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Calanque du Four à Chaux is nestled on the Giens peninsula shore. It is known as nice, easily accessible snorkeling spot. You will indeed love its calm, shallow waters where red starfish, noble pen shell and numerous Mediterranean fish species can be spotted. In addition, Calanque du Four à Chaux is a beautiful natural site with a nice beach, turquoise waters and a view over the peninsula.

View of Calanque du Four a Chaux
View of Calanque du Four a Chaux and Redonne Island.

How to reach Calanque du Four à Chaux?

From Hyères and its airport, take the D197 road, also called the “Salt Road” (Route du Sel), towards Giens. The road splits and continues south on both sides of the peninsula. Follow “La Madrague” signs.

Park close to the Calanque du Four à Chaux (signs indicate it), on one of the several parking lots stretching along the road. You will then have to walk for about 10 minutes before arriving at the beach of the calanque, facing Redonne Island. By walking a few minutes more, you can reach Plage de la Madrague, which also gives access to the snorkeling area (see map below)

Carte snorkeling à la Calanque du Four à Chaux - Plage de la Madrague

Getting into the water for snorkeling Calanque du Four à Chaux

Enter the water from the calanque or from Plage de la Madrague, facing Île de la Redonne. An underwater rock ridge “links” the island and the peninsula: if you follow it, swimming to the island will be quite easy.

Calanque du Four à Chaux snorkeling tips

You can explore the entire area extending between the beach and Redonne Island.

Swimming from the peninsula towards the island, you will quickly come over gorgeous Posidonia meadows. This very shallow area (↕3-6ft/1-2m) is perfect for spotting red starfish and noble pen shells which particularly like this type of environment.

Red starfish at Calanque du Four a Chaux
A red starfish noted in a Posidonia bed.

If you want to venture into deeper areas where you are likely to see more fish, swim away from the island on its right side. Water depth increases there (↕6-18ft/2-6m) and the seabed becomes gorgeous with its white sand, green Posidonia and rays of light dancing on rocks.

Schools of salema porgy swim over the meadows and you can see small groups of seabream dashing between the rocks. While colorful, wrasse are brisk and particularly hard to shoot if you are taking pictures.

Noble pen shell at Calanque du Four a Chaux
A noble pen shell, a Mediterranean emblematic -and endangered- species.

Seasoned snorkelers may consider exploring the island’s northern shore, which offers nice rock drop-offs. In this area, small brown groupers are sometimes encountered, as well as garfish.

During peak season the site can be very busy: be careful with swimmers and other snorkelers. Jellyfish can intrude in your snorkeling experience, even in shallow areas. Their presence depends on water temperature and currents: if in doubt, ask for it before entering the water.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The beach is located in a residential area deprived of restaurants or snacks: bring your own food and beverages. If you have time, consider spending a whole day here and bring your picnic.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth4m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersJellyfish
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.