Marseille was founded by Greeks, in about 600 BC, as the city of Phocea. The city boasts of mosques and synagogues and many varieties of Christian churches. Its bars and brothels have been a magnet for dishonest dealings, and its waterfront still evokes the romance of a gateway to distant lands.
Toulon is both a Provencal town and a seaport on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Var region. It is also one of France’s principal naval bases, possessing the most important of the Mediterranean dry-docks and shipbuilding yards. Toulon’s fine bay opens to the east. The most sheltered part, the Petite Rade and the Darse Vieille, in the west, is largely under control of the French Navy.
Here, the navy is provided with a well-protected anchorage. The Faron Mountains form an imposing backdrop to the town.
Porquerolles is the biggest of the three Iles d’Or in the Hyeres gulf. Seven km long and 3km wide, Porquerolles is the most popular for a yacht charter in Provence, with the largest population. It is situated at the same latitude as Cap Corse, and therefore shares the same pleasant climate – almost daily sunshine (more than 300 sunny days a year), mild winters (rarely below 0°C) and hot summers with a delightfully cool seabreeze.
Almost the same size as it’s neighbour, Porquerolles, from the air Levant appears like a long rocky outcrop 8 kms long and only 2 kms wide.
Only a tenth of its territory is open to the public.
Covered by superb and luxurious vegetation, as you approach Levant it reveals all the charms of a true paradise.
Port Cros is located between Porquerolles and Levant islands.
It’s the smallest of the three islands which make up the “îles d’Or” in the golf of Hyères. 4 km long and 3 km wide the island extends over 690 hectares.
The island has five forts which bear witness to it’s past as defense for Port Cros.
The oldest fort dates from François 1st reign (Fort du Moulin).
Only two of the forts are open to the public: the Fort de l’Eminence (30 mn by foot from the port) and the Fort de l’Estissac (15 mn by foot from the port). The latter is an ideal vantage point to view the island.
La Grande Motte is one of the largest marinas of the Mediterranean sea. It used to be just a large area between the sea and the lagoons, until a plan to restructure the coastline transformed it into a city with peculiar architecture. The architect Jean Balladur designed these buildings in the shape of pyramids, giving them a resemblance to the Pic St Loup mountain. The system of terraces allows maximum protection from the sun. La Grande-Motte is not a tourist attraction just for the summer; an infrastructure has been laid to attract visitors throughout the year.