The Undiscovered French Riviera

Port-Cros National Park

This package was coordinated by MEET project parnter MedPAN and created by the managers and the people of the protected areas of Port-Cros National Park.

The tour is provided by the local tour operator  Échappée Bleue.

This test tour is a result of the MEET project’s objective to develop an integrated strategy to settle an Eco-Tourism Development Model for the Mediterranean Protected Areas that boosts a better seasonal distribution of tourism flows. By participating in this tour you will be part of a small group contributing to the development of a new sustainable travel concept which aims to support conservation and benefit the local communities…

NOTE: This tour is designed for active nature and culture oriented travelers with a good fitness level (less than 3 hour/day hikes, kayaking, cycling). This tour is not suitable for children under 15 years.

Welcome to France!

With 65 million of inhabitants, five main rivers, Alps reaching almost five thousand meters (Mont Blanc), borders with 6 other countries, France sets the stage fro your net adventure. But this is not what you would expect from a typical visit to France or the French Riviera.

Port Cros & Poquerolles National Park

The National Park of Port-Cros/Porquerolles is located in the coastal archipelago of islands of Hyères in the Mediterranean sea. Created in 1963, it is the oldest national marine park in Europe, including 1700 terrestrial ha and 2900 marine ha, with human activities completely prohibited on 2 of the islands. Around this central area of “Park heart” is where the MEET partnership zone is found.

LOCATION

Biodiversity & Conservation in Port Cros

Protected species in the Port Cros National Park include Tree heather, Stoechades lavender, Jupiter beard, maritime cineraria, catmint are protected in the area, as are whales, dolphins, Hermann turtles, grass-snake, grey puffin (Shearwater), and groupers…

PortCros fondo marino 3_800x500

Conservation Threats & Opportunities

Conservation threats are mainly caused my humans: Population pressure, urbanization, and ignorance. The aged European population heads to the south of France to retire, resulting in more and more people and big cruise ships every year, and the resulting negative impacts such as pollution.

Contribution of MEET to the Protected Area 

We do not call for donations from private funds to get money and government support is very limited. Benefits of the MEET project include better advertising campaigns for private donations and an opportunity to improve our communication so that a wider audience can know and learn about responsible tourism.

The MEET project in Port Cros has also contributed to better safety and signalling, maintenance of roads and more staff (local employment) on site. the package activities themselves have a very low carbon impact as we cross a high pressure urbanization area to end into a protected paradise with no visual, acoustic and chemical pollution. A true miracle and a challenge on the French Riviera.

In addition to all of this, the MEET package involves almost 18 different local actors and service providers, so you’ll be contributing to maintaining their livelihoods and extending the tourist season.

We at Port Cros invite you to become an opinion leader by taking part in a brand new kind of responsible tourism and be our ambassador back in your country, sharing your experience to convince a wide audience and authorities that it is still possible to create protected areas located in the middle of one of the most famous and heavily visited places in the world: French Riviera and Côte d’Azur.

PRE DEPARTURE GUIDE

Before you depart, please consider the following:

Visa requirements

European Citizens whose country is under the authority of the Schengen Treaty may enter France with nothing more than a valid identity card or passport.

Citizens from all other countries must show their passport on the border; where a visa is required, this must also be presented to the border authorities and must indicate the length of the holder’s stay and his or her destination. Visa applications – specifying the reason for the trip – must be made to the Italian Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence, and are generally issued 90 days after the application is made.

Passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area (Six months recommended).

Currency

Currency is EuroGoogle Currency Converter

Weather Conditions

12°/15° in the morning, 22°/25° in the afternoon.

Clothing tips

To ensure you enjoy and have a comfortable stay, please bring with you:

Spring clothes, comfortable sport shoes, cap, sunglasses, binoculars, camera, swimsuit, warm jacket at night, medium size backpack, light rain coat just in case, weather conditions could be very windy at this period

Insurance, Health & Safety

An insurance covering each participant during transportation and all activities which are part of the program, is provided. Participants are also advised to take out their own personal travel and health  insurance.

The tap water is drinkable. Guests should bring their own reusable water bottle.

Electricity/adaptors

The electrical current is 220 volts AC (50 Hz).

ON ARRIVAL

Click here to view the detailed itinerary of your MEET experience in Port Cros.

Below is the route map for your MEET experience in Port Cros National Park.

Click here to view the route map.

Transportation & Transfers

Meeting and pickup on the first day is at 4 PM at the Toulon train station lobby

There are direct flights from Paris to Toulon/Hyères airport and TGV train from Paris-Roissy airport train station to Toulon (1 stop in Marseilles).

Accommodation

Single accommodations with private bathroom (except 1 night in cottage with shared rooms 2 persons)

Towels and bed linen provided

Special Dietary Requirements

Let us know about in advance and special dietary requirements will be catered for vegetarian or allergies

Shopping & Local Products

Shopping is possible on Porquerolles island and Hyères old town during the guided visit. Spending responsibly allows you to give back to the local communities.

Tipping

Tipping is up to you, service is included in prices.

Your MEET Tour Leader

Your MEET tour leader will meet you upon your arrival and be with you until your departure. They will be the connection between you – the traveller – and the local people & territory, sharing their local knowledge and advice on how best to enjoy your unique experience. Their role is to ensure that all aspects of your trip run smoothly. It sometimes happens that unexpected situations may occur, in which case your leader will keep you well informed and may require your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, they are there to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

USEFUL PHRASES IN FRENCH

Basic greetings:

English French
Hello Bonjour
Good evening Bonsoir
Goodbye Au revoir
See you tomorrow A demain
Please S’il vous plaît
Excuse me / sorry Excusez-moi / pardon
Thank you Merci beaucoup
You’re welcome De rien
Have a good day Bonne journée
Enjoy your meal Bon appétit
Cheers Santé

 

Introducing yourself:

English French
Hello, my name is… Bonjour, je m’appelle…
What is your name? Comment vous appelez-vous?
How are you? Comment allez-vous?
Nice to meet you A demain
I come from Italy, Spain, Germany.. Je viens d’Italie, d’Espagne,  d’Allemagne..