With its turquoise waters, Plage du Sud is the most popular beach in Port Cros island. It can also be crowded during summer. Snorkeling is everything but extraordinary here: if you come here for the sake of fish spotting you will prefer Anse de la Fausse Monnaie and La Palud beach; but if you’re spending a sunbathing day here anyway you will still like snorkeling here.

How to get there

The best place to take a boat towards Port Cros island is Hyères. Boats leave 5 to 15 times per day in each direction, depending on the season. The round trip costs about 28€/person (full price). You can also take a boat from Porquerolles island and Le Lavandou. Public transportation to Port Cros island is run by TLV-VM (more useful information here).

Plage du Sud, Port Cros

When in Port Cros, you will have to walk for about 40 minutes to reach the beach. It is well indicated. About 10 minutes before arriving, you will pass by Anse de la Fausse Monnaie, where snorkeling is far more interesting than Plage du Sud. The path is rocky, make sure you wear good walking shoes.

Water entrance

Plage du Sud is a gorgeous white sand beach. The best area to enter the water is on your right when facing the sea, it is closer to the rocky area where aquatic life is the most interesting.

Plage du Sud snorkeling map, Port Cros National Park

Exploration

A buoy line closing the bay sets the limit to the swimmable area. Beyond is a mooring area which can become busy with boats in summer. The best snorkeling is to be done beyond this line. You should be safe as long as you report you presence, stay along the shore and remain careful.

After entering the water you will come across a sandy seabed (0-1m) where sargo and thicklip grey mullets sometimes weave their way amongst swimmers. Swim away until there are less people around and water is clearer.

Rocky seabed at Plage du Sud, Port Cros

Stay close to the rocky shore closing the bay. You will soon come across a posidonia meadow and some interesting rocky areas (1-3m). Spotting gilt-head bream and small groups of salema porgy is easy here, but on the whole fishes are fewer than in other spots of the island.

Pay attention to other swimmers when in the secured area, and to boats beyond the buoy line (you should be safe as long as you stay close to the shore).

School of salema porgy at Plage du Sud, Port Cros

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no restaurants nor hotels by the beach, but you will find several restaurants at a nearby village. You will have to walk there: it is 40 minute trip (shortest path).

Species you may spot while snorkeling Plage du Sud
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Salema porgy Sarpa salpa  
Thicklip grey mullet Chelon labrosus  
Sargo Diplodus sargus  
Common two-banded seabream Diplodus vulgaris  
Mediterranean rainbow wrasse Coris julis  
Damselfish Chromis chromis  
Neptune grass Posidonia oceanica  
  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaParc National de Port Cros
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.