Amazing Day Trips to Take From Hyères by Boat

From Cassis to Port-Cros, Hyères and the surrounding coastline is wonderful to experience by boat
From Cassis to Port-Cros, Hyères and the surrounding coastline is wonderful to experience by boat | © Francesco Bonino / Alamy Stock Photo
Chrissie McClatchie

From island hopping to wreck and reef diving, the Provençal port of Hyères is a starting point for superlative south of France sailing itineraries. But while you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to unforgettable day trips by boat, this medieval Mediterranean town has its own charm – especially along the Giens Peninsula where local fishermen bring back the catch of the day in handpainted wooden fishing boats and bright pink flamingos are just one of the 260 species of birds to flock to the Hyères salt marshes.

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Île de Porquerolles

Just 10 minutes from the mainland, the Île de Porquerolles has two distinct faces. To discover the sheer cliffs and quiet coves of the southern side of the island, you’ll need your hiking boots and a good supply of water – while the sandy beaches and crystalline waters on the northern side bring the Caribbean to Europe. Taste the flavours of island life at Domaine de la Courtade, an organic vineyard specialising in crisp, petal-pink rosé.

Le Cimentier Wreck

Off the eastern tip of the Île de Porquerolles – close to the Île du Petit Langoustier – this sea-floor shipwreck is one of the few in the area suitable for open water divers. The story of the vessel’s sinking is still a murky subject – although the date can be traced back to World War Two. In the same area, Sec des Murènes is a 20m-long (65ft) stretch of reef, overflowing with bright marine life.


Just 46sqkm (17sqmi) in size, Port-Cros is the smallest of the three Îles d’Or, but its compact size – along with the well-marked nature trails – means this rugged island is easy to cover on foot in one day, although cars are prohibited. Pirates once favoured the hidden coves of its rocky coastline but today, the whole island is a national park – where the scent of citrus fruits and the sounds of cicadas fills the air.

Île du Levant

The Île du Levant has a rich and fascinating history: once the wealthiest of the Îles d’Or, it was occupied by monastic orders and nobility before being ransacked by the British and then reborn as an isolated penal colony for children in the 19th-century. Today, most of the island is a military base but a small corner – known as the Heliopolis Naturist Camp – is accessible to the public. If you dare to bare, nudity is permitted everywhere except the port and village square.

Fort de Brégançon

Strategically placed atop a rocky promontory at the tip of the coast by the commune of Bormes-les-Mimosas, the Fort de Brégançon has welcomed the likes of Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac as the official residence of the Presidents of the French Republic. Outside of August – when it’s likely to be in state use – the site is open for guided tours from mid-June to mid-July and early September to mid-October.

Le Lavandou

There’s a beach for each of the 12km (7.4mi) of coastline of Le Lavandou, a relaxed fishing village at the foot of the Massif des Maures mountain range. Pramousquier Beach – with its soft sand and snack shacks – is popular with families, while the rocky coastline keeps bathers at Rossignol Beach hidden from sight. With views across to the Îles d’Or, the palm-fringed Le Lavandou Beach occupies a central position and plenty of watersport hire options.


A swathe of luxury boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants makes Saint-Tropez the destination to see and be seen in on the French Riviera. But, a day trip here doesn’t have to break the budget. For many, the perfect itinerary involves strolling the cobbled pedestrian streets towards the pétanque courts on Places des Lices, sipping a glass of the local rosé on a terrace overlooking the square and savouring a slice of Tarte Tropézienne – the local sweet treat of choice.


The pretty port of Bandol is best known for the deeply-coloured, richly-flavoured red wine which grows along its shores. A 15-minute drive from the centre, Domaines Bunan makes fine wines that showcase the typicity of the region. Private tour operators can also pick you up from the port and take you to a selection of their favourite vineyards in the vicinity.

Cassis and the Calanques

Another postcard-pretty fishing village – this time renowned for its white wine – Cassis is also a starting point for the Parc National des Calanques, a 20km (12mi)-long series of steep limestone inlets and clear, turquoise waters that finish towards Marseille. Closest to Cassis, Calanque de Port-Miou has a narrow marina and is a departure point for nature trails. Next along, Calanque de Port-Pin has shallow waters and a small beach to while away an afternoon on.

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