The Giens Peninsula juts out from Hyères. It’s a major tourist destination as a day trip (along the long sandy strip connecting to the populated part) – thousands of cars, thousands of people. There’s a second road that’s a surprise – the old salt evaporation ponds, today marshland known for its population of flamingos (there were many!).

Despite hiccups, to follow, we liked it and would consider returning. The south side inlets for ocean swimming are wonderful. (Don’t stay on the north side, totally different experience.) In mid-August 2023, it was fairly quiet, calm – not packed at all, quite relaxing. It has a low-key vibe – with a better lodging option, this would be a strong recommendation.

We stayed at *Le Provençal – the only hotel we saw, aside from camping and family-oriented options. Aside from the pool (which they said was part of the hotel, I’m not entirely sure if that’s true), it was pretty terrible. Really worn out, not particularly clean, awful and expensive breakfast. They also have a few restaurants, including the expensive and not-good *Le Bar Du Soleil. Apparently the next generation is working to tune it up (expect it to be a long process).

Just southeast of the peninsula is Île de Porquerolles – on our list for a visit.

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