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South of France – Hyères, Porquerolles, Marseille and Calanques.

Road trip from Switzerland to Hyères where we stayed for one week.

Original plan was to kitesurf most of the time and visit Porquerolles and Calanques. However, the weather was not with us and we ended up having only 1,5 days of wind.

This pushed to discover more places such as Marseille, which at the end was not such a bad thing.


Marseille is an interesting city. As I’m not a huge fan of cities in general, it had some interesting “must see” places such as:

  • The old harbor
  • Notre-Dame de la garde

These are maybe the most touristic places of Marseille but also the one where you can easily walk around without big deal.

We didn’t really venture further away from these two places, which anyway took use on whole day to discover entirely.

Highlights of our trips remined Porqueolles, the Calanques and Hyères.

The Calanques is a national park of Marseille / Cassis and La Ciotat (count 1 day). Situated in Provence, they offer a spectacular alternation of creeks (Calanques) and mountains, mixed with green pine trees and turquoise blue water. You can hike from one to the other (which I definitely recommend) but make sure to take enough water as in the summer the temperatures are quite extreme (35 °C, little shade).

=> Must see: Calanque d’en-vau

If you don’t want to hike, you can simply rent canoes or a boat and discover by the sea.

Porquerolle is an island (count 1 day)  south of Hyères. You can only reach that island by boat. There are large charter companies organizing boat trip on a daily basis near the “tour fondue”. We chose an alternative plan with “blue kite” to make a private boat trip to that island and avoid that crowded pack of tourist. A bit more expensive but definitely worth the trip.

=> Must See: Plage Notre-Dame


Hyères was great for kitesurfing mostly. There are a few beaches all along the road but usually they are filled with tourists.

For kitesurfing you have 3 spots depending on the wind direction, but they are quite busy and starting from the beach is usually not that easy for beginners … even when you know how to kite it’s tricky because there is zero respect and everybody just tries to look for themselves.

But overall Hyères is nice. Really holiday atmosphere with some good restaurants. We rented a house there where we could all fit. The owner was the loveliest person, giving us fresh vegetables to grill, owning cute cats…definitely was a cool vacation.

If you have any specific questions – drop a comment!

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