10 of the best snorkeling destinations in France
France was, in 2017, the most visited country in the world with 82.6 MILLION visitors! These visitors are mainly present during the summer, and do not escape the activity of the moment: snorkeling! We have therefore selected for you, the best snorkeling spots in France.
Zoom on the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most beautiful seas in the world for a snorkeling trip! It is, in fact, rather small 1% of the surface of the oceans. It is closed and it constitutes a very important reservoir in terms of biodiversity. It is estimated that the Mediterranean is home of 8% of the world’s marine fauna with an endemism rate of about 30%.
The best snorkeling spots of Côte d’Azur
Flippered excursion in Marseille’s creeks
Calanques de Marseille national park ensures the preservation and enhancement of the natural heritage. The creeks are small jewels, which hide corners secretly guarded by nature. They offer sumptuous landscapes for those who have the courage to go there … The turquoise colored waters of the creeks of Marseille are ideal for a beautiful solitary excursion, in family or with your lover. Its marine heart, of 43,500 hectares 107470 acres, counts about sixty marine patrimonial species. Calanques de Marseille national park’s objective is to raise awareness, inform the public and promote the reconciliation of human activities with the protection of nature.
Accessibility: per beach / creek
Diving center: Dune Marseille is a signatory of the Scuba Diving Charter and is committed to the protection of ecosystems.
Snorkeling near PORT-CROS – Hyères
The island of Port-Cros near the city of Hyères, is a protected national park. The island of Port-Cros is home to one of the best snorkeling spots in the world. The island is a paradise arranged for a snorkeling outing. Starting from the beach of Palud located 40 minutes walk from the village, there is a spot where you can see octopus or barracudas. The Rascas underwater trail is marked by six buoys. Each one of them has an information panel on the type of seabed, visible fauna and flora.
Depth: Maximum 12 meters
Accessibility: Boat or shuttle
Diving Center: Dune La Londe
Esterel massif – St-Raphaël to Fréjus
The Esterel massif, which stretches from St-Raphaël to Fréjus, has a 34 km long coastline. Totally sheltered from winds and swell, it is an ideal spot to discover the practice of snorkeling. The Esterel massif has an intact wild fauna and flora, classified in Natura 2000. The outing can start from a beach of sand, pebbles or from a creek and continue with the exploration of rocky bottoms sheltering fauna and typically Mediterranean flora: octopus, starfish, sea urchins, sea anemones, posidonia, school of salema porgy. Many spots are recognized for their beauty such as: The Island of Gold l’Île d’Or, the Pyramids of Dramont, and the Sec of Swiss Sec des Suisses.
Difficulty: Easy / Medium depending on spot
Accessibility: Beach / Creek / Boat
Diving Center: Alpha Beluga ITI / CIP Fréjus
Favorite spot: Aquatic Rando offers for 35 € equipment and supervision included to go to a real treasure hunt! This activity lasts 2h30 of search for clues and tests on land and under water! Who will succeed to win the treasure??
ZOOM on Corsica
Corsica is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands and one of the best diving destinations in France. However, it is possible to make a snorkeling outing to observe the many nature reserves of the island of beauty! Diving into Corsican means discovering impressive rock structures, visiting exceptional shipwrecks and swimming with groupers, moray eels and typical fish from the Mediterranean.
The best snorkeling spots in Corsica:
La Revellata – Calvi
The Revellata, or Punta Revellata is at the western end of Calvi Bay, where the steep coast plunges into the Mediterranean. The most beautiful part of the passage is the north-east part of the site. Multiple straight rocks are deposited between 10 and 12 meters deep. It is an exceptional place for its beauty and its isolation, its clear water, its site sheltered from the wind and the waves. It is an ideal snorkeling outing during which you will be seduced by the fauna and the flora.
