7 Fun Things To Do On a Day Trip To Ile de Porquerolles
A trip to the French Rivera may evoke lavish parties and glamorous beaches, but if you are looking to escape the excess of the Côte d’Azur, Ile de Porquerolles is a breathtaking oasis where you can do just that. The picturesque island is one of the four islands of Iles d'Hyeres and most likely, France’s best-kept secret - ok maybe it’s not so secret. But Porquerolles has remained throughout this time, unspoiled.
We visited the Iles de Porquerolles on a day-trip, but you will be tempted to stay a few nights to best enjoy Porquerolles – and to that I say, go for it! This was one of my favorite places I visited during our road trip through France. The turquoise water, breathtaking views, and charming town will have you wanting more. Porquerolles is truly captivating.
What to do in Ile de Porquerolles
There are many things to do in Ile de Porquerolles! Be it a lovely stroll through town, snorkeling its impossibly clear water, or just having an idyllic picnic, there’s something for everybody in the French island.
Explore Ile de Porquerolles by bike
What better way to explore Porquerolles’ rugged hills than by bicycle? As soon as you arrive, you will see many visitors already in two wheels ready to explore the island. Pick up yours at one of the many shops in the town and start pedaling! There are no cars allowed in Ile de Porquerolles – except for a few service cars – so your best option, if you want to explore farther afield, is renting a bike. If you can’t resist the water during the tour, don’t worry! You will quickly find a place to lock your bike.
Tip: rent an electric bicycle to help you pedal your way up! There are many hills, and if you are riding a regular bike, you may get tired soon– I sure would! The electric bicycle made biking the grassy and hilly island a breeze. We rented ours from here.
Yes, you read that right, wine tasting! There’s a vineyard in the island, and you can schedule a tasting of their organic and exclusive wines. We encountered the winery while biking through the center of the island. If you are not a wine drinker, you will still enjoy admiring the vineyard. Check out their website to schedule a visit.
Hike in Ile de Porquerolles
To the south, the rugged coastline and hidden Calanques make for the perfect playground for the hikers. The scenery is breathtaking, so if you are looking for an excuse to work that gluteus, Porquerolles will give you plenty.
Explore the quaint town
The small town retains an old charm despite its many visitors. Adorned with flowers at every corner, colorful fruit stands, and pastel buildings, the place is a visual feast. We wandered along the main road as well as its smaller streets – where you will find the local shops. You may see a few vintage cars, which adds to its old charm. One of the things that make Porquerolles feel authentic is that locals reside on the island. If you take the ferry during school hours, you will see kids commuting to and from the mainland for school.
Do water sports
Thanks to its conservation effort, there’s an abundance of marine life making it perfect for diving and snorkeling. You might need a wetsuit if you plan to go snorkeling other than the summer. You can also rent a kayak and paddle your way around the coast. If you want something posher, rent a catamaran for the day!
Kayaking From 1 May - 1 September
Catamaran From 1 April - 31 October
Bask in the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea
Porquerolles offers a few sandy beaches for you to choose from. One of my favorite beaches is located on the northeast side of the island: Plage Notre Dame. When you arrive at the beach – before making your way down – you will see one of the most quintessential views of Porquerolles. Take it all in! Another favorite beach is the Plage d’Argent located on the northwest side of the island.
If you enjoy the beach but still like a little cover from the sun, get this genius invention. I saw it everywhere in France!
Where to dine at Ile de Porquerolles
After working an appetite exploring the island, we returned to the town for lunch. We found a cute street off the main road with a few restaurants right across the church and settled at Le Pelagos. The restaurant offers outdoor sitting that let you enjoy the lively town. For a scrumptious lunch make sure to order local fish and their delicious potatoes.
And of course, we couldn’t resist a refreshing ice cream afterward. I ordered a melon and Violette flavor ice cream – my newest obsessions. After discovering how delicious melon is in Provence, I made sure to order it in every form I could – and that includes ice cream.
When to visit Ile de Porquerolles
Porquerolles enjoy sunny days most of the year with mild winter and hot summer. The best time to visit is in May – June, and September – October. Summer is their busiest time of the year. If you feel like bracing the crowd, make sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot at the port and a bike on the island.
How to get to Ile de Porquerolles
Several ferries depart off the coast of the Côte d’Azur year-round, but the shortest ferry ride departs from La Tour Fondue port in the Giens Peninsula – south of Hyeres. The boat leaves every 30 minutes, and a round-trip ticket cost 19.5 Euros. Just keep in mind that the last ferry back to mainland departs at 6:30 pm.
Parking: If you are taking the ferry from La Tour Fondue, there are a few parking lots where you leave the car for the day. If you are visiting in the summer, make sure to go early!
What to pack and wear in the Ile de Porquerolles
Depending on what you are planning to do, wear something comfortable and light. You may also want to pack a few essentials like sunblock, towels, and a bottle of water.
If you want to do off-road biking and hiking
If you want to enjoy the beach
If you want to enjoy the town, biking, and picnic
Don’t forget to bring
In case you are still doubting how beautiful Porquerolles is, watch this quick video I put together
Be it day-trip or a weekend getaway, you surely won't’ get enough of Ile de Porquerolles.
Would like to visit Ile de Porquerolles? Pint it!