Friday, February 10, 2012

Iles des Porquerolles

     Just off the coast of Toulon/Hyeres here down south are three islands often referred to as "Iles d'or' or 'golden islands' in english with the one closest to us being the Iles des Porquerolles. Since we are supposed to have crappy cold weather here (it is snowing as I write this) for the next few days, I figured I would give myself a mini 'mind-vacation' by re-visiting our pics from when we went to Porquerolles in October. First off, it is an island so unless you have your own boat or know someone who does (still looking), you must take the ferry to get there. We had talked about going for the last year and as anyone knows, time just gets away from you. Also, add in the fact that the weather (at least for me) has to be great for a trip like this and anyone who lives in europe can attest to, that narrows down the possible dates quickly. Then factor in having a full day to explore, which again narrows down the possibilities, leaving you with a few days that will work. You get the picture. So rewind to this past October and it just so happened that all of the stars were aligned and we pulled the trigger to spend the day in Porquerolles. The ferry was only 20 minutes or so and was enjoyable in itself. Many would of been happy to just ride the ferry all day (myself included) since it was a beautiful day, the water was a perfect blue color and the houses that were situated on the coastline were mansions and chateaus to say the least.
     Porquerolles itself is a small island, around 7km by 3km, so no cars are allowed. Exploration can only be by foot or bike, which is very doable. The first thing we noticed when we stepped off the ferry was the smell of pine trees. It was kind of an oxymoron for me. I always associate pine smell with Christmas and not the beach. Being from San Diego,  I am not a beach newbie but I can honestly say, I have never smelled 'pine' at the beach. The island is very natural with only a few squares with touristy things like gift shops, hotels and restaurants.  You can see they take pride in maintaining the natural feel, which I am usually not a fan of (smelling au natural, long armpit hair etc..) but in this case, I think it brings out the beauty of the island with out all the hoopla to distract your eye.  We followed the crowd, if 20 people constitutes a crowd, and found ourselves at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen with crystal clear waters and pine trees draped over the sand. We spent most of the day in and out of the water lounging and relaxing knowing that we will most likely not get to experience this again until next spring when the weather is warm enough. At the end of the day, we packed up our bags and walked the 10 minutes back to the port to hop on the ferry back to the mainland. I am interested to see if the other 2 islands are as beautiful as Porquerolles but until then, I might have to drive down to our local beach, blast the heat in the car,  roll the window down, and light a Christmas candle.....allez printemps et vite!!!

{The 'town' part of the island}

{Sherbert colored house}


  1. Wow. that looks amazing! Wishing I was on some beach somewhere, that looks so fun!

  2. Hi Nikki,
    just came across your blog when I put in this island in Google search - first item up! I have just come back from visiting my sister and mum in San Diego - small world. Thanks for the heads up on the beauty of the island, I am thinking of heading there for a couple of days of r&r after a gourmet food and wine tour I host in Provence in September. Looks delicious and delightful
    Thanks again - Nikki