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Nestled in Saint-Florent’s gulf, Plage de la Roya is the most frequented beach in the area. It boasts a rare Neptune grass barrier reef, made possible by the sheltered, shallow waters of the bay. The sea meadows, which are accessible to snorkelers, are a true fish nursery hosting a great variety of fish species. Add to this the perfect view over Saint-Florent and the Cap Corse, and you will certainly want to put Plage de la Roya to your Corsican snorkeling must-do list.

Neptune grass reef at Plage de la Roya
Plage de la Roya Posidonia meadows.

How to go snorkeling Plage de la Roya?

The beach is located in Saint-Florent gulf, northern Corsica. You can walk there from Saint-Florent’s city center and harbor (20-to-30-minute walk following the coastline). If you’re driving, follow Ile Rousse signs over less than one kilometer, then turn right on la Roya road right after the bridge (look for the “Route de la Plage” sign – it is easy to find).

Park along the beach, close to Acqua Dolce camping which is set next to the reef. Consider arriving early during summer: the beach is very popular and the area quickly runs out of parking spaces.

Plage de la Roya snorkeling map, Corsica

Getting into the water to snorkel Plage de la Roya

Enter the water from the sandy beach, in front of the reef and the rock emerging from the water (see map).

Plage de la Roya snorkeling tips and recommendations

Plage de la Roya shelters one of the rare Posidonia (or Neptune grass) barrier reefs in France and even in Europe. This odd formation is made possible in a few shallow and very sheltered bays in the Mediterranean area, where posidonia grow up to the water surface, building a mere reef.

School of salema at Plage de la Roya
A school of salema spotted on the “reef”.

When enlarging, this formation moves forward towards the open sea, shaping a shallow lagoon in its core, between the reef and the beach.

The recommended snorkeling area encompasses the barrier reef, but also the surroundings of the odd rock emerging from the water on the reef’s west side. From the beach, water depth steadily increases until it reaches 6-9ft/2-3 meters when arriving at the reef. Foothold remains possible most of the time, which makes this place a perfect one for beginners.

La Roya Beach
View of St Florent’s bay from Plage de la Roya.

The seabed is covered by sandy areas and Posidonia meadows. Many fish species can be observed in la Roya, including painted combers, gobies, schools of salema and juveniles from multiple species that take shelter in this quiet area. Even if reef protection includes banning underwater fishing, big fish remain rare on this spot.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Several campsites, hotels and restaurants are set along the beach. Numerous other options are available in the surroundings.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.