Parc National de Port-Cros (France)

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Following three amazing weeks in Italy that included Rome, San Gimignano, Riomaggiore and Venice we were finally making our way across the border and into my home country.  Along the way we had some great moments and other rather stressful adventures of finding our hotels and destinations with a very average GPS system that we nicknamed ‘Monique’ …my youngest was also feeling the strain of being away from home and on the road for three weeks (he was tired and had been bitten by mosquitoes in Venice  and he reacts badly to the bites-take repellant)…So needless to say it was great to finally arrive into more familiar territory and especially to meet up with extended family for some much needed RR –  My darling aunty a truly amazing woman, took to looking after us. It was great to be ‘home’ with regular home cooked meals and a nice change of pace.

The next pit stop along the way was the French town of Bormes Les Mimosas, and along with Le Lavandou forms part of the Var region. There are some gorgeous spots to stop along this stretch of  coast and it is alot more relaxed compared to the busy St. Tropez or Nice.


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During our stay in the Var region, we did a day trip to the gorgeous Parc National de Port Cros. The suggestion to visit came from my dad who knew a former resident on the island.  

In all my years of being in the travel industry, I had never heard of it! (Which is its charm and appeal) And therefore it now become a must on our travel itinerary. A one night stopover on the Island would have been better to give more time to actually explore the area.

Port-Cros is the smallest of the three islands that form part of the Iles d’Hyeres- also known as the Golden Islands. The other two islands are Le Levant and Ile de Poquerolles. Port-Cros also lays claim to be the only marine National Park in France so worth treasuring. The island has a marine trail ideal for snorkelling and discovering the rich marine park.

We took a ferry – about a 45 minute journey and docked in the little port of Port -Cros. From the port is an easy hike along the coast line onto a semi secluded rocky beaches.  The walk takes you to through lovely wooded walking tracks, where you catch glimpses of crystal clear water…it was so inviting.

The day was litteraly spent chilling out on the beach, collecting pebbles with along with a picnic lunch. A great way to spend a family day – perfect for the Frenchies anyhow.

Nitty Gritty:

Getting there: You can catch a Ferry from Le Lavandou to either the Island of Port-Cros or Le Levant – approximately an 45 minutes to an hour – see below link:

http://www.vedettesilesdor.fr/index.php

The cost of a return ticket is approximately EUR27 per Adult and EUR 22 for a child.There are other access points from the mainland see the below link:

http://www.tlv-tvm.com/en/

Accommodation: all though we only went to Port-Cros for the day, (which certainly was not long enough to fully experience the island or to explore it further – the Island it seems only has one hotel ‘Le Manoir’ open from April to October

http://www.hotel-lemanoirportcros.com/index.htm

Anse de Port-Cros is a restaurant situated at the Port and is a in a great setting, we only stopped for drinks while waiting for our ferry – The reviews seem to indicate it is expensive for what it offers, however considering the location and tourism to the Island is seasonal these things are to be expected.

Have you visited the Island before? If so what has your experience been like?

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