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 October 10, 2022
The Calanque de Saména, in Marseille, is the gateway to the Calanques National Park. Located within the city limits, it offers, however, very nice views and atmosphere. Its underwater relief, featuring cracks, caves and drop-offs, is heaven for critters. Small octopus, starfish, prawns and rockfish, among dozens of other species, can be spotted at this location.
The Calanque de Saména is located in the 8th arrondissement of Marseille, at the eastern fringes of the city. From the city center, head towards the beaches. Just after Plage de Pointe Rouge, take the small road that goes towards Callelongue and Les Goudes for about 3 km, then turn right on Boulevard de la Calanque de Saména.
There are a few parking spaces along the road and next to Les Tamaris restaurant. You can also park in the roadside car park located a bit further on the main road, where there is a “Saména” sign.
The Calanque is also accessible by public transport: the nearest bust stop is “Saména” (location here), which is about a 300m walk from the snorkeling spot.
Stairs lead down to the small beach nestled in the Calanque.
Water entrance is from a pebble beach.
The Calanque de Saména is quite small, a hundred meters long at most. If the sea conditions allow, you can swim out and explore the rocky shore extending on the right and left sides of the Calanque.
Between 3 and 15 meters deep (10 to 30 ft), the relief features cracks, small caves and rock walls on which tomato anemones, red starfish, and, in the deepest parts, yellow gorgonians live.
While looking in the small cavities and cracks, you may encounter small common octopuses, prawns, scorpionfish, forkbeard, wrasse, and cardinalfish.
Overall, the Calanque de Saména is home to beautiful flora, with an interesting diversity of fauna, especially if you enjoy spotting and photographing small creatures. Due to fishing, allowed in the area, there are indeed few fish in the open water.
Les Tamaris restaurant overlooks the Calanque.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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
Free shore access
Rocky beds and rock drop off
Seagrass meadows and rocky drop offs
Rocky cove with fish and critters
Shallow rocky beds and seagrass meadows
Small cove with rocky drop offs and caves