Hyères archipelago

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WorldMediterraneanFranceHyères archipelago
Hyères archipelago
43°01.634'N, 006°17.628'E Chart icon.png
Typical bay, Isle d'Hyeres

Îles d'Hyères (Hyeres archipelago, France) are a group of four Mediterranean islands situated around ten miles south off Hyères in the Var département of south-east France just east of Toulon.

The Iles d'Hyeres (aka Îles d'Or, golden islands) have been justly described as the jewel of French Mediterranean cruising. Enjoying an almost sub-tropical climate, the islands are sheltered from the worst of the mistral and development has been carefully controlled to preserve the unique character of the whole archipelago.

The archipelago consists of four islands:

  • Porquerolles is the largest of the three islands and the most developed for tourism.
  • Port Cros is smaller, largely undeveloped and completely traffic-free, since no cars or cycles are allowed on the island. It is also one of France's oldest national parks, which has helped protect its character still further.
  • Île du Levant the most of it is occupied by French naval establishments and the small amount that isn't is a nudist colony.
  • Île du Bagaud is off-limit to yachts.

The anchorages around the islands - especially Porquerolles - are unrivalled in the Med in the opinion of many yachtsmen except by the Maddalena islands of Sardinia or the anchorages of the Greek Aegean islands.


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The anchorages around the islands, which are all on the more shelving north coasts of the archipelago, are sheltered from most directions. However, they would all become uncomfortable in northerly winds, with the possible exception of the small marina at Port Porquerolles, which is protected by a breakwater. In the event of strong northerlies, it may be wise to seek shelter in the marinas of Hyeres town or Le Lavandou.

Sources for Weather forecasts:


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Approach is safe from all directions, though yachts are encouraged to pass well clear of the naval facilities on Ile du Levant.


Port de Porquerolles
Port Cros

In Ile de Porquerolles, visiting yachts berth either in the small marina if there is space or pick up one of the c. 50 mooring buoys provided. In Ile de Port Cros, there are c. 30 mooring buoys provided in the small harbor.


Most yachts visiting Iles d'Hyeres for the first time tend to head first for Port de Porquerolles, where there is a small marina protected by a long stone breakwater and mooring buoys for some 50-60 yachts. The marina is often full, especially in high season, and most visiting yachts will find themselves using the numerous mooring buoys provided. Dues are collected each evening from all yachts on the moorings. Water and electricity are available in the marina and there are public toilets and garbage disposal bins ashore.

Visitors to the smaller harbour of Port Cros pick up one of the 50 mooring buoys provided. Use of the buoys limited to vessels 15 meters or less. In high season, it is wise to arrive fairly early as the buoys are soon taken. There are also several pontoon jetties, but depths here may be unsuitable for all except small or shallow draught yachts. In any case, the pontoons are often filled with local boats (in spite of appearances, around 45 people live on the island). A fee is payable for use of the mooring buoys and docks between 5:00 pm and 9:59 am from May to September; free overnight use from October to April. There is also a stone dock where vessels over 15 meters are allowed. There is an hourly fee for use of the stone dock and the overnight rate is €100 for a 17-metre vessel (low season rate).

It was said [1] that since all wild cats were caught and moved away from the Port Cros (by decision of the National Park authorities), the amount of black rats there has grown significantly, so it's advisable not have food or fresh water on board, since rats will reach them easily by climbing the mooring lines.


Anchorage in Baie de la Courtade

On Ile de Porquerolles, Baie du Langoustier, a sandy bay on the NW side of the island, is one of the most popular anchorages, with clear blue water and good holding in sand. It gets very busy here in the summer months. On the NE side of the island are two further lovely sandy bays, Baie de la Courtade and Baie de Notre Dame, where yachts can anchor outside the areas buoyed off for bathing. All three anchorages are open to the north.

On Ile de Port Cros the only alternative anchorage to the main harbour is the bay of Port Man at the eastern end of the island. The bay faces NE and would be untenable in strong winds from that quarter.

Yacht Services and Repairs


Marine Stores


Yacht Services/Repairs/Yards


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Water and electricity in the marina at Port de Porquerolles.

Things to do Ashore


The castle, Ile de Port Cros
Hiking trail, Ile de Port Cros
Quiet cove, Ile de Porquerolles

On Ile de Porquerolles, there is a good walk up to Fort St Agathe, a 16th century fortress with spectacular views of the bay, then on over the ridges to the south coast of the island. By contrast with the north, the south coast is steep and rocky, with stunning pine-fringed inlets. One can walk as far as the lighthouse at the southernmost tip and return through a valley shaded by olive trees and apricot orchards. A second walking path takes you to the NE side of the island, past two lovely sandy bays, Baie de la Courtade and Baie de Notre Dame, then uphill through pines and holm oaks to yet another fortress. The path continues along rocky ridges to a semaphore station at the far eastern end of the island.

On Ile de Port Cros all forms of traffic except pedestrian are forbidden and the island offers nearly 35 km of walking trails to explore amongst sub-tropical vegetation humming with cicadas. A good walk from the port takes you around the west side of island, the path initially very busy with tourists heading for the beach but becoming much quieter once you get beyond the beach. The south coast is even more dramatic (and the water even clearer) than Ile de Porquerolles. One can continue via the Les Crêtes path to climb the highest peak in the island, Mont de Vinaigre, from which there are breathtaking (if you have any left!) views over the whole archipelago. Snorkelling is also excellent around the island, since a marine conservation zone extends 600 meters all around the coast.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Reasonable provisions from small shops in Ile de Porquerolles, but it is best (and cheapest) to provision on the mainland before sailing to the islands.


Plenty of tourist cafes and restaurants in Ile de Porquerolles; cafe/bars and a small hotel restaurant on Port Cros. The locally produced wine from the three vineyards on Ile de Porquerolles is worth sampling.




Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins on land at both Port de Porquerolles and Port Cros. Since it all has to go back to the mainland, however, it may be more considerate to take it with you if you can.


Ferries from Porquerolles to Hyeres (25 minutes) all year round and to Toulon, Le Lavandou and several other destinations during July and August only. Ferries from Port Cros to both Le Lavandou (20 minutes) and Hyeres (one hour) all year round.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See France.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • We have very special memories of strolling through the sub-tropical vegetation of Port Cros before returning to the harbour to cool off with a swim off the boat, during which we hand-fed the extraordinarily tame bream and rainbow wrasse in the bay --s/y Athene of Lymington.

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Names: Atheneoflymington, Vadim

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