Porquerolles is the largest of the three islands : 7.5 kilomètres by 3. It is also the most inhabited - about 350 inhabitants - and the most visited.
The trip from the continent takes less than an hour, but upon arrival, the change of scenery is immediate.
From its imposing mass, the Sainte Agathe fort overloooks the natural harbour, where dozens of sailboats bob about.
Aerial view of Porquerolles
The marina of Proquerolles
The port of Porquerolles - The church
The fisherman's wharf in Porquerolles
Fisherman in the port of Porquerolles
Sunset on the bay of Porquerolles
The turquoise waters of Porquerolles
Notre Dame beach of Porquerolles
Trip by bike on the island of Porquerolles
The ancient fort of Repentance
Father Séraphin of Porquerolles
A horn blow, a bit of the quay, two big moorings. The islanders await the boat, their mail, the produce with which they fill their wheelbarrows. The traveller lands on a quai fringed with imposing palm trees from the Canaries. Red ochre houses frame a street bordered with oleander. A few steps to the Place d'Armes and the magic begins.
The eucalyptus quivering with fragrances, the little Mexican-like Sainte Anne church, the shaded sidewalk cafés filled with nonchalant customers, a path that slips away through a gap in the pines…
Ile de Porquerolles has remained authentique, despite tourism and pleasure boating :
its purchase by the government has protected it from the real-estate development that has disfigured the coast, and the banning of cars protects it from noise and pollution. Bicycles or your feet are the only ways to discover the beautiful landscapes of the island.
Bicycle or on foot, the only ways to visit the island.
On the paths of the Ile de Porquerolles
A track, bordered with Lambert cypresses, leads to the southern coast of the island, the domain of the sheer cliffs. A rocky relief, where inlets give way to headlands, and on to gorges, capes and small mountains. Alep pines, olive trees, mastics and red juniper grow on the rocks.
After the Cap d'Armes and the inlet of the Oustaou-de-Diou, you reach the semaphore, the summit of the island.
In the island's interior, a mosaic of grapevines, olive trees, fruit trees, including som orange, lemon and mandarin trees, stretches out before you. The trails are bordered by copses of holm oak, by strawberry trees and by the bushland filled with arborescent heather, which reaches exceptional dimensions here. Porquerolles, because of its insularité, enjoys an impressive floral diversity and richness. This includes some rare species - like the flax leaf broom shrub, the summer snowflake, the miniature bedstraw - and endemic species, like botanist Requien's delphinium.
The heart of the island also shelters three large vineyards unlike any other.
Several dozen hectares of the grenache, mourvèdre, tibouren and syrah grape varities allow for the production of an AOC-classed white, red and rosé wine. Another plus for this island which takes a pleasure in awakening the senses, and where the products of the sea and the land have exquisite flavors.
The picture would not be complete if we did not talk about the north of the island and its three superb beaches. They offer relaxation lovers fine sand, gently sloped shores and a sea of exceptional limpidity.
One of them, the Notre-Dame beach, is famous in the history of French cinema, as it was there that Jean-Luc Godard filmed certain scenes from "Pierrot le Fou", with Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Another, the Argent beach, owes its name (Silver) to its glimmering, micaceous sand.
The third, the Courtade beach, has parasol pines and holm oaks hanging over it.
How can you resist this small paradise ?
By leaving one island to go to another perhaps ?