Discover the Golden Islands from our Hotel Les Mèdes on the island of Porquerolles
and the island of Levant
Once upon a time there was a prince named Olbianus, lord of Olbia (Hyères), who had four daughters of incomparable beauty. One day while they were bathing in the open sea, a pirate ship appeared. Desperate, the father begged the gods to prevent their abduction. The princesses felt their limbs freeze and turn to stone. The three most distant sisters formed the Golden Islands, while the youngest, near the shore, became the peninsula of Giens. It is said that these islands have retained the breathtaking beauty of the princesses.
Detached from the Moorish Chain, a long time ago, the Golden Islands, formerly called "Stoechades" (the aligned ones), close the bay of Hyères to the south. The archipelago, of which Porquerolles, Port Cros and the Ile du Levant are part, extends over a length of 22 kilometers and also includes a few islets. The name "Golden Islands" was given to them during the Renaissance, probably because under certain lights, the micaschists of their rocks have golden reflections.
A protected archipelago
which became a National Park
Inhabited since prehistoric times, more than half of the archipelago is now protected by the Port-Cros National Park, which is responsible for safeguarding the exceptional land and sea heritage of this small corner of the Mediterranean.
Marked trails and walks close to nature
During your stay in Porquerolles, take time out to visit Port-Cros. The smallest of the three Golden Islands is also the most mountainous and unspoilt. It can be explored on foot along small marked trails, and owes its current name to the hollow shape of its little port!
Since 1963, the entire island has been designated a National Park and includes, uniquely in Europe, a maritime zone of 600 meters around its shores. In the extraordinarily clear water, an underwater "circuit" is marked out in the manner of long-distance hiking trails.
A preserved sanctuary
A veritable natural sanctuary, it's sure to delight hiking enthusiasts. Along the marked botanical trail, you can admire dense scrubland, pine and oak forests, as well as numerous forts that bear witness to the island's history.
Along the way, you're sure to spot gulls, cormorants and gannets. If you like diving, don't forget your flippers and snorkel, as there's a superb underwater trail where you'll discover posidonia, red gorgonians, mother-of-pearl, groupers and other multicolored girelles.