Port Cros, Porquerolles, Ile du Levant
Veritable gardens sitting on the sea, the golden isles, off the Var coast, are a paradise for lovers of peace and nature. The fauna and flora of the land and the sea and the mildness of the climate come together to make these islands an enchanting place.
Flat or ragged, inundated by sunlight or swimming in sea spray, these islands, little bits of land remote from the rest of the world, ultimate havens of peace clear of the noises of civilisation, will always make us dream. These three here - Port Cros, Porquerolles and Ile du Levant - especially offer you your desert island adventure.
Like meteorites out of time, these are three little planets that have retained only of their best, giving the visitor the wonderfulness of a perfect harmonty between Man, Nature and the sea.
They are called "the Golden Isles" since the Renaissance. Undoubtedly because the combination of the sun and the sea give them one of the mildest climates in France, with less than one day of frost per year, and an exuberant and always green vegetation. In less than an hour's boat ride from the Var coast, these true pearls of the Mediterranean constitute the southernmost point of Provence. Situated on the same latitude as Cap Corse (43°), in turns welcoming and wild in its green setting, these islands unveil their infinite charms to those who take the time to discover them.
The legend of the Golden Isles
The legend, as told by the writer of Hyére Gustave Roux, recounts that the 4 daughters of Prince Olbianus, a respected lord, were exceptional swimmers. Their incomparable beauty was the pride of their father. One day, as they were swimming off the coast, pirates' sails appeared on the horizon.
Their father, conscious of the danger, begged them to come back as quickly as possible to the shore, but the unfortunate girls were too far away. Desperate, the father made a plea to the gods, asking them to prevent the abduction of his daughters. Heaven heard his laments : just as they were going to be seized, the four daughters of the prince Olbianus felt their arms and legs stiffen, then freeze.
They were changed into islands : the three princesses farthest away formed the golden isles, while the one closest to the shore, already stretching her pleading arms towards it, became the peninsula of Giens. It's said that these islands have kept the staggering beauty of the princesses…
To come to Le Lavandou
Take the autoroute direction "Toulon", then, "Hyères". Once in Hyères, continue straight on the motorway, direction "Le Lavandou"
To Toulon (40 Km), then take the Sodetrav bus across from the station which goes direct to Le Lavandou.
1°) To Hyères, then a direct bus for Le Lavandou (weekends only), otherwise a bus to "Hyères gare Routière" then a bus in the direction Le Lavandou.
2°) To Nice, then a "Phocéens Cars" bus toHyères gare routière ».
Situation: Shom map 5329 Northern Latitude : 43"08'- Eastern longitude : 06"22
Going to the islands
One to eight departures by boat per day, depending on the season, leaving from Toulon, Cannes, La Tour-Fondue, Hyères, Le Lavandou, Cavalaire, La Londe or La Croix Valmer.
Price : from 15 to 30 € round trip
Les Bateliers de la Rade Liaisons Toulon-Porquerolles-Port Cros-Le Levant, Tours to the 3 islands +33 (0)4 94 46 24 65
S.N.R.T.M. +33 (0)4 94 93 07 56 - +33 (0)4 94 62 41 14 (Toulon) – +33 (0)4 92 98 71 30 (Cannes)
Transmed 2000 +33 (0)4 94 92 96 62
Transport Littoral Varois +33 (0)4 94 58 21 81 (La Tour-Fondue) +33 (0)4 94 58 32 93 (Porquerolles) +33 (0)4 94 57 44 07 (Port d’Hyères)
T.V.M. Vision des Mers +33 (0)4 94 58 94 14
Vedettes Iles d'Or +33 (0)4 94 71 01 02 (Le Lavandou) +33 (0)4 94 64 08 04 (Cavalaire) +33 (0)4 94 79 53 06 (La Croix-Valmer) +33 (0)4 94 66 62 88 (La Londe)
Office de Tourisme de Hyères - Avenue de Belgique - 83400 Hyères
+33 (0)4 94 01 84 50http://www.hyeres-tourisme.com