Untamed and unspoilt, the island of Port-Cros is a real-life natural sanctuary. Surrounded by the sea and countryside, Parc National de Port-Cros, one of France’s oldest national parks, boasts a magnificent, incomparable environment. Let’s make for the Iles d’Or, where we can find out all about this jewel of the Mediterranean.
The island of Port-Cros is a delight for anyone who loves the natural world: wild paths criss-cross acres of land where the peace and quiet is disturbed only by the calls of the animals that reign supreme here.
After docking in the small port, enjoy a scrumptious break in one of the many restaurants on the island before setting off to explore the network of hiking trails.
Port-Cros is a world like no other, renowned for the amazing colour of the water that weaves around the islets and rocky inlets dotted along the shore line. Take one of the paths to the top of the cliffs on the Route des Crêtes, and feast your eyes on the staggering view over the horizon.
Now’s the time to take a great boat trip!
Vedettes Îles d’Or and Le Corsaire run a shuttle service from the ports of Le Lavandou and Cavalaire during the holiday season. The crossing is a special experience, the ideal time to take in the splendours of the Var coast and beaches from the sea.
The Vedettes Îles d’Or and Le Corsaire shuttles are also the best way to visit Porquerolles and move around easily from one island to the next.
If you’re here out of season (early November to late January), you will need to make your way first to the Tour Fondue in Hyères before you can cross to Port-Cros. The island is at its best, it must be said, in summer, and all the places to eat are closed in winter. So, it’s a much better bet to plan your visit for between April and October… unless you bring along a picnic to enjoy during your hike.
The island of Port-Cros is criss-crossed by a network of hiking trails so you can investigate the finest sites in a few hours on foot.
The challenging, steep Plantes pathway is remarkable for its lush greenery in all shapes and sizes. As you leave the village, you’ll take a path that rises quite steeply but which is pleasantly shaded thanks to the many different species of tree that line the route. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see the small nameplates with numbers on them that give more details.
This hiking trail is an open invitation to explore the five forts that make up Port-Cros’ historical heritage. Starting from Fort du Moulin, the loop passes through the fortifications of La Vigie, l’Éminence, and l’Etissac before reaching Fort de Port Man.
Port-Cros National Park gives shelter to a great diversity of animal and plant species. The dozens of endemic species in the very heart of the maquis include several rare birds, such as the European shag and the Dartford warbler. The island also marks the western tip of the Pelagos marine sanctuary, where dolphins, whales (including sperm whales), turtles, rays, etc. all live.
Snorkelling is one of the top attractions in the Var, a source of pure delight for holidaymakers of all ages. The underwater paradise of Port-Cros is only a 45 minute walk along the Palud footpath from the village. Equipped with your mask, snorkel and fins, Palud beach is the starting point for your underwater trail as you swim as far as the must-see Rocher du Rascas. Here you can enjoy exploring the turquoise water surrounding the small island as you marvel at hundreds of brightly-coloured fish.