Porquerolles is a mostly un-inhabited island of Mediterranean forests, rocky calanque coastline, nature reserves, beaches, boating and one little village.
No camping is allowed on the island.
No smoking is allowed beyond the village.
No drinking water is available on the island, except at the village.
If you're there in the springtime, you might see some of the baby seagulls in their nests in the rocks on the high points of the island [photo-9]; don't get too close though, because the parents are big and aggressive.
If you only have a short time, we would suggest a walk past the Plage de la Courtade (or Grande Plage) to the Fort de la Repentance and to the semaphore; both have excellent views out across the plains and seaside and the Plage de Notre-Dame cove [photo-5] ; and if it's clear, the other islands and the mainland (about 2 hours out and back). The Fort appears as a low, fortified structure on the hilltop, with (dry) moat all around. In fact, it's mostly underground inside the hill. It's still an active fort, so no entry, although it's alright to explore around it. When we passed by, the troops were barbequing lunch, and the only unfriendlyness we encountered were the attack seagulls when we got too close to their nests with fuzzy young hatchlings in the nearby rocks [photo-9].
A walk across the island to the lighthouse (phare) is popular, passing through botanical plantations including fig trees and olive trees. (Panels even show the variety of each individual olivier.) The area near the lighthouse has good views of the calanques.
Porquerolles Island is a great place for walking or cycling in nature. In addition to the natural pines and pin parasol, myrtle, heather and fields of white cistus, there are botanical plantations of trees and shrubs, and even a vineyard.
There are several long sandy beaches along the north side of the island. The Plage de la Courtade [photo-4] is close enough for an easy walk from the village. The Plage de Notre-Dame is about 3 km along the coast to the east. To the west there are several smaller beaches set in small coves.
Porquerolles is a little seaside-resort village, with yacht harbor, port area, restaurants and cycle-rental shops. There is a large, open village square in the style of a North African colonial settlement, lined with large eucalyptus trees; the village church sits at the end, with the 16th-c St Agatha's Fort on a hilltop behind [photo-3]. It's a short walk up to the fort, with a great view at the top.
• GPS: 43.107993, 6.252485
IGN (1/25,000) #3446 ET "Le Lavandou, Parc Nat. Port-Cros, Corniche Maures"
IGN (1/25,000) #3446 OT "Hyères, Porquerolles"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #25 "Maures Haut-Pays Varois"
The "Information" office at the port has maps of the island. A simple black-and-white map is about 0.50 €. A nice glossy-paper color map of the island and the village is about 2 €.
There are many bicycle rental shops (Location VTT) in Porquerolles village, within a couple minutes walk of the port, and some offer a wide variety of bicycles, up to full suspension models. Some typical prices for the day (for standard mountain bikes) are roughly :
Adult bike - 15 €
Kid's bike - 20 €
Baby seat (porte bébé) - 3 €
Transportation Porquerolles Island
Our Travel-Sea page lists the passenger ferry schedules.