The island of Porquerolles is at its peak in spring, when the scent of olives and violets wafts through the light air. It is the perfect time to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in the bright sunshine, between Provence and French Riviera.
Once upon a time, there was Porquerolles
Between Marseille and Nice, Porquerolles is the largest of the Golden Islands off Hyères. Over 7.5 km long and 3 km wide, it is one of the last remaining paradises around the Mediterranean, with its coves set with umbrella pines, its lagoons full of migratory birds and its car-free trails. An unspoilt nature to be discovered preferably in spring when the pleasure boats have not yet anchored for the season. The many daily visitors which is now limited to 6,000.
The sky is blue
Porquerolles is at the latitude of Cap Corse, a radiant sun generally shines in spring and makes the mercury rise to 25° during the day. The risk of fire is almost non-existent: in summer, the island (classified as a National Park) is sometimes completely closed to traffic (pedestrians and cyclists). In spring, Porquerolles is ready to welcome its visitors: the cafés have reinstalled their terraces, the craft market has its spice and scented soap stalls and the tourist office has resumed its guided tours.
A quiet stroll
On the cycle paths, at the Fort Sainte-Agathe, you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the Giens peninsula. In the alleys of the village of Porquerolles and on the main square where, in the shade of the eucalyptus trees, you will find small groups of pétanque players. It's a good time to exchange with the Porquerollais. Mainly during summertime, they know better than anyone the most beautiful creeks of the island and the uncharted hiking trails. The three Côtes de Provence wine estates (200 hectares) which flourish around the island: Courtade, Perzinsky, Domaine de l'Ile.
No waiting in line for activities
You can rent a boat (with or without a licence) in a few minutes to explore the most beautiful creeks. Or a bike (mountain bike, electric bike, with a carriage for children....) to explore the sandy and pebbled paths, i.e. 54 km of marked trails and four routes, which criss-cross the island. It's a great way to discover some idyllic beaches (deserted in spring) and amazing landscapes between tropical lagoons and mineral or green landscapes. Like Anse Notre-Dame and its turquoise lagoon speckled with cobalt, worthy of the West Indies, or Cap Mèdes which, with its jagged cliffs, imitates Belle-Île-en-Mer.
Culture at the Villa Carmignac
Discovering Porquerolles in spring also means taking the time to cultivate oneself and to escape barefoot while enjoying the works and artistic installations proposed by the Villa Carmignac, a contemporary art center nestled in the middle of the vineyards of the Domaine de La Courtade and a huge sculpture garden. The exhibition 2023 "L'île intérieure" starts on April 29 and ends on November 5.
It's not so hot
No heatwave, the mild spring temperatures are really perfect for hiking. Equipped with good shoes, you can walk off the beaten track. For example, you climb up to the Semaphore in the centre of the island (easy level) between shady forests, rocky spurs, cookie-cutter coves and plains embellished with vineyards and olive groves... At the end of a 4-hour walk, a breathtaking panorama of the Gulf of Hyères and the sea.
The rates are advantageous
In hotels, rates are cheaper in spring than in the high summer season. And many promotions are available from professionals. Like this package which includes the return boat trip from Hyères, a meal in a restaurant and the rental of a bicycle for the day valid until April. More offers in the "good plans" section of the Hyères Tourist Office.