|Departement of Var - Hyères - Population: 100 out of season, approx 1500 in summer
Almost the same size as it's neighbour, Porquerolles, from the air Levant appears like a long rocky outcrop 8 km long and only 2 km wide. Only a tenth of its territory is open to the public.
Covered by superb and luxurious vegetation, as you approach Levant it reveals all the charms of a true paradise.
Before you disembark from the ferry in the small port of Ayguade, you can spot see the cliffs of the island's coastline as well the houses facing the sea whilst nestling amongst the islands vegetation.
From the port, a shuttle bus waits you to take you to your holiday accommodation. If you're not too laden down with baggages you can climb up the long stepped path to the village which follows a section of the coats with the pretty name of "La Perspective".
It's a difficult walk and takes about 20 minutes to the village but it's a real treat : you'll see some of the superb gardens where shrubs, cacti, palm trees, flowering plants and wild flowers and giant grasses mix together in a riot of colors. After each step you take you'll want to turn and admire the panoramic sea views, or the jasmin hedges which embalm the whole island. The path takes you to the village and the bird song which accompanies your walk will make you think that you have arrived in an extraordinary island, a real tropical paradise!
When you reach the small village at Arbousiers, you'll find a small square flanked by two superb terraces, with heir comfortable cafés bakers, a food shop, and a bit further on the town hall, post office school ... and a bit higher the church. (There are other shops on the island...)
To the north of the village, the nature reserve of Arbousiers leads up to the highest point of the island at 130 m. There are some wonderful walks, (or jogging) along the signed "nature walks" in the midst of the wooded "maquis" and valleys which drop down to the rocky coastline, or discover a variety of rare species of flora and fauna.
Take advantage of the wonderful viewpoints, magnificent landscapes and let yourself be seduced by the wonderful scents from the mediterranean plants.
Levant brings together an ideal selection of qualities : a mild climate with more than 300 days of sunshine each year, wonderful nature, clear sea water and underwater conditions, fine sandy beaches, and of course exceptional air quality. Very few individual cars drive around the island and the only noticeable noise pollution is the songs of the cigales which reign over the island !
The island can be visited all year round, the best time is between April and June where the flowers are in bloom, there a few visitors and the beaches are almost deserted. In July and August the sea breeze helps to support the heat of mid summer, and nightlife is at its most vibrant with discothèques, piano bars,and concerts...
The sea will be warm but with more sunbathers on the beach and the vegetation is much drier and less resplendent. From September to mid October the days are still fine and sunny and the island is much quieter. The Hôtels are normally open from April to October but you can rent accommodation all year round (even in winter it is rarely very cold on the island.).
In this wonderful natural context it comes of no surprise that since 1931 Levant has been developing a reputation as a naturists paradise. Naturism is freely observed on Levant that is the island is not a camp nor a nudists ghetto, everyone is free to do as they like... Those who want to visit the island without being obliged to go naked can be reassured therefore, they will feel completely at ease, passing naturists, but in the context of a good spirit and of mutual respect and tolerance. People often wear a simple paréo in the shops, restaurants and public places. And to avoid any disputes only the Bain de Diane (stony beach) and the plage des Grottes are reserved for naturists (the latter is the only sandy beach on the island and can be reached by taking from the village by taking the path on the left above the rocks.
Having found the plage des Grottes, even the most modest will want to profit from this wonderful beach nestling in a hidden creek. Beautifully shaded by a few trees the beach is also protected by rocks covered with superb mediterranean plants and vegetation which could have been planted by the most talented landscape architect....fine sands, clear waters, sun bathing... your only regret will be that you didn't discover the beach earlier! ...
Ceux qui souhaitent découvrir l'île
sans avoir envie d'être nus peuvent se rassurer, ils se sentiront
parfaitement à l'aise. Ils croiseront des personnes habillées
and des personnes nues, ceci dans un bon esprit, un respect and une tolérance
mutuels. Les personnes sont habillées ou vêtues d'un simple
paréo dans les magasins, les restaurants and les lieux publics.
De manière à éviter tout malaise réciproque,
seul le Bain de Diane (plage de rocher) and la plage des Grottes sont
réservés aux naturistes (seule plage de sable de l'île,
en venant du village prendre à gauche par le sentier au dessus
des rochers, ).
In this wonderfully preserved wild natural habitat you can enjoy a quality of life and idyllic naturalist holidays in complete harmony with nature !
What to see:
Fort Napoléon (1813) .
Walking , signed "Nature" trails.
Underwater diving. Sailing. Wind surfing. Canoëing.
Night-club. Summer events.