Explore the majestic seabed of the Côte Bleu with an introduction to diving or with a snorkel. Discover the bay of Marseille, the Parc National des Calanques, and Port-Cros in a different way. Provence teems with unique and intense diving experiences.
Diving in Provence
A Long History
The history of diving and that of Provence are intimately linked: the first underwater archaeological dig in France took place off Marseille’s shores in 1952. At the time, the aqualung had just been developed. A Marseille diver told Frédéric Dumas, a pioneer of underwater diving, the location of a vast body of amphoras. In on the secret, Jacques-Yves Cousteau moored his famous ship, the Calypso, close to the Riou archipelago. In five years, frogmen – aka scuba divers – from the entire region brought several thousand amphoras to the surface. A few decades later, Provence has become an essential place for diving, with its seabed full of treasures.
Diving on the Côte Bleue
The coast between Martigues and Marseille has very well preserved natural sea environments that are ideal for incredible underwater outings. About 15 diving clubs affiliated to the Fédération Française d’Études et de Sports Sous-Marins (FFESSM) can be found in Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet and Ensuès-la-Redonne. They offer introductions, exploratory diving, courses, and training. In July and August, the Parc Marin de la Côte Bleue organises guided tours with snorkels in the Carry-le-Rouet marine reserve for free.
Diving in Marseille
And in the Calanques
The Phocean city, the islands facing it and, of course, the seaboard part of the Parc National des Calanques are well-known for the beauty of their seabed. In Marseille, around 15 clubs affiliated to the FFESSM, located on the Corniche or at the Pointe-Rouge, offer introductions, outings, and explorations of the wrecks in La Rade (the bay.) More into snorkeling? The city of Marseille has developed underwater paths, free and accessible to everyone, at Frioul and the Plage des Catalans beach.
Diving on the Var Coast
Explore the Parc National de Port-Cros
The Parc National de Port-Cros and Porquerolles is a real paradise for divers. Its turquoise crystal waters house a marine environment with a rich flora and fauna, including barracuda, nudibranches, eels, octopus, gorgonians, sponges, and blowfish. A handful of wrecks loaded with history (like the Donator, the Grec, and the Ferrando) have made the Parc National de Port-Cros and Porquerolles a renowned spot for diving. Explore it with the diving centres Dune La Londe, in La-Londe-les-Maures, or Bormes Plongée, in Bormes-les-Mimosas, both “Quality Tourism” certified.