Iles d Hyeres - France

In the Gulf of St. Tropez off the Cote d'Azur is the Hyeres Island Group. Nearby, the rugged hills of the Massif des Maures subside into the sea, with only their peaks sticking out of the eternally blue Mediterranean. In this tiny archipelago lies the island of Porquerolles, where rock-rimmed bays hide harbours once favoured by pirates. Marked by steep limestone cliffs and dense vegetation, this scenic island was the first resort on the Cote d'Azur. A short walk takes you to white sand beaches through hills covered in sage, rosemary, rnyrtle, pines and heather. From the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries, a British colony occupied the island, which was once visited by Queen Victoria. The ideal climate and picturesque surroundings have attracted many international writers and artists over the years including American novelist Edith Whatnot and Cole and Linda Porter.