Level: 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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Located in a small limestone cove of Cap Ferrat, Paloma Beach is a truly peaceful place. Its view of the French Riviera and its translucent waters, shaded by century-old parasol pines, offer an intimate and enchanting setting, appreciated by the jet set. Although a large part of the beach is privatized by the Paloma Beach, the access to the site remains free. This sheltered cove is particularly suitable for a snorkeling during the summer months. If the seabed is rather monotonous (mainly covered with Neptune grass), it is easy to observe starfish, sea urchins, and many species of mediterranean fish.
Paloma Beach is located in the cove of the Scaletta, on the eastern tip of the peninsula of Cap-Ferrat. By car, it takes 35 minutes from the city center of Nice (11km), and 30 minutes from Monaco (12km). Try to get there in the morning, as the number of parking spaces near the beach is very limited. Alternatively, park at Port Saint-Jean and walk to the beach (10 minutes). The Paloma beach is easy to spot, and is accessed by a cliff-side staircase.
You can enter the water directly from one of the extremities of the beach to easily reach the rocky areas that border the small cove.
The rocky areas on both sides of the beach are the most interesting to explore, especially the one on your right when you are facing the sea. Along the shoreline, the water level is relatively low (↕1-2m). It is an environment particularly favored by wrasse and painted comber, which you will certainly discover at the turn of a rock. As you move away from the shore, the height of water increases and the seabed is covered with seagrass meadows. In this area, it is the salema porgy and other sea breams that you will most likely observe. Also try to find on the seabed, sometimes hidden between Neptune grass, a red starfish, quite common species on this spot.
To explore this spot, we recommend you to go there in the morning. Indeed, the beach is in the shade from the middle of the afternoon, which limits underwater visibility. The Paloma Beach boat commutes all day between yachts and sailing boats anchored in the bay and private beach. Avoid snorkeling near the pontoon or getting too far from the shore.
Unfortunately, Paloma Beach is not part of a protected area, and fish are very fearful and difficult to approach. For an extraordinary insight into the underwater richness of the Mediterranean, try to get to Port Cros, off Hyères (160km/2h by car) where the seabed is stunning.
The Paloma Beach (the private beach that occupies part of the site) is open daily from Easter to September. You can rent a sun lounger for the day (€26 per person) and enjoy the restaurant. Since the area is essentially residential, we advise you to bring your picnic if you want to limit your expenses.
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 beds and seagrass meadows
Level: Free shore access
National Park with vibrant marine life and snorkel trail
National Park with vibrant marine life
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Rocky bay and islets with fish and sea stars
Underwater archaeological site with a Roman dock and a wreck