Port-Cros is the smallest of the three Iles d’Or off the Côte d’Azur. Just one kilometre wide and three long, its hilly, wild terrain is crossed by signed trails and its ridges provide fantastic views of the sparkling sea. Its protected status extends 600 metres around the coast so the clear waters are rich in protected marine life – snorkellers can even follow an underwater trail. Car and bike-free Port-Cros is accessed by ferry from the Giens peninsula, as are its sister islands, Porquerolles, and Levant, the latter said to be the birthplace of European nudism. The Giens peninsula is extremely popular among French tourists – who descend on the many campsites and holiday villages in July and August – but off the British radar. The nearest city is Hyères, famed for its gardens and palm trees.