After enjoying your boat trip to Port-Cros (about 30 minutes from Bormes les Mimosas) and your guided tour on our hybrid boat, you will arrive at the port for your day's stopover on the island of Port-Cros, one of the most beautiful nature destinations in the Var!
Distant from the mainland by about ten kilometers, it is, with its 4 km length and 2.5 km width, the smallest, but also the wildest of the 3 Golden Islands. A national park since 1963 and the first marine park in Europe, the island of Port-Cros is a preserved jewel and an ideal place for lovers of nature, calm and serenity.
The Village of Port-Cros
Obligatory starting point for your stopover on Port-Cros, the village is certainly small, but so welcoming and full of charms. Time seems to have stopped here, and you can enjoy its authenticity in the middle of the few houses of former fishermen, or on one of the terraces of the few restaurants (open in season).
Don't hesitate to visit the "Saint-Tropez" Chapel, located in the back harbor, or the island's cemetery, where the last owners of the island, Marcel and Marceline Henry, were laid to rest before it was bequeathed to the State...
A paradise for nature lovers and hikers
The island of Port-Cros can only be discovered on foot (no bikes here), along the 30 km of marked trails. In order to walk freely on the island, and to take full advantage of its paths, we advise you to bring good shoes and water bottles. Please note that the paths on the island are impassable for strollers and wheelchairs.
The island of Port-Cros has several hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the island and the natural riches of the Mediterranean. Before leaving to explore the island, do not hesitate to visit the National Park House. The Park agents will be able to provide you with more information on the different hiking trails, as well as on their missions!
Path of the Plants
The plant trail is a discovery trail of the main characteristic plants of the island.
Along the coast, marvel at the magnificent views from the village to La Palud beach. The return journey is easier if you go through the island's interior.
Duration: 45 minutes
Circuit of the Vallon de la Solitude
This circuit winds through one of the three main valleys of the island to discover the life of the past between ruins and old buildings.
You will discover along a shaded path, the chapel, the manor or the cemetery, until the dam.
Duration : 1 hour
Level : Easy
Circuit des Crêtes
Through the circuit of the Crêtes, discover the island fauna. Circular and panoramic itinerary, culminating at Mont Vinaigre, at 193m of altitude.
The circuit of the crests allows to discover the small beach of the South, the islet of Gabinière and the steep landscapes of the south coast.
Duration : 3 hours
Level : Difficult
Circuit of the Forts
Discover the military heritage of the island of Port-Cros. Follow the coastline to the beach of Port-Man.
The Port-Man circuit offers a wide variety of aspects: coastal walks, intimate forest environments, traces of history, Port-Man Bay.
Duration : 4 hours
Level : Difficult
You have the chance to stop over at Port-Cros ?
Discover all that this wild island has to offer during a busy day! Here are some suggestions:
Its underwater trail
Located on the beach of La Palud (45 minutes walk), this underwater path is the first one in France! Its access is free and open to all (in season)!
Equipped with your flippers - mask - snorkel, you will discover during this aquatic walk between 1 and 10 meters deep, panels immersed under 6 buoys, each describing a marine ecosystem, with its fauna and flora, specific to our Mediterranean.
The crystal clear waters of the island of Port-Cros are teeming with marine life. You may see groupers, barracudas, sea breams, corbs, conger eels or morays.
If today the island of Port-Cros seduces nature lovers by its beauty, calm and serenity, it has not always been so. It was, indeed, for a long time the target of the barbarian pirates, and the famous Barbarossa, who sowed terror there.
In the 1630's, Richelieu decided to protect the island from pirate attacks by building 3 forts, the Tour de l'Eminence, the Fort de l'Estissac and the Port Man.
You will also find upon your arrival at the port, the first fort built under François 1er, the Fort du Moulin.
Its natural wealth
Arriving by boat, Port-Cros appears as a green island covered with a thick forest.
The island of Port-Cros is home to rare species and hosts many seabirds such as the peregrine falcon or the shearwater of Scopoli.
The terrestrial fauna of the island is also constituted by some particular and endemic species as the Phyllodactyl lizard, or the Sardinian discoglossus.
Unlike its big sister Porquerolles, the beaches of Port-Cros are quite different. Here there are no big sandy beaches but rather small coves with crystal clear water teeming with life. The island of Port-Cros has three beaches:
Beach of La Palud
Facing the rocks of Rascas, 45 minutes from the village, this small beach of coarse sand, shaded by tamarisk, is the setting for the underwater trail during the summer season.
The most accessible of the beaches of Port-Cros ( 30 minutes on foot), it is also the most frequented. This small white sand beach is the most sheltered from the East wind.
Located at the end of the magnificent bay of Port-Man, this gravel beach is the largest on the island. Well protected from the mistral, it offers a breathtaking panorama. But it must be earned! It takes 2 hours (and good sneakers) to get there.
These sites are just a few of the many treasures that Port-Cros has to offer. Feel free to ask our crew for some tips, and explore the island at your leisure to discover all its hidden wonders! There are many things to see and do during your day on the island of Port-Cros. Something to satisfy the interests of all visitors!
- No camping or bivouac.
- No motorized vehicles except for service or authorized vehicles.
- No waste outside the containers.
- No noise or disturbance to preserve the character of the place.
- No dogs to maintain the tranquility of the fauna and the healthiness of the beaches.
In the village of Port-Cros, between the Fort du Moulin and the statue of St. Joseph, access to dogs on a leash is allowed.
- No harvesting or collection to conserve biological diversity.
- No fire or smoking outside the village to prevent fire and keep the beaches clean.
In addition, the forest areas of the island of Port-Cros may be closed to the public. The information map for access to forest areas exposed to the risk of forest fires is published every day at 7 pm for the following day on the website https://www.risque-prevention-incendie.fr/var/. In case of very severe fire risk, only one path is open at Port-Cros, in the direction of the South Beach. In case of extreme fire risk, all trails on the island are closed.