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Île de Porquerolles, Bild: andre quinou / shutterstock

Île de Porquerolles

When you think of islands in the Mediterranean, you usually think of the Spanish archipelagos, sometimes also Cyprus or Malta. Of the French islands, only Corsica is on the radar of many visitors. There are several small treasures off the French Mediterranean coast, which entice with impressive nature and the basis for a quiet and relaxing holiday right on the beach. A good example of this is the Île de Porquerolles on the Côte d’Azur. From mainland France, it can be reached in less than 20 minutes by boat and offers everything you could dream of on a Mediterranean holiday.

Île de Porquerolles, a natural beauty in the Mediterranean

Porquerolles
Image: Nikiforov Alexander / shutterstock

France is famous all over the world for its diversity in the field of nature. The cliffs of Brittany, the vast green spaces of Auvergne, the Mediterranean climate around the south. And yet the Île de Porquerolles manages to offer a breathtaking sight even by French standards. A big advantage is that the island enjoys a greater reputation at most among locals and has therefore hardly been developed for tourism so far. The many small features of nature have remained almost untouched by humans and are therefore suitable for a day trip or even for a longer trip with all the advantages of the Mediterranean.

Porquerolles is part of the Îles d’Hyères, making it one of three islands that can be found off the coast of southern France. They are particularly characterized by a Mediterranean climate, an almost untouched nature and a beautiful environment. The locals have been going to the island for years to relax, enjoy the beach or simply spend a day surrounded by water. Only in recent years has something like a small tourist infrastructure developed here and today the island is not only regularly accessible by boat, but also provides the basis for various water sports and hikes through the heart of the island.

Sport and relaxation on the Île de Porquerolles

Ile de Porquerolles
Image: Eric Valenne geostory / shutterstock

Today, the Île de Porquerolles is visited by a wide variety of holidaymakers with very different needs. On the one hand, it has developed into a paradise for day trippers who are already on the south coast of France and do not want to miss this sight. On the other hand, the beach offers a little variety even among all the possibilities in the south of France. It may not be the largest beach in the area, but the quality of the sand and the comparatively few visitors make it a paradise for those who want to relax a little away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the sea.

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The other travelers on the island are those who are looking for the many opportunities for sports. Cyclists and water sports enthusiasts in particular can be found here on every corner. While surfers take advantage of the waves around the island, it is the bike rental companies that make arguably the best sales on the warm weekends. Whether it’s a relaxing bike ride up the hill or a mountain bike tour through the slopes – there are not only many things to see and discover, but also excellently developed paths. In general, getting around by bike is absolutely typical of the Île de Porquerolles and is also very well maintained by the locals. Of course, it is also possible to take your own bike to the island for a small fee.

Finally, the island is particularly inviting for hiking. The highlight is a small fortress from the 16th century, which can be found at the very top of the island and, together with the old lighthouse, is probably the biggest attraction. Almost all routes for the hike end here at a small museum with a restaurant. The view is magnificent and you can well imagine how the soldiers watched over the bay or how the lighthouse paved the way for sailors from past times to the coasts of France.

Culinary and cultural aspects on the island

Cycling Porquerolles
Porquerolles is great for cycling. Image: Samuel Borges Photography / shutterstock

If you want to experience a little of the local arts in the kitchen after a long hike or bike tour, there are numerous opportunities to do so in the small village where the ship docks. The wonderful cuisine of the south of France is served here and delights visitors with delicacies from the region. Of course, it is above all the seafood that can be recommended here. In addition, there are various opportunities for shopping or to take a small souvenir of the excursion with you in the village.

The Île de Porquerolles may not be very well known yet, but it is a great destination for holidaymakers with very different needs. It is best to discover it now, because soon this island should also be much better known in Europe and the world.

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Holidays on Île de Porquerolles: Important information

Important telephone numbers

  • Police: 17
  • Fire brigade: 18
  • Ambulance: 15
  • General emergency: 112
  • Tourist information: +33 4 94 58 30 36

Supermarkets

  • Utile: Rue de la Douane, 83400 Île de Porquerolles
  • La Petite Épicerie: Place d’Armes, 83400 Île de Porquerolles

Doctors in the most important places

  • Île de Porquerolles:
    • Dr. Jean-Paul Fléchier: Rue de la Douane, 83400 Île de Porquerolles, +33 4 94 58 31 19
    • Centre Médical de Porquerolles: Rue de la Douane, 83400 Île de Porquerolles, +33 4 94 58 30 36

Important words with translation

  • Hello – Bonjour
  • Thank you – Merci
  • Please – S’il vous plaît
  • Yes – Oui
  • No – Non
  • Sorry – Pardon
  • Where is…? – Où est…?
  • How much does it cost…? – Combien ça coûte…?
  • Emergency – Urgence
  • Doctor – Médecin
  • Hospital – Hôpital

Holidays

  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • Good Friday: variable (March/April)
  • Easter Monday: variable (March/April)
  • Labour Day: 1 May
  • Victory Day: May 8
  • Ascension Day: variable (May)
  • Whit Monday: variable (May/June)
  • National holiday: 14 July
  • Assumption Day: 15 August
  • All Saints’ Day: November 1
  • Armistice: 11 November
  • Christmas: December 25

Opening hours

  • Shops: Usually Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sundays often shorter opening hours.
  • Supermarkets: Usually daily from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Restaurants: Lunch from 12:00 to 14:30, dinner from 19:00 to 22:00.
  • Banks: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Airport

  • Toulon-Hyères Airport (TLN): About 10 km from the port of Hyères, from where ferries depart for the Île de Porquerolles.

NUDISM

  • Not common: There are no official nudist beaches on the Île de Porquerolles. Nudism is not practiced and could be considered offensive.

Post / Stamps

  • Porquerolles Post Office: Rue de la Douane, 83400 Île de Porquerolles. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Stamps: Available at the post office and in some kiosks.
  • Costs for letters and postcards to Germany: Standard letter up to 20g: approx. 1.50 EUR; Postcard: approx. 1.50 EUR

Safety

  • Crime: Île de Porquerolles is very safe. Observe the usual precautions as in any small municipality.
  • Emergency number: 112

Current

  • Voltage: 230 volts
  • Sockets: Type C and E (as in Germany). Adapters are not required.

Tip

  • Restaurants: 5-10% of the bill amount, often included in the bill.
  • Taxis: Round up the amount
  • Hotels: 1-2 EUR per day for cleaning staff

Customs

  • Allowances within the EU: No customs restrictions on personal belongings.
  • Alcohol: Maximum 10 liters of spirits, 20 liters of alcoholic beverages with less than 22%, 90 liters of wine, 110 liters of beer.
  • Tobacco: 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, 1 kg of tobacco.