The golden islands: porquerolles & port cros
The Iles D'or or Golden Islands - set just off the coast of the French Riviera - offer an untamed wilderness just a short ferry ride from the coastline.
This is the sunniest and southernmost part of France, offering a year-round beautiful climate, with mild winters and a sea breeze to cool the hot summer sun.
The red rocks of the islands glisten in the sun, casting a golden light toward the mainland, an invitation to come and explore.
Take a walk on Port Cros where the well-marked trails lead you from quiet cove to quiet cove, among giant cork oaks and tree heather, all seemingly disproportionate in size.
The island of Porquerolles, with its tiny town of 300 inhabitants, seems unchanged since it was built in the 19th century. Play a game of pétanque in the main square, rent a bike and tour around the island, or tan on the Plage d'Argent, with its pure silvery sands.
On the mainland you can walk along the celebrated coastline path, and why not all the way into St. Tropez?