Anse de la Fausse Monnaie

Anse de la Fausse Monnaie (literally "fake money cove") is located on Port Cros island’s west coast, which was rated as National Park more than 50 years ago. This entirely natural site is far less crowded than famous La Palud beach and its underwater path, yet it is worth a visit: rocky drop-offs loved by sargo and wrasse, seagrass beds thriving with seabream, pristine white sandy beds can all be seen underwater. Swimmers and sunbathers might prefer the nearby Plage du Sud with its white sand (it is a 10 minutes walk from here), but snorkelers shouldn’t miss this spot when visiting the island.
How to get there?

Visitors arrive in Port Cros mainly from Hyères. 5 to 15 trips (depending on the period of the year) are run every day from the Port of Hyères/Port Saint-Pierre. An adult round-trip ticket costs $28 per person. You can also get to Port Cros from Ile de Porquerolles or Le Lavandou. The TLV-TVM company takes care of public transport towards the island (see here for details).

When you arrive in Port Cros, you need to walk south for about 30 minutes to reach Anse de la Fausse Monnaie. Just follow the “Plage du Sud” (southern beach) indications. The access way overlooks the bay before heading down to it it. If needed anyway, a sign indicates the bay entrance. The path is shaded but stony, wear some good shoes.

Water entrance

In the bay you’ll find a short pebble beach often covered with dried posidonia. Enter the water from here and swim facing the sea.

Aerial view


A buoy line closing the bay sets the limit of the swimmable zone. Beyond is a mooring area which can become busy with boats in summer. The best snorkeling spots are located beyond the line, but you should be safe as long as you report your presence, stay along the shore and remain careful.

When entering the water you come across a sandy seabed sometimes covered with dead posidonia (↕1m). Broadnosed pipefish hunt here, perfectly camouflaging in the brown leaves. Swimming further on, you’ll find a grassy seabed with green posidonia (↕1.5-4m) over which bream, sargo, and sometimes tervally can be spotted.

Snorkeling Report Anse Fausse Monnaie Port Cros
Seabed and fishes at Anse de la Fausse Monnaie

The most spectacular areas are located close to the right-hand shore when facing the sea, beyond the buoy line. A rocky drop-off overlooks a sandy bed sprinkled with patches of posidonia (↕4-8m) where salema porgy come and go.

When turning back, don’t forget to explore the last meters before the shore: you can easily spot young mullet, sea anemones, East Atlantic peacock wrasse and, specifically on the rocky surroundings, the gorgeous threefin blennie.

The spot is very calm, rarely crowded. There is no lifeguard on duty: be careful, especially if you decide to swim beyond the buoy line.

Restaurants & accommodation

There are no restaurants or hotels by the bay, but you’ll find several restaurants in the village. The shortest way from Anse de la Fausse Monnaie to there is a 30 minutes walk.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Level of difficulty
    Intermediary level
  • Maximum depth
    25 ft
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a gravel beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Anse de la Fausse Monnaie

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Gilt-head bream
Sparus aurata
Salema porgy
Sarpa salpa
Diplodus sargus
Common two-banded seabream
Diplodus vulgaris
Saddled seabream
Oblada melanura
Thicklip grey mullet
Chelon labrosus
Mediterranean rainbow wrasse
Coris julis
Ornate wrasse
Thalassoma pavo
East Atlantic peacock wrasse
Symphodus tinca
Red-black triplefin
Tripterygion tripteronotus
Snakelocks anemone
Anemonia sulcata
Red starfish
Echinaster sepositus
Neptune grass
Posidonia oceanica
Broadnosed pipefish
Syngnathus typhle
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You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?