Only two ways to get around
Cycles and Shank's Pony. We did it the old way and walked - though there were plenty of cycle hire places near the tree lined little square - a former barracks marching yard - close to the harbour. They seemed to do a good trade as we passed bikes in quite remote spots.
I understand that in 2009 a famuly of four with two children 8 & 10 could hire bikes for half a day for around 40 euros - helmets avaialble for a small fee.
Ferry to a mini paradise
In 1991/2 It cost 22 F. to park for a full day day at the harbour and 62 F. for a return ticket to the island (I kept the tickets!).
In 2009 a return ticket cost something like 17 euros - my nephew doesn't keep tickets and he can't remember the parking costs.
How to get there by plane
The closest airport is Toulon/Hyeres (not to be confused with Toulouse), which is served by some low-cost airlines, such as Transavia from the Netherlands (departing Rotterdam) as well as other "regular".
Upon arrival, it is necessary to go to "La tours fondue", which is the port from where boats depart to Porquerolles. It seems the only option is taking a taxi, which takes about 15 minutes and will cost you around 25 Eur.
After that, you must take the T.L.V. ferry to the island, which costs 9.70Eur . BEWARE: the last ferry departs at 19.00 during high season and even earlier the rest of the year.
If you arrive later than that, there are three options:
- Get a hotel close to the airport
- Take a boat taxi from Tours Fondue
- Take a boat taxi from Hyeres
The taxi from Tours Fondue will cost a whopping 84Eur from 19.00-23.00 for one to six passengers, with a 14 Eur surcharge for each additional one, up to 8 people max. It is slightly cheaper before that and more expensive after. The boats run 24 hours a day.
The taxi boat from Hyeres is a short taxi ride from the airport, but costs 120Eur, which is more than the cost of the taxi+boat from Tour Fondue, so it is probably not worth the hassle as you still need to get to the Hyeres port
Le Pelican bateau taxi
Once on the island, the main square (where almost all hotels are), is just 200 meters away. The taxi boat includes transportation to the hotel on the island.
Since it is not possible to bring your car to the island, the only way to get around is by bike and there are several bike rental shops around.
They all charge more or less the same (about 12-14Eur for a full day and 7-9 for half a day), so I would go for the ones that look newer. Our hotel, for instance, offered a special deal at 9Eur a day, but I did not use it, so I cannot say if the bikes were any good.
Since the terrain is quite rugged, the bikes are all mountain bikes and getting around is not always easy. Most of the roads are not paved and, worse, they are sand, so it is quite heavy to pedal.
It is, however, the best way to get around as it can be difficult to walk all the way to the beaches.
The bike rental shops are scattered around the main square (Place D'Armes) and there is even one at the port.
The little "house" at the end of the square (next to the children's playground) has a map of the island with all the bike paths and the difficulty of each one. Could be useful to plan your trip.
Ferries to Porquerolles
Ferries to Porquerolles leave from Tour Fondue harbor, on the Presqu'île de Giens. In high season, there is at least a ferry to Porquerolles every half an hour. Some of them make the round trip Tour Fondue, Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Levant, Tour Fondue (only in high season).
In low season, there are far less connections.
- National/State Park
There are no paved roads on the island. There are no private cars, nor motorcycles allowed on the island and there are only a few dirt tracks for the few cars from the Parc National. Then to visit the island, you can either walk or rent a bicycle in one of the shops of the village.
- National/State Park