The French Riviera has a Mediterranean climate, with sunny, hot, dry summers and mild winters. Winter temperatures are moderated by the proximity to the Mediterranean - days of frost are extremely rare, and in summer the maximum temperature rarely exceeds 30c.
Along the French Riviera there are a number of micro-climates, and there can be great differences in the weather between Nice on the east and Toulon on the west. Strong winds, such as the Mistral, a cold dry wind from the northwest or from the east, are another characteristic feature of the Riviera, particularly in the winter and between Toulon and Marseille.
Toulon and the Départment of the Var (which includes St. Tropez and Hyères) have a climate slightly warmer, dryer and sunnier than Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes, but also less sheltered from the wind. Toulon has an average of 2799 hours of sunshine, or about 116 days a year, making it the sunniest city in metropolitan France. The average maximum daily temperature in August is 29.1º C., and the average daily minimum temperature in January is 5.8º C. The cold and dry Mistral wind is particularly frequent and strong in winter between Marseille and Toulon.
On the Cote D'Azur there are many good dive sites, but most of the best dive sites, including where wrecks are located tend to be rather deep, although the visibility is usually very good with little or no current.
From Marseilles up to Nice, this tends to be the main area for diving. In Antibes, you have the Marine Park of Graillon and the Lerins Islands.
The best sites tend to be in the Bay of St. Tropez, where you have relatively shallow reef dives, but deep wreck dives.
- Graillon Marine Park
- The most impressive wreck dives are the Donator, Rubis and the Togo which are all at around the 40 metre mark.
- The wreck of the Liban, a French passenger steamship, the Chaouen which sank in 1971.
- Futher west into the Gulf of Lyon, there is a wreck from WW2 of a Lockheed P38 Lightning aircraft resting in 40 metres of water.
- Along the coast there are numerous dive centres, but if you are only English speaking, it is worth checking beforehand which dive centres are multi-lingual.