Why your French Riviera yacht charter itinerary should include Porquerolles?


If you are planning a French Riviera yacht charter but would prefer to escape the crowds of the Côte d’Azur then Porquerolles is the place to go. With its absolutely unique landscapes, idyllic sandy beaches and protected natural ecosystem, the island of Porquerolles attracts thousands of visitors every year. The island is a true heaven for nature lovers just a few nautical miles away from the glitzy Côte d’Azur. Porquerolles is particularly busy in the summer with hundreds of day trippers from the mainland. But in the evening, the island turns into a peaceful paradise for the privileged few who moor their boats in quiet coves or have the chance to stay in one of the island's hotels. Enjoy a Porquerolles yacht charter itinerary, relax and forget time in this unspoiled paradise!

A bay on the island of Porquerolles with some yachts at anchor
The Sainte-Anne church located on the island of Porquerolles in the south of France
A facade of a house covered with a superb bougainvillea in bloom on the island of Porquerolles
Rental bikes placed against a pine tree on the island of Porquerolles, an activity not to be missed during your yacht charter

A bit of geography

Porquerolles is located in the archipelago of the Hyères islands, also called the “Golden Isles”, in the Mediterranean. The archipelago is located between St Tropez and Toulon. Porquerolles island is intimate in scale, extending over 7 km long and 3 km wide. The island has two distinct facets. The south coast of the island, exposed to the sea, is rugged and wild, with a steep relief, cliffs and some rocky coves accessible only by sea or for the most adventurous hikers. As for the northern coast, it offers magnificent fine sandy beaches bordered by the beautiful turquoise waters of the Mediterranean with pine and eucalyptus forests in the background. As for the inner island, there are only a few sandy roads, a handful of hotels and restaurants, a few shops, a marina and a unique village built in 1820. The rest of the island is home to large fertile plains, pine and eucalyptus forests and vineyards. Unique plant species grow in Porquerolles. Nature reigns supreme on this island where no one stands against the rules: no construction, no car, no cigarette, no camping.

And just a bit of history…

Occupied by successive waves of Celtic, Ligurian, Phocaean and Roman invaders, the island of Porquerolles has had quite a turbulent history. Evidence of this past can still be seen in monuments such as the Fort Sainte-Agathe and the Church of Sainte-Anne. There is, however, one founding event to be remembered in particular. In 1912, François-Joseph Fournier, a Belgian adventurer who made his fortune in the gold and silver mines in Mexico, bought the island of Porquerolles as a wedding gift for his third wife. Devastated by forest fires, Fournier decided to plant vines and began local wine production. Years of growth followed for this small piece of paradise, Fournier built the first roads, opened a dispensary, an electrical factory, a school... In 1971, the French government bought the island and prohibited all future urban development. It is finally in 2012 that Porquerolles obtained the status of National Park.

Exploration from the sea

No, the French Riviera has nothing to envy to the Caribbean! Exploring Porquerolles from the sea is ideal. Beautiful turquoise blue-green waters lap the hull of your charter yacht while sand and pine trees work together gloriously, in a scene that reminds us of a remote desert island. The island boasts some gorgeous white sandy beaches with the clearest waters you’ll ever see. With nearly 20 beaches to discover, it's impossible to get bored! The nicest beaches are located on the northern shore and our favorites are Plage Notre Dame and Plage d'Argent. The waters are shallow, which makes swimming ideal.  The advantage of being on a boat is that you can also enjoy charming intimate little coves. The island of Porquerolles offers some of the best diving in the Mediterranean – the water is very clean and the sea life is amazing.  Porquerolles is the perfect spot for all kinds of water sports. It’s time to take advantage of the water toys equipment of your rental yacht. Your Captain can also organize kite-surfing, windsurfing or a fishing expedition for you.

Getting around on land

Cars are not allowed on the island - except for service vehicles -. The best way to explore the island is therefore cycling! There are many marked trails on the island as well as bike rental shops.  To get a good overview of the island, we recommend that you spend a whole day ashore for your bike tour. Choose an electric bike to facilitate climbing uphill. Start your ride in the village next to the marina. Head for Place d'Armes, the lively heart of the island with its few souvenir shops, restaurants and ice-cream parlours.  Stop to admire Sainte-Anne's Church and then continue your visit to Fort Sainte-Agathe where you can admire a superb panoramic view. Continue until you reach the Moulin du Bonheur, an old Provençal mill built in the 18th century. Then dive into the interior of the island which remains surprisingly well preserved. It is an incredible bliss to cycle in this nature with the fragrance of pine trees, the sound of birds, the rustling of the breeze... as if you were the only one in the world.

If you would like to dine ashore, we strongly recommend Le Mas du Langoustier. Nestled in a pine forest, this is the oldest hotel on the island and the situation overlooking a bay is absolutely gorgeous. The restaurant La Pinède serves good traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Located in the village, Le Pelagos and La Villa Sainte-Anne are good alternatives.

Don’t miss

  • Relaxing on Plage Notre Dame, awarded most beautiful beach in Europe in 2015
  • Admiring contemporary art at the prestigious Fondation Carmignac
  • Hiring a bike from Le Cycle Porquerollais to explore the island
  • Tasting local wine at the family-run vineyards Domaine de l’Ile or Domaine Perzinsky
  • Visiting the 16th century Fort Sainte-Agathe and its archaeological museum
  • Trying the lavender and jasmine ice creams from Coco Frio
Interested in discovering the island of Porquerolles during your next French Riviera yachting vacation? Contact our team of yacht charter planners to enquire about south of France yacht rental availability and possible cruising itineraries. We are looking forward to hearing from you! Paradise awaits…!