7 Fun Things To Do In Hyeres, France - The Complete Guide
Hyeres, located in the French Rivera, serves as an idyllic escape from the glitz and glamour of Cannes and St. Tropez. This little gem is no secret among the Frenchs, as locals flock to the beach town for a relaxing holiday every year- if you want to experience the French bon vivant, Hyeres is the place.
The hilly peninsula of Gien in the south, the medieval town, and the small islands just off the coast, made Hyeres the perfect place to call home - at least for a few days on our road trip through Provence. We stayed at an apartment rental by the beach and our days were filled with sun-bathing fun, breath-taking hikes, and fruit and pastry feasts. What makes Hyeres such a great place is that despite its many visitors, you can relax and enjoy everything that the South of France has to offer. Come without an itinerary and enjoy your day care-free.
6 Fun Things to do in Hyeres
If you can’t stay still, fear not! There is a plethora of things to do in Hyeres - from hiking the Sentier du Littoral to taking a stroll to the past in the old village, Vieille Ville.
1. Hike the Sentier du Littoral
Hiking is a must when in Hyeres. Sentier du Littoral de la Presqu'ile de Giens, their famous hiking trail, runs along the coast of Giens. As you walk along the path, you will see the rocky shore, turquoise water, and the wild flora. The view is spectacular even on cloudy days. The hike is not very challenging but, I recommend hiking in the early morning or later afternoon to avoid the scorching sun in the summer. Don't forget to bring water, appropriate shoes, and a swimsuit.
2. Visit Hyeres Old Town - Vieille Ville
The old town of Hyeres is a very charming medieval town with its narrow streets, old churches, and old facades. But be ready to work for the view as you will have to climb a bit. You will also find in town, quaint shops as well as charming cafes and restaurants.
3. Sunbathing at the beach
With miles of white sandy beaches, there’s no shortage of places to bask in the sun and splash in the water. For a more private experience, head to the Giens peninsula for small hidden beaches.
For a complete list of the beaches click here.
4. Scuba diving, snorkeling, or kayaking
We rented a Kayak and paddled our way around the east coast of Giens. We found a small cave and abundant marine life in the shallow water. If you love diving and snorkeling, you will find plenty to see as well.
5. Enjoy an apéro in the city
As the sun set, head out to the center of the city for a customary apéro. You will find visitors and locals alike gathering for an apéro all along the Gambetta Avenue enjoying with a fresh glass of local rosé.
6. Explore the farmer's market
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is exploring the farmer's market. Even when I don't have a full kitchen, I love shopping for fresh fruits and local bites - you also get to learn about the local's cuisine and culture. When in Provence, make sure to try the local fruits that are in season. They are exceptionally flavorful and sweet.
Hyeres Farmer’s Market Schedule
Monday: Les Salins – Place des Pecheurs
Tuesday: Avenue Gambetta, Marche Paysan
Wednesday: L’Ayguade – Place Daviddi
Thursday: Place Clemenceau, Marche Paysan (May – September)
Friday: La Capte – Avenue de la Pinede
Saturday: Centre-Ville, Avenue Gambetta
Sunday: Port-Saint-Pierre – Parking de L’Hippodrome
7. Day Trip To Ile de Porquerolles
Porquerolles was one of my favorite places we visited in the South of France. The small island off the coast of Hyeres is as charming as it gets. The main square is surrounded by pastel colors buildings and vibrant flowers everywhere. Not to mention, the stunning views and crystal clear water. Luckily, the island is just a 10-minutes boat ride away from the coast. You can learn more about Ile de Porquerolles here.
Where to stay in Hyeres
There is no shortage of hotels in Hyeres but, the majority are apartment-like rentals. We stayed at Pierre & Vacances, located in the Giens Peninsula right in front of the beach. The holiday residence features comfortable and fully equipped apartments. This is especially great if you want to cook - the convenience of a kitchen makes all the difference. My boyfriend and I love staying in apartments when traveling for more than a week as we enjoy cooking and shopping at the farmer's market.
Tip: What you can't find at the Farmer's Market, you can get it at the nearby supermarket, Casino Supermarche - not to be confused with the actual casino in town. If you need more than groceries, check out Casino Drive Hyères - inside the shopping mall. They have everything you need from home goods, groceries, to drugstore makeup. Every time we visited, I couldn't resist picking up a few skincare products and sweets.
Where to eat in Hyeres
Sweet tooth? Maison Sarroche have mouthwatering baked goods and the most delicious strawberry shortcakes! We came a few times during our stay in Hyeres for freshly baked bread - croissants and pain aux chocolat included, of course - and strawberry shortcakes. Surprisingly, they also roast delicious provencal chicken and potatoes - which we got as well.
Conveniently located right next to Maison Sarroche, the Pizza place is a big hit among locals and visitors. You can eat-in or order to go. In addition to delicious pizza, you can pick up a few snacks and wine. Also, keep an eye on their menu du jour, sometimes they have delicious Provençal rotisserie chicken - yes, I love them rotisserie chickens.
Nothing like fresh seafood with a view! Make sure to order a Mediterranean grilled fish, paired with a refreshing summer salad, and a glass of white wine. The restaurant is located on a hilltop inside the Provencal hotel - a must!
How to get to Hyeres
There’s a small airport in Hyeres, Toulon Hyeres Airport and you can fly from Paris.
If you are already in the South of France, your best option is to take the train. You can take the train from Toulon, Cannes, or Nice.
Of course, the most fun way to arrive in Hyeres is by car - road-trip addict here! It was very convenient to have a car in Hyeres since our apartment rental provided parking, and we were able to drive to the distant markets, as well as driving to the port to take the ferry to Porquerolles.