Close to Hyeres, located near Toulon in the South of France, you will find some magnificent beaches. The beaches of the Golden Islands, situated just a few minutes away from the coast by boat, are some of the best beaches in France. Here are some of the best beaches we've found, but there are so many hidden creeks and intimate coves, we're sure you'll discover your own favourites too.
Best Beaches Hyeres Porquerolles Golden Islands
The coastline surrounding Hyeres, is blessed with turquoise blue waters and golden sands. The dense woodland which encircles this part of the coast, provides an interesting visual contrast to these beaches in South France.
Amongst the best beaches close to Hyeres on the mainland are:
Plage de l'Almanarre - 5 kms of white sand and blue water. Soak up the sun, enjoy the sunset, stay late.
Giens Peninsula: La Capte, La Badine or La Bergerie beaches all offer excellent sunbathing and swimming.
The locals tend to be guided by the wind conditions. If the wind blows from the east, the best beaches are the Almanarre or the Anse du Four à Chaux (on the Giens Peninsula). When the Mistral blows from the north-west, the best beaches are La Badine, La Capte and l’Ayguade. And of course they are superb without any wind at all!
Ile de Hyeres beaches
Just offshore from Hyeres, less than a half-hour by boat, are a cluster of three gorgeous islands with spectacular beaches that have not yet been really "discovered" by the British -- though they are popular with the French and are busy at the height of the season. Collectively referred to as the Ile de Hyeres or Golden Islands, you will find some excellent sunbathing opportunities
Porquerolles - The largest, four miles long by about two across, with miles of white sandy beaches. Try Notre-Dame, la Courtade and Plage d’Argent beaches.
Port-Cros - A mountainous national park and bird refuge noted for rare flora, underwater fauna, and hiking paths. Head for Palud and Plage du Sud beaches.
Île du Levant - Mostly used by the military but with a nudist colony around the private village of Héliopolis. Explore the nature reserve of les Arbousiers.
Île du Bagaud - is part of the same national park as Port-Cros but access is prohibited. Nice to cruise past by boat, though.
Porquerolles is the largest of the Golden islands and has one of the best beaches in France: The crescent-shaped Plage de Notre Dame on the north-eastern coast, fringed with pines and ecalyptus trees. There is only one village, dating to the early 19th century, on the island. The French state acquired Porquerolles in the 1970s and turned it into a national park and conservation area. Cars can't be brought over -- as you'd expect on a desert island -- so walking and cycling are the only modes of getting around. Bring comfortable shoes, hire a bike from Le Cycle Porquerolles.
Building is prohibited (you won't find tourist shops or many cafés) so it has the feel of a far-away desert island. In fact, it recalls the French Riviera of bygone days, when the shoreline belonged to wild herbs, juniper, fig and olive groves, oak and pine trees, and a vast array of wild birds, dragonflies and butterflies. You might also enjoy exploring the 16th-century Fort and the archeological museum at St Agathe. It's a good idea to pack your own picnic before getting on the boat (since everything is brought over by boat, prices in the island village shops are higher and offer less choice).
Where to next . . . ?
- Read our review on the Best restaurants Porquerolles Island South France.
- See our reviews on the Best beach restaurants in South France to visit.
- Read our articles on the Best beaches in South of France.
- Planning a trip to the South of France? Check out our Beach houses in South France to rent.
Contact Iain by Email or by phone +33 6 95 00 28 44 if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about visiting the South of France. If you liked the article then please share it with others using the Twitter, Facebook and G+ buttons below. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France.