A Friday afternoon swimming in crystal clear sea, looking out at the nearby moored sailing boats is definitely something to write home about, that is if you can drag yourself out of the still warm water and back to the beach.

With tiny fish swimming around my feet, white sandy beaches and an un-spoilt view I would never have believed we were just an hour away from La Daby and the surrounding vineyard region is it nestled in.

Just a ten-minute ferry-ride from Hyeres, east of Toulon the island of Porqerolles is a delight. It’s an easy drive to Hyeres from La Daby, just past Toulon airport – and if you’re lucky you might spot a flamingo on the road leading to the ferry terminal Tour Fondue.

Hopping off the boat (foot passenger only, no cars are allowed on the island), we are met with a village with old fashioned charm fused with a modern harbor, sandy walkways, a big selection of restaurants, which even out of season are still very popular. The port town also boasts several ice cream stands, with plenty of flavours of try – one even offered a litre pot of ice cream!

The island is a walkers and cyclists dream, with car-free trails set in an idyllic setting. We hired bikes and took a leisurely trip along a popular pathway to Notre Dame beach, stopping to admire the views. Lounging on the unspoilt beach with a picnic made at back at La Daby, is a great way to spend an hour (or two).

Hopping back on our bikes we headed back to the main village and explored the narrow back streets, where we overtaken by tiny electric open-back vans, as we discovered the stunning park.

A quick walk around the park with its towering palm trees and we were on the bikes again, via the village square where the island prepared for its annual 25 km race around the island – not for the fainthearted!

After stopping to look at the locally produced wines from the island (we rode past vines on our trip back from the beach), we dropped our bikes back. The village has an abundance of bike hire options, so you won’t have an issue finding one to hire.

We cooled off with a beer in the shade as we waited for the ferry back to the mainland. Our mini-daytrip was a delight, we’d go back in a flash to explore more of the island and sample the foods and wine it has to offer.

What you should know:

We had an afternoon on the island, but we’d recommend leaving early and making a day of it. It’s a great day out for the whole family, kids will love the short ferry ride, the beaches and exploring the island. Prices are from 2019.

  • Car parking at ferry terminal - 16 € per day.
  • Ferry crossing - 19.50 € adults. 17.30 € children.
  • Bike hire - 16 € per day.

Tip – water cost 4 € a bottle from many of the ice cream stalls but in the local supermarket in the room at the back you can pick up a bottle for much cheaper!