Plage de la Palud

Palud bay is in the Port Cros National Park (the oldest National Marine Park in the Mediterranean, first opened in 1963) and is one of the top snorkeling spots on the Mediterranean coast. Hundreds of relatively sociable fish, who have long been used to human presence, crisscross the calm, crystal-clear waters. Visitors can also explore the diversity of the marine world thanks to the underwater path that has been laid down in the bay.
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 ($30) 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 north for about 40 minutes to reach Palud beach. The path is shaded but stony (wear some good shoes), and very well marked out.

Water entrance

Once at the beach, you will have no trouble locating the snorkeling spot, which is marked out by two lines of buoys extending as far as the Rocher du Rascas (the small island you can see across from the beach). Get into the water wherever you wish inside the swimming area.

Aerial view


The area to explore is triangular in shape and covers the seabeds between the beach and the Rocher du Rascas. You can leave this area and explore the areas near the Rocher du Rascas, but you should signal your presence.

The easiest and most enjoyable way to explore the spot is to follow the underwater path that has been laid down in the bay and is shown by six yellow buoys. Each buoy indicates a particular environment (a sandy seabed, a posidonia seagrass bed, a rocky rift, rocks beaten by the waves, etc.) and includes an information notice to be read underwater.

Snorkeling Report La Palud Port Cros
Seabed and fishes at La Palud Bay

The most interesting environments are probably the Neptune grass seabeds. Large shoals (20 to 40 fish) of salema porgy are found here, as well as sea bream, several species of sargo, and East Atlantic peacock wrasses. But in the rocky areas it is easier to come across the highly colorful Mediterranean rainbow wrasse and ornate wrasse, and the painted comber. Explore the small crevices to find a red starfish, which are quite common in this spot.

It is easy to observe and get close to the fish. Since you will certainly spend more time in the water than scheduled, don’t forget your rash guard to keep out the cold outside the hot summer months. Lastly, watch out for other visitors, as the spot is very popular, particularly with school groups.

Restaurants & accommodation

There are no restaurants or accommodation on site. In the village, a 40-minute walk away by the shortest path, you will find several restaurants.

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
  • Maximum depth
    25ft (8m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy 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 Plage de la Palud

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Gilt-head bream
Sparus aurata Common
Mediterranean rainbow wrasse
Coris julis Common in rocky areas
Ornate wrasse
Thalassoma pavo Common in rocky areas
Diplodus sargus Abundant
Common two-banded seabream
Diplodus vulgaris Abundant
Sharpsnout seabream
Diplodus puntazzo Frequent
Salema porgy
Sarpa salpa Abundant in grassy areas
East Atlantic peacock wrasse
Symphodus tinca Frequent
Thicklip grey mullet
Chelon labrosus Abundant
Saddled seabream
Oblada melanura Abundant
Greater amberjack
Seriola dumerili Frequent
Painted comber
Serranus scriba Frequent
Neptune grass
Posidonia oceanica Abundant
Red starfish
Echinaster sepositus Common
Purple jellyfish
Pelagia noctiluca Frequent
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?