France is a sensational place to go on vacation. Holidaymakers and travellers dream of freshly baked baguettes, hot fries and delicious wine with their French holiday in mind, but did you know, it is also a place for the more adventurous?
The South of France is home to a vast amount of underwater treasure troves, which makes it a brilliant pick for those who love to dive.
From historical wreckages to fascinating sea life, there is so much to see underwater in the South of France. We’ve included places both suitable for beginners and for experts, so have a look at some of our top choices for a magical dive.
Phare Du Planier – Marseille
beauty that is Phare du Planier, the lighthouse of Planier, stands 216ft tall
just off the coast of Marseilles, Côte Bleu. It was first built in 1320,
following the order of Robert of Anjou, king of Jerusalem and Sicily. Beneath
it lies several outstanding wreckages. Deep down you will find wrecked boats; a
crashed warplane and the wreck of an Algerian tanker.
Junkers 88 – Marseille
The Junker 88 was a German bomber plane that was used in World War 2.
The plane itself was discovered in 1989 by Luc Vanrell, and although it has had wear and tear from time, this amazing wreckage is still in one piece, resting on the sandy bottom just off the island of Friou. However, it is also believed to be a burial of four 19-year-old boys who were flying the plane, and this site should be treated with the utmost respect while diving.
The Rubis Submarine Wreck, St Tropez
The location of the Rubis Submarine wreck is around Cap Camerat, between Cavalaine and Saint Tropez. Initially, this mine launcher submarine left Toulon in 1931 to serve Norway in World War 2 and then served Scotland as reinforcement. It is now 40m below sea level and while resting on a sandy bottom, is unsafe to venture inside. However, you can still see some fascinating things that the submarine sank with!
If you peek inside, the torpedo launchers are still there, and eels and morays frequent the submarine as their own home. If you’re lucky enough, you could also catch sight of an Eagle Ray or Sunfish.
The Riou Archipelago, pearl of Provence – Marseille
The shores of Marseille are a popular choice for diving as they are a treasure trove full of sea animals and haunting wreckages. The Riou Archipelago is no different. Stunning cliffs adorned in Red Finger Gorgonian follow down to the waters where fish such as bass, sea bream or barracudas come and go.
La Pointe des Sardinaux – St Tropez
La pointe des Sardinaux is well known as the gorgeous garden of gorgonian coral. The area itself has coastal shelves that range from two metres right down to 45 metres. The sea plants are rich, and vibrant, and the coral is abundant. There is a wonderful variety of fish to see here too, making this a magical underwater experience.
The Islet of Gabinière – Island of Hyères
The Islet of Gabinère is a special place for diving. It is located south of Port-Cros and is also part of the Port-Cros National Park. Interestingly, it is also classified as a wilderness area.
This island in particular is small in size, but packs a big punch when it comes to being a scuba diving spot.
Port-Cros park is well known for its extraordinary volume of brown grouper fish, but that’s not all you will find in the first 15 metres down.
Feast your eyes on capons, barracudas, moray eels, and scorpion fish! Don’t forget the amazing sponges and anemones to be enjoyed too.
If reading about these magical finds underneath the gems of France has inspired you to be at one with the water, why not have a look at our Luxury holiday villas South of France to complete your stay?
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