Porquerolles Island - France's hidden gem
« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 21/07/2017 2:45pm by Alison Cummings
Whilst many of us will have heard of classic South of France holiday destinations, such as St Tropez, Nice and Provence, we are only just cottoning onto some of the stunning paradise destinations favoured by the French themselves.
Right down at the Southern point of France is Presqu’ile de Giens, a picturesque little oasis on the end of a stable sand bar. As well as being a haven for wild flamingos and a host of some excellent cycling routes, this area of France hides another secret talent: the port of Giens- La Tour Fondue.
This port is your passageway into a real piece of unseen France. In the high season, ferries leave Giens – La Tour Fondue every 30 minutes (from 7:30 – 19:00) departing for Porquerolles. Porquerolles is without a doubt one of the prettiest islands in the world. Measuring 7km x 3km, the French State officially bought Porquerolles in 1971 and have made it one of the most protected places in the world from an environmental point of view. Awaiting you on this heavenly paradise are rolling vineyards, lush forests and dreamy white sand beaches.
Automobiles are strictly prohibited on Porquerolles, so you’ll find that most people visiting the island tend to get around on a hired bicycle. There are plenty of cycle routes taking you through maritime pine forests, up to the North coast where you’ll swear you’ve never seen a sea so blue. Due to the ban on automobiles, the beaches are incredibly tranquil and it is not uncommon to find you have your own beach area separated by rocks all to yourself. It really is escapism to the max. With no noise or air pollution, there is no better place to relax, enjoying the fresh sea air and the sound of silence (apart from the rolling waves).
Because the island is completely protected, you’ll find that signs of human interference are minimum. This invites you to release your inner Bear Grylls, as you may have to build a little shelter on the beach out of driftwood and a t-shirt to get some refuge from the afternoon high sun.
After you’ve relaxed on the beach, go back to exploring the island. You can take a tour of a vineyard, stop in Porquerolles’ only village for a refreshment and take in the island’s olive, fig and juniper trees.
A day spent in Porquerolles really is tonic for the soul. You’ll find that you’re able to completely relax when you leave the hustle and bustle of real life, not to mention the technology, behind. You may even start to consider becoming a castaway. Just make sure you leave Porquerolles exactly as you found it. This is one oasis that is truly too beautiful to be tarnished by human influence.