Quick facts

  • European Diploma of Protected Areas (code FR940007)
  • Since 1997
  • Country: France
  • Administrative region: Not available
  • Surface area: 25 km2 (2475.00 ha)
  • Marine area: Not available

Source and more information: Council of Europe


Site contact authorities

Manager Parc National de Port-Cros Castel Sainte Claire Rue Sainte Claire 83418 Hyeres cedex
Official contact international  
Official contact national  
Official contact regional  
Official contact local  


General character of the site Port-Cros makes part of the archipel of the Iles d'Hyères, situated at the coast of Var, in the Mediterrannean. On a distance of 15 km from the mainland, Port-Cros is the smallest and most mountaineous. Outside the main island, the terrestrial zone of the parc (675 ha) contains the island of Bagaud and two little island, Rascas and Gabinière. The marine zone extends over a distance of 600m from these islands (1800 ha). 
Quality -Port-Cros is Europe's first Mediterranean underwater and island national park. It is a living record of the past of the Mediterranean coastline. -The sea surrounding the island contains extensive Posidonia beds, which represent the main community, i.e. the largest and biologically most diverse, of the sublittoral stage in the Mediterranean. It is home to 25% of the Mediterranean's fauna and flora. It also contains all the traditional biocenoses of the Mediterranean benthos, including the "corraligenous", the second most important source of biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.-On the land, the Hyères islands, with all the other islands of the Mediterranean, form one of the two centres of endemism (the other being the mountain environment) of this part of the planet. Their separation from the mainland has enabled them to retain a large number of species because plants and animals (small vertebrates and invertebrate) were protected from climatic fluctuation and from the plant invasions associated with Pleistocene epoch. 
Vulnerability The fire risk is the main concern of the managers. A large number of prevention measures are taken to stop it.The higher visitor intensity in summer also causes a large number of management problems as well for the marin as for the terrestrial part: waste, cleaning, hiking in the coastal zone, degradation of beds by anchorages, various pollutions ... . Also, the parc tries to find solutions to minimalise the impacts ob the natural environment (anchorage interdiction, purification plant, management of beaches behind...). 
Owner -National Park/State (216 ha) -Defence Ministry/Navy (154 ha) -Private owners: Ms De Cabarrus and Mr Buffet (302.5 ha) -Other owners/Municipality (2.5 ha) 
Documentation -Bibliographie thématique des Iles d'Hyères (permanent updating by the Documentation service of the national parc of Port-Cros)-Travaux Scientifiques du parc national de Port-Cros, tome 1 à 17-Publications published by the parc: Découverte de l'herbier de posidonies (1983), de Schiste et d'Eau (1986), Flore d'un parc (1988). Invitation sous l'écume: Faune marine de Port-Cros (1993), les ïles d'Hyères, fragments d'Histoire (1997) 
Habitat types  
Potential vegetation  
Geomorphology Typical area of the siliceous coastal Provence. 
Educational interest The pedagogic mission of the parc is busy with information for the large public as well as with education for schools.A certain number of activities are organised in summer to allow visitors to better discover the island environment: free exposition at the fort of Estissac, educational tracks with submarin paths.Moreover, Odel-Var -in cooperation with the parc- organises each year environmental courses for schools. These one-week stays allow, through an active discovering of the island ecologie, to sensitise children about environmental protection. More or less 700 children participate each year. 
Cultural heritage Highly significant architectural and archaeological heritage is present. Port-Cros actually has no fewer than five forts, all restored, the oldest dating from the reign of François I, as well as a number of artillery batteries and several underwater wrecks which have been or are being explored by scientific teams from the underwater archaeological research directorate. 
Management plan  
URL official http://www.parcsnationaux-fr.com/portcros/ 
URL interesting  

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100