I think this was my favorite of this year’s Staycation days. We went to Porquerolles, which is an island just off the coast of France, near Hyères. The island is small, just 7km by 3km, and is a protected nature reserve. There are no hotels on the island (though there are houses available to rent) and no cars are allowed. Visitors and inhabitants get around by bike or boat, which are available for rent everywhere on the port.
The only restaurants on the island are along the port, with the exception of one on the Plage d’Argent (silver beach). We had lunch there and both ordered the sea bass in creamy sorrel sauce with sautéed potatoes and onions. Yum! It went well with the fruity cocktail and cold white wine we had with it. We intended to stop back later for some ice cream, but once we got to the beach, we couldn’t tear ourselves away again.
Of the three beaches on Porquerolles, it turns out that we chose the most crowded one (it was closer to the port). Plage d’Argent’s geographical location on the island also means that the sea grass offshore washes up here, which we were told doesn’t happen on the other beaches. If we had it to do over again, we’d bike to one of the farther ones and either eat lunch at a restaurant on the port or pack a picnic. But it was still beautiful there, with the water that magical blend of blues that makes it look as if the Mediterranean is full of sapphires and aquamarines instead of water, and the trees along the shore leaning toward it as if to get a better look.
We returned our bikes and took the six o’clock boat back to the mainland. Then we drove the two hours back home. It was a lot of travel for one day, but what a day! The sea, the sun, the ride on the boat… And we haven’t been biking in years! If you’re ever in the South of France, don’t miss Porquerolles.