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 Plage de la Palud and its underwater path, yet it is worth a visit: rocky drop-offs loved by sargo and wrasse, seagrass beds thriving with seabream, and even brown meagre 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.
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 €28.10 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.
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.
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 (↕3ft/1m). Broadnosed pipefish hunt here, perfectly camouflaging in the brown leaves. Swimming further on, you’ll find a grassy seabed with green posidonia (↕4-12ft/1.5-4m) over which gilt-head bream, sargo, and sometimes greater amberjack can be spotted.
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 come and go. Here, you may also spot brown meagre, an emblematic mediterranean fish, very hard to spot outside the National Park.
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 red-black triplefin.
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.
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.
This reference identification guide includes all the 860 marine fish species that may be encountered while snorkeling in coastal Western Europe and the Mediterranean.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
National Park with vibrant marine life and snorkel trail
Shallow rocky beds and seagrass meadows
Small cove with rocky drop offs
Marine reserve with rocky beds and snorkel trail
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