There are almost no snorkel spots along the 200km-long shoreline extending between the Camargue natural park and the city of Perpignan. Located at the foot of Cap d’Agde volcanic cliffs, La Plagette is one of the only renowned ones in the area. It is a nice place to discover the numerous species populating Mediterranean underwater rocky environments (blennies, salema, cuttlefish and red mullets). A snorkel trail made of 5 educative buoys has been set here since 2007.

Cuttlefish at la Plagette, Cap d'Agde

How to get there?

La Plagette (plagette means small beach in French) is part of Cap d’Agde, a huge seaside resort of Southern France. It is located between the dyke signaling the old harbor’s entry and famous La Conque beach, nestled in an ancient volcanic crater. La Plagette can easily be reached: it is a short walk from the harbor or from the eastern neighborhoods of the city. If you’re a newcomer, look for Cap d’Agde Marine Aquarium. This landmark you can’t miss is located less than 150 meters from the beach.

Water entrance

Enter the water from the beach, close to the cliffs extending on your left when facing the sea.

Cap d'Agde underwater trail map

Exploration

The snorkeling area extends along the cape’s cliffs; it is about 50 meters large from the rocks to the open sea. Be careful not to swim beyond the black rocks (see map above), where the sea usually is rougher.

The easiest and most instructive way to explore this spot is to follow the snorkel trail set in the bay. It is made up of 5 floating buoys to which educational panels have been fixed. The 200-meter-long itinerary goes through all the bay’s marine environments, in places where water depth never exceeds 5 meters, and it is free of charge. If you’re a beginner, or if you simply prefer to be accompanied by a naturalist guide, you can book a guided tour (€15pp., gear included, advance booking necessary – see more on the tourist office’s website. There is an information center on the beach. Be aware that the underwater path is only present from June 17th to September 10th, when lifeguards are on duty. The buoys are removed from water outside this time period.

Striped red mullets in Cap d'Agde underwater trail

The underwater path is a very convenient an enjoyable way to discover the spot, but you are of course free to explore the whole snorkeling area the way you prefer.

As it extends at the foot of volcanic cliffs, the seabed is mainly rocky here (↕0.5-1.5m), but sandy areas (due to its basaltic origin, sand is dark here) and some Posidonia islets are also to be seen. The shallow area located close to the shoreline is packed with sea urchins and anemones, amongst which several blenny species, gobies and cuttlefish can be seen. Get closer to the rock drop-off, especially next to the black rocks at the foot of the cape (↕3-5m), and you will have good chances to observe breams, striped red mullets, wrasse and schools of salema.

Goby in Cap d'Agde snorkel trail

Restaurants and accommodation

Underwater visibility is variable on this spot. Because of the large sandy beaches located nearby, water is rarely crystal-clear.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaAire Marine Protégée de la Côte Agathoise
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardYes, in summer only
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

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.