I always secretly expect, or at least hope, to be greeted by a very tan man in a white suit with a strong accent saying “My dear guests, I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island”.

But this has never happened. And why should it? Porquerolles is no fantasy. It is absolutely real.

Instead of the fictional Mr. Roarke, a very tan chauffeur greets us with “Bonjour. Bon retour à
Porquerolles, as he takes us to Le Mas Du Langoustier, our island retreat.

350 inhabitants live on Porquerolles, the largest of the îles d’Hyères – or îles d’Or (golden islands) as they are nicknamed – off the peninsula of Giens.

However, thousands more arrive daily via ferry to enjoy the beaches, restaurants, and hotels.

You won’t find many cars on this 7 km (4.3 mile) long and 3 km (1.8 mile) wide piece of paradise, with the exception of a few service vehicles.  Instead, walking and biking are the preferred modes of transportation, and the best way to see the island via the 50 km (31 miles) of trails and bike paths.

You won’t find many cars on this 7 km (4.3 mile) long and 3 km (1.8 mile) wide piece of paradise, with the exception of a few service vehicles.  Instead, walking and biking are the preferred modes of transportation, and the best way to see the island via the 50 km (31 miles) of trails and bike paths.

There are a number of places to rent bikes on the island. Of course, you are also free to bring your own, as Mr. Man opted to do this year.

We have stayed in a number of places on the island, including a B&B and a self-catering apartment, but it is Le Mas Du Langoustier that continues to call us back.

The color of a languostine and wrapped in bougainvillea, Le Mas Du Langoustier sits on the edge of the island, on the opposite end.of the harbor. Though seemingly remote and detached from the rest of the island, it is in fact the anchor of Porquerolles. The Fournier family, who also owned the island, started the hotel in 1935. Their descendants, the Le Ber family, still own the property today.

While the rest of Porquerolles is centered around the harbor and the village, Le Mas Du Langoustier is a private retreat, with a pool, two secluded beaches within walking distance, and for the jetsetters, a heliport conveniently located just beyond the property.

Le Mas Du Langoustier also has two exceptional restaurants, including L’Olivier, the elegant, one Michelin star restaurant with a menu offering a variety of Mediterranean and Provencal flavors.

The hotel’s other restaurant La Pinède offers an equally delightful, though slightly more casual culinary experience, including a menu l’enfant, which is much more sophisticated than the chicken fingers and fries seen on most children’s menus.

But what do you expect? It is France after all.

The beaches near Le Mas Du Langoustier are wonderful, but they are just two of the numerous beaches on Porquerolles.

So after a couple of days hanging out there, we got on our bikes, in search of some more prime beach property on the island.

Plage de Notre Dame ranks as one of our favorites. Beautiful turquoise water that is shallow enough for the little ladies to walk and play in, cliffs and coves to explore and probably the most important reason to go there – the ice cream boat that pulls right up to the shore.

After a week of hiding out on our fantasy island, it is time to return to reality. A short ferry ride takes us back to Hyères where we retrieve our car, bid Porquerolles adieu and continue Mo Travels summer adventure.

Maybe next time, the chauffeur from Le Mas Du Langoustier will have a white suit to go with his tan.