We took the 20 minute boat crossing to Ile de Porquerolles and had decided before we left that we would walk the 3 kilometres to what the guide book described as “Porquerolle’s largest and most beautiful beach, Plage de Notre Dame.” We past the Plage de la Courtade, a small pleasant looking beach before reaching Plage de Notre Dame. We walked to the furthest point of the beach and had a lovely swim in the crystal clear waters. The med is not as warm at this time of year as one would have imagined or liked but certainly not as cold as the UK and makes for a very pleasant cooling off. We had made a packed lunch of the traditional baquette sandwich and a piece of fruit so that we could relax and sunbathe until we had had enough of the sun.
The only way to explore the island is by foot or by bike on the rough unpaved trails which are very pleasant to walk along with plenty of room for both modes of transport. We spent about 3 hours on the beach before walking back (approx 45 minutes) to the small town and port for a wander through the streets and past the numerous outdoor cafes and ice-cream stands, stopping for an ice-cream and took a peek at the botanical garden which unfortunately this time of year was not looking its best as all the colour had gone, apart from green and brown!
We enjoyed the island and negoitiated the queue for the return boat by standing side by side and elbows wide!
In the evening we enjoyed a drink and a social with Ian and Kate from Scotland whom we had previously met at the campsite in Cassis and were also staying at La Tour Fondue.
You can hire bikes on the island and there are plenty of hire shops. You can also take your own bikes over on the boat at an extra cost.
The island is very pleasant to explore by bike or foot but note that in the summer months of July and August the risk of fire closes the interior of the island and makes some trails inaccessible.
There is plenty of shade to be had at Plage de Notre Dame however we felt the beach was a little disappointing as there was no depth to the beach.