Long ago, the islands became detached from the Maures mountain range. They were once called the "Stoechades" (the aligned)
and they shelter the Hyères harbour to the south. The Archipelago, which includes Porquerolles, Port Cros, and the Ile du Levant, extends over 22 kilometres with a number of small islets. The name "Iles d'Or" was attributed during the Renaissance, no doubt because in a certain light, the mica schists in their stone give off golden reflections.
The islands have been inhabited since prehistoric times, and over half of the area of the archipelago is now protected by the Port-Cros national park which is responsible for preserving its natural heritage on land and in the sea, in this exceptional part of the Mediterranean.Map of the Archipelago