Ecotourism: what are the best islands to visit without a car in France?

The islands to visit without a car in the Var

To get started, head to the Var department, where you can visit several islands without a car. Starting with the Iles d’Or – Porquerolles, Port-Cros and the Ile del Llevant – attached to the city of Hyères.

With 54 kilometers of roads, Porquerolles is the most important of the three, and is also the most located to the west, facing the Giens peninsula. To get there, several shipping companies travel between Hyères and Porquerolles throughout the year, but also between certain towns on the coast of the Var and the island, only in season.

Once there, you will discover a small Mediterranean paradise 7 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide, which we recommend you explore by bike. Various rental companies offer mountain bikes (electric or not), tandems and other carts to climb along paths lined with pine trees, myrtles and other heather, which lead to paradisiacal beaches or sunny vineyards.

The island of Porquerolles can be visited without a car, but on foot or by bike. Pascal Fraboul / Ull Em

Between secluded beaches and steep cliffs, Port-Cros is the smallest and wildest of the three islands in the archipelago. Tree-lined with white pines and holm oaks, Port-Cros is considered a National Terrestrial and Marine Park, mainly due to its exceptional marine fauna, which can be observed during a diving session along the underwater route from La Palud beach, or from the ‘islet of Gabinière, classified as an integral reserve.

⋙ Diving: 10 awesome places

To the east of the archipelago, the island of Levante is home to magnificent trees! Although much of the island is inaccessible because it is occupied by a military zone, local wildlife can be discovered on signposted trails.

Next, we mention the Paul Ricard Islands, starting with the island of Embiez, in front of Six-Fours-les-Plages, accessible all year round with a 12-minute crossing from the Brusc pier. Car traffic is strictly prohibited on the island, which is home to 90% of the natural species in the Mediterranean. On the coast of Bandol, its little sister, Bendor Island is currently inaccessible because it is under construction, reopening is scheduled for 2026.

The Breton islands to visit without a car

The Breton coast should not be left behind when it comes to islands to visit without a car. On the Finisterre side, the island of Sein and the island of Molène are two very beautiful islands that cannot be visited by car.

Indeed, to travel around the island of Molène, forget about your car and bike, and put on the right shoes: a signposted hiking trail runs along the island!

⋙ 10 hiking trails available to everyone

On the island of Sein, there is no car on the horizon either: only the fire truck can run on it. Throughout the year, you have to rely on your feet to get around, or opt for cycling, which is nevertheless forbidden in summer. It’s good to know: on the island of Sein, metal-tipped canes are banned, as they damage the paths.

In the Côtes-d’Armor, it is the island of Bréhat that wins all our favors: the first classified natural site in France – in 1907 – Bréhat, 3.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide , is accessible by boat, and can only be visited on foot or by bicycle. Once you reach the pier, take the paths that connect the port with the lighthouse of Paon, to discover streams and beaches, each more beautiful than the other.

Finally, don’t leave the Gulf of Morbihan without visiting the islands of Houat and Hoëdic! To discover the island of Houat, on the outskirts of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, the best way is to take the coastal path on foot, which will allow you to cover the 17-kilometer route in a minimum of 4 hours on foot. . Then there are granite landscapes interspersed with beaches and small coves that will offer you.

In Hoëdic, as in Sein, metal-tipped canes are forbidden on the island, where vehicles do not run. However, several excursions along the urbanized coastal paths are possible, to discover the hundreds of species of birds present here.

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There are no cars on the Channel Islands in the Chausey Islands

Leaving Granville, we will embark for the Chausey Islands, the largest archipelago in Europe. On Big Island, a small paradise 7 miles long and 5 miles wide, the birdsong is not hindered by any engine noise.

Along an 8-kilometer walk, you will discover the main points of interest on the island: the village of Blanvillais, the lighthouse and the traffic light, the Lambert tower, the Fort and the old Fort, but also the beaches of Port Marie and Port. Lobster as well as the Grande Grève.

Visit the island of Aix without a car

Separated from the mainland by a small strait of 6 kilometers, the island of Aix, in Charente-Maritime, is accessible by ferry from Fouras-les Bains. To the east of the island of Oléron, near the famous Fort Boyard, this island populated by only a few dozen inhabitants can be discovered without a car. The Napoleonic Museum and the African Museum (currently closed for construction) are worth a visit!

⋙ On the island of Aix, Napoleon’s last steps on French soil

Discover the island of Saint-Honorat without a car in the Maritime Alps

Next to the bay of Cannes, a small piece of land just 1.5 kilometers long is a real haven of peace that car pollution can not disturb: on the island of Saint-Honorat, one of the two Lérins islands, about 2,000 people arrive each year. to stay in the abbey of Lérins, where about twenty monks live.

⋙ What is the difference between an abbey, a monastery and a convent?

To discover the heritage of the island and its wines the car is not allowed, so you have to do everything on foot. Take a stop on the island to visit the monastery tower, the Chapel of Saint-Sauveur and the Chapel of the Trinity, as well as the two Napoleonic ball ovens. Disconnection guaranteed!

No mountain biking or car on the islands of the Friuli archipelago

Formed by four islands off the coast of Marseille, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Friuli archipelago is free of cars, and can only be practiced on foot (if cycling is allowed in the village and by road, mountain cycling is forbidden!)

The only district of Marseille accessible only by boat is revealed, therefore, during walks, between streams, coves and beaches, not to mention the inviting Château d’If, on the island of the same name!

Also read:

The 10 most isolated islands in the world

The 10 most isolated islands in the world

The 15 islands of the world where it is nice to spend retirement

The 15 islands of the world where it is nice to spend retirement

Atlantic coast: top 10 of the most beautiful small French islands

Atlantic coast: top 10 of the most beautiful small French islands

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