Living abroad is a funny thing. At first it can all seem like a permanent vacation in which you’ve somehow managed to land the starring role in the docu-drama, I Live in France, Isn’t that Crazy?
Slowly, things start to take shape – you make friends, get a job, and can order macarons at the bakery with actual words and not a point-and-hope-for-the-best pantomime. In short, some of the total awesomeness of living in France fades as “real life” takes over.
And then there’s the weekend. When it comes, the chance to escape to a nearby town, village, or region brings the feelings of wonder rushing back.
The Ile de Porquerolles is one such weekend escape which leaves a lasting impression on visitors, and from the looks of the tourist lines in the summer, we’re not the only awestruck travelers.
The island of Porquerolles is located in the Var department and is one of three islands which make-up the Iles d’Or (Golden Islands) off the coast of Hyères.
Porquerolles is the most popular (and most visited) of the three, and it’s easy to see why. The island boasts (if an island can do that) pristine beaches with turquoise waters, a lively portside village, and beautiful natural coves & “calanques”.
Oh, and there are vineyards. It’s France, of course there are… this American is still shocked.
There are three domaines on the island, spread over 200 hectares of vineyards, which produce vins des Côtes de Provence, and are linked to the Conservatoire Botanique National de Porquerolles which protects its heritage.
Besides sipping wine & whiling away the day on any of the island’s beaches (which sounds like the utmost perfect day to me), there is a whole sporty-spectrum of outdoor activities for nature buffs or just plain adventurey-types.
Hiking, biking, sailing, jet-skiing, and other water sports top the list. And although I’m kinda a plant-yourself-under-the-nearest-palm person, a 30-minute hike can really take you places on Porquerolles.
Although refreshing seafood restaurants (we’re talking lux patios equipped with outdoor water “misters”), gelato stands, and flavored-ice vendors are never too far away.
With all this natural beauty + French savoir-faire packed into one island, it looks like we’ll be heading back to Poquerolles sooner than later. And this time, I’ll be bringing some of that vin blanc home.
To Learn more:
Porquerolles official web site.
The Ile de Porquerolles on ProvenceWeb.
Planning a trip to Porquerolles on Frommer’s.
Parc National de Port-Cros.
Porquerolles on Google maps.