Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on September 2, 2023
Calanque de Port Pin, near Cassis, is one of the most accessible snorkeling locations in the Calanques Massif. Surrounded by cliffs and quite narrow, it offers a well-sheltered snorkeling area. If you swim away from the beach, which is often crowded, you will spot many fish and sometimes octopus.
Calanque de Port Pin is located in the eastern part of the Calanques Massif. It is nestled between Calanque de Port Miou (the Calanque closest to Cassis, which is not suitable for snorkeling due to the many boats moored along its shores) and Calanque d’En Vau, which lends itself to snorkeling.
Calanque de Port Pin is only accessible on foot unless you have your own boat. Due to the low number of parking spaces near the start of the trail to Port Pin, it is advisable to park at the free Gorguettes parking lot (well indicated). In summer and on weekends, you can take a shuttle there that will drop you off at the start of the trail (€1.70/pers. round trip, every 20 minutes until 8 p.m.). From there, you have to walk about 1.8 mi/2.8 km (40 minutes) to reach the calanque.
You can enter the water wherever you want from the small beach.
Port Pin is a relatively narrow cove (about 25 meters wide near the beach), bordered on both sides by rocky cliffs. You can snorkel throughout the creek but do not go further than the buoy line (see map).
This spot features different underwater environments. The rocky walls at the foot of the cliffs are covered with small algae and sponges. They are good for watching wrasse, blenny, and red starfish, while combers are common on the rock scree.
In the center of the calanque, the landscape is very different, with extensive sandy beds and Posidonia meadows. This is the place to look for large shoals of salema, and different species of seabream.
The cove is very popular and can get very crowded. In summer, try to come early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
The calanque is a natural site, without any facility.
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.
Seagrass meadows and rocky drop offs
Free shore access
Rocky beds and rock drop off
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Small cove with rocky drop offs and caves
Rocky beds with critters and small fish
Rocky seabed with fish and starfish