not allowed on the island, they need to be left behind in the parking area of La Tour Fondue from where you take the ferry. Return tickets are about 20 euros for an adult – a little extra if you want to take your own bicycle with you – and the journey takes 15 minutes.
Back to the male and me now, and our first time on Porquerolles. Since there are hardly any cars, everyone is into bicycles. Prices seem to be more or less the same everywhere (surprisingly); about 18 euros per bike per day. I’d say it’s worth it though, Porquerolles is great for mountain biking; up and down the hills overlooking the clear blue sea, over sandy roads through the woods and past vineyards. For a relatively small island I was surprised how varied the scenery was, shame on me I guess!
The coolest thing about Porquerolles however, are it’s stunning (hidden) creeks. If you’re lucky enough, you can even find yourself alone in the water, enjoying a moment of pure bliss. That to me, was the best part of our improvised island discovery tour.
Of course there are some beautiful beaches as well, you’re on an island after all…
As for us, we finished our day with a well-deserved beer on one of the few terraces. We would have loved to stay the night, especially since most people leave with the last evening ferry. Unfortunately there are only a handful of hotels on the actual island so booking (a long time) in advance is mandatory and prices are pretty high. Meaning we had no other choice than to take the boat back to the mainland… and come back the next day 🙂