ART & CULTURE
Idyllic beaches, hiking trails, moonlit walks and free open air cinema, Porquerolles Island off the coast of Hyères offers the feeling of a true getaway without having to go very far! In our new ‘Staycation’ series, we give you tips on where to get away without really leaving. A true paradise only two and a half hours by car from Nice, so there are no excuses!
A change in setting never hurt anyone; in fact, reality demonstrates quite the opposite. After months in confinement, summer is in full swing, the waves lapping on the shore are calling and it’s time to step outside to soak those happiness-vitamins. So, even if it’s just for a weekend, pack those bags and go discover the beautiful island of Porquerolles. Plus, with the location brimming with relaxing and entertaining activities, the short ferry from Hyères will transport you far away!
A must-see at Porquerolles is the Notre-Dame Plage. Its location, which is almost a forty minute walk from the village, makes it completely secluded on the island. The vibrant colours of the natural wilderness and the clear blue water will make any wanderer feel like they’re on the Caribbean. It’s a paradise that was actually nominated the most beautiful beach in Europe (2015) by the European Organisation of Culture and Tourism. This beach is this island’s treasure, though it shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting the other beaches which are just as beautiful. These other beaches are: la plage de la Courtade, la plage du Langoustier, la plage noir du Langoustier, and la plage d’Argent.
Ultimately, activities on the island range from cultivating to relaxing. There are exhibitions to visit, beaches to tan on, trails to hike or bike through, and deep waters to dive in! Between entertaining events and a preserved environment to discover, the Hyères tourism agenda is busy and varied. Plus, the website has multiple enticing trip offers which invite visitors to discover both Hyères and the island of Porquerolles.
Even a simple day-trip to the island is beautiful to discover by foot or on a bike. The island has multiple trails that take you around various sights to discover: the trail by the fort, the trail by the hills, the trail by sea, and the trail to best enjoy the landscape. But some of the most unique are only available is you stay the night.
In terms of overnight trips, the island has multiple options that might appeal to visitors. There are a few local hotels as well as multiple residences that can be rented for a flexible amount of time. Staying the night offers much more truly unique experiences, like the full moon night-walks in Villa Carmignac’s gardens, or enjoying a an evening of the first-ever Porquerolles Film Festival.
A beautiful villa-turned-art museum displays the collection of the Fondation Carmignac and brings an impressive collection of contemporary artists to this island oasis. Visit their collection, the current exhibit and explore their gardens, which happen to include a wall mural by famous Portuguese street artist, Vihls - his only work in Southern France.
The Prix Carmignac: The current exhibition at the beautiful Villa Carmignac aims is to pay homage to the numerous photojournalists that have addressed in their work the irreversible upheavals that the planet is subjected to. The subject being human rights in the world and environmental issues, visitors will be invited to question the humanitarian crises and environmental upheavals that affect many countries today.
Additionally to the exhibited photos, two documentaries on the subject of climate change and its human consequences will be projected.
Until 1 November, this event will take place from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Mondays.
Tickets: 15 euros
To learn more about this event or to reserve a ticket: https://www.fondationcarmignac.com/programmation/prix-carmignac-10-ans-reportages/
Full-moon hike: For a few days around the full moon, you can take a hike through the Villa gardens, guided with a story narrated by Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsburg. It is a truly magical experience! Next opportunity is Aug 1 – 5.
Film Festival: For the first time on the island of Porquerolles, the Villa Carmignac will open its doors throughout July and August for the staging of the Porquerolles Film Festival. This enjoyable event will take place every Thursday during the evenings from the 8th of July up to the 27th of August, 2020.
All of the events will begin at 8 pm with a welcoming reception. Visitors will have the option to have their dinner on-site or simply enjoy a nice beverage in a pleasant atmosphere. Without too much prolongation of the anticipation for the screening, the session will start at 9.30 pm. Located in the beautiful gardens which were transformed to create an open-air cinema. The portrayal of this event promises an unforgettable experience. An experience made even more special as on this occasion, the Jazz à Porquerolles festival has also taken the initiative to participate in creating a musical atmosphere in the gardens of the Villa Carmignac.
The theme behind this festival is to spotlight environmental as well as heritage films. It will resonate with the themes of climate change and environmental issues that the Foundation Carmignac exhibition "Carmignac Prize for Photojournalism: 10 years of reporting” creatively illustrates.
Additionally, in commemoration of its opening convention, the Porquerolles Film Festival will be paying tribute to two significant actors. The first being the actress Anna Karina who played in the cult film “Pierrot le Fou”, where some scenes were not only filmed in Hyères but also in Porquerolles. The second being the actor Jean Rochefort; a notable movie personality who happened to live on the island.
Ultimately, on the 27th of August, the “Porquerolles Prize” will be awarded by a jury composed of celebrities from the world of cinema and environment. The award will be given to the film with the best representation of the environment to memorialize the closing ceremony.
Reserve cinema seats for free via the link: https://billetterie.villa-carmignac.com/
For more information on organizing a trip on the island of Porquerolles, including ferry times, lodging and activities, visit: https://www.hyeres-tourisme.com/les-iles-dor/porquerolles/.
And tell them Riviera Insider sent you!
- Charlotte Gillet