Iles d'Hyeres, Var: visitors guide
Visit Iles d'Hyeres, France
The Iles d'Hyeres are a group of islands in the Mediterranean just off the southern coast of France near the mainland town of Hyeres.
The islands are Porquerolles, and (slightly to the east) Le Levant and Port-Cros. The three islands together form a rare and beautiful environment, surely among the most lovely in France, with a great deal for beach, sea and nature lovers to enjoy.
The Hyeres islands
It is possible to stay on Porquerolles and Le Levant, but expensive, and most visitors take a day trip on a ferry from the mainland.
Porquerolles has the least restrictions on access, a village (also called Porquerolles) and an ancient fort. Rugged shorelines, beautiful scenery and exceptional beaches make the island a lovely place to explore by following one of the many pathways that cross the island or follow the deep blue sea along the coast.
You can also explore simply by strolling along one of the the pine backed beaches along the island's northern coast - the most popular are the Plage de Notre-Dame and the Plage de la Courtade. The beaches are sandy with turquoise blue sea to the front and backed by pine forests.
The southern coast is more rugged with high cliffs so most visitors travel north for beaches, but here in the south you can still find small trails that lead to isolated coves.
Porquerolles is only seven kilometres by three kilometres and many visitors choose to explore the island by bike.
Porquerolles village is also a pleasure to explore and is centred around a large square with a church. Restaurants can be found in the village - be sure to enjoy one of the highly rated local wines produced from grapes grown on the island with your meal.
Port Cros is equally beautiful, and is a designated French National Park (the National Park of Port-Cros) and the most rugged and unspoiled of the three islands. You must stay on the marked paths when exploring the island - and don't even think about smoking or picking a flower!
The Port area is small but pretty, with palm trees along the promenade.
Scuba diving in the region around Palud beach is very popular, and there is even a popular 'underwater trail' to follow starting from this beach.
Le Levant is largely given over to military activity, hence much of the island is less accessible by tourists, although it does have a good number of trails to follow in the west of the island. There is also an important local naturist centre called Héliopolis on Le Levant, and there are regions of the island where naturism is obligatory.
Getting to the Iles d'Hyeres
Be sure to visit the Iles d'Hyeres if you are in the region - the islands are commonly reached by boats departing from Toulon, Hyeres, Le Lavandou and can also be reached from Cavalaire-sur-Mer and La Croix-Valmer. The shorter crossings, from the Giens peninsula south of Hyeres, take around 15-20 minutes.
Map of Iles d'Hyeres and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Le Plantier de Costebelle: remarkable garden (14 km)
- Parc Saint Bernard: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Jardin du castel Sainte Claire: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Parc Olbius Riquier: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Hyeres: ville fleurie 4* (15 km)
- Jardin d’oiseaux tropicaux: remarkable garden (16 km)
- Bormes-les-Mimosas: ville fleurie 4* (20 km)
- Domaine d'Orvès: remarkable garden (25 km)
- Jardin de Baudouvin: remarkable garden (25 km)
- Mont Faron: site of natural beauty (28 km)
- Domaine du Rayol: remarkable garden (28 km)
- Zoo du Mont Faron: zoo or wildlife park (28 km)
Market days in Iles d'Hyeres, France
Regular market(s) are held in Iles d'Hyeres each Wednesday & Tuesday & Sunday & Saturday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Iles d'Hyeres (Francais)