Diving Center: Diving Calvi A Piaghja
Les îles des sanguinaires Bloody Islands – Ajaccio
From the port of Ajaccio, the archipelago of sanguinaires bloody is the best spot for snorkeling! This archipelago is now an important natural reserve for birds and endemic flora. Underwater, it is possible to see sea urchins, sea cucumbers or anemones. Contrary to popular belief, the name of bloody does not come from the color of the rocks at sunset but from an etymological drift of the so-called sagonar islands because they were, for a time, the property of the neighboring city of Sagone.
Depth: Maximum 15 meters
Diving Center: E-Ragnole
Palombaggia beach – Porto Vecchio
Palombaggia beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Corsica. Its red rocks, umbrella pines, fine white sand, turquoise waters and views of the mountains form an incomparable postcard setting. Do a snorkeling trip to Palombaggia to enjoy an enchanting setting and a warm and transparent sea. The underwater life is well preserved at this location. It is possible to see: silverfish, slothed mullet, sole, octopus, or Mediterranean salema porgy, wreaths and painted combers. The Palombaggia beach is part of the largest Natural Reserve in mainland France: The Bouches de Bonifacio Nature Reserve, where fishing has been regulated since 1999.
Accessibility : Beach
Diving Center: Porto-Vecchio Plongée
Zoom on the Atlantic coast
Britanny does not make you dream when you speak about making a snorkeling outing? You are wrong! Brittany is a veritable cemetery of wrecks accessible for snorkeling and freediving! The seashore also offers a panel of scenery as well as an extraordinarily varied fauna and flora. So yes, it is better to have a neoprene wetsuit to warm up … the temperature of the fresh water often hardly reaches more than 22 ° C!
The best snorkeling sites in Britanny
L’archipel les Glenan – Finistère
This archipelago is made up of a dozen islands where the water is clearest in Brittany! It is a real turquoise lagoon sheltered from the wind. The white sand beach is heavenly and nature is intact. The archipelago is even part of a larger program: Natura 2000 at sea from Pointe de Penmarc’h to Pointe de Trévignon.
Snorkeling in this part of Finistère will allow you to see dolphins, gray seals, lobsters, crabs and many other less rare species! The flora is unique and wears beautiful colors.
Difficulty : Medium
Accessibility: Beach / Boat
Island of Bréhat – Côtes-d’Armor
The island of Bréhat offers you an underwater show according to the rhythm of the tides. A rich variety of colorful algae sheltering a diverse underwater fauna, evolves in a water of incomparable visibility. The island offers you a multitude of sites sheltered according to the tides and the weather; nothing more pleasant than to admire the archipelago with the pink rocks before reaching the snorkeling spots.
Accessibility : Beach / Boat
THE BASQUE COUNTRY
The Basque Country is one of the best regions to immerse yourself in the underwater world with the help of fins, mask and snorkel. The spots are easily accessible, the aquatic fauna and flora are varied and hold many surprises! The weather conditions are optimal for a snorkeling trip Swell, visibility …
Best snorkeling sites in the Basque Country:
Wild creeks – Guéthary
The ideal scenario is to make a snorkeling outing in a creek! Access is restricted to connoisseurs or adventurers. There are few swimmers and the fish are not scared. In addition, the flora is still intact. The creeks of Guéthary are open on the Atlantic which leaves an exceptional sight. In addition, it is not uncommon to encounter octopus and anemones.
Accessibility: Creek / small boat
Diving Center: Tech-Ocean
Can we do a snorkeling outing in a lake?
Annecy Lake – Haute-Savoie
Annecy Lake offers proof that a snorkeling trip to a lake is possible. Annecy Lake is the ideal place for snorkeling for many reasons. Located in Haute-Savoie, it is fed by mountain springs, which explains the cleanliness of its waters. Many trails are near the lake. In summer, the water can reach 27 ° C which attracts many pleasure boats. Doing a snorkeling outing in Lake Annecy allows rich and exotic encounters. This is the unique opportunity to discover the lake and to explore underwater areas composed of grasses or sand. There are fish species specific to freshwater such as pike and carp.