Scuba Destinations

 

France (South)

Overview:

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. 

What to see:
  • 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.
Need to know:
  • 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.

Europe - France - South of France: Latest User Reviews

Only for kids and tourists  International Diving Center of Collioure (CIP), South of France 1 Star Rating Added: 29th September 2013 by nashtravis
I wasted a lot of money with these people. Despite being a PADI Open Water Diver and having my cards and docs with me, I had to go through a "qualifying dive" in he harbour at 4 m depth for 3 minutes to convince them I knew what I was...
Fantastic Dive Center- One of my best dives ever!  Nice Diving, South of France 5 Star Rating Added: 9th June 2013 by jenny4
I am from Florida and visited France last year. I had no diving partner and went by myself. I was so nervous. The staff was extremely friendly. They were kind and helpful and patient with me- I cannot speak French. They spoke English. The dive center let me go with...
A great experience!  Côté Plongeé (Cote Plongee), South of France 5 Star Rating Added: 18th March 2012 by phiphi06
I passed my advance open water at Cote Plongee this time. It was again a pleasant experience, just like last time I passed my open water with them. My coach was quite cool and at the same time quite serious with his work. Because I hadn't dived a lot since...
Super nice diving center  Côté Plongeé (Cote Plongee), South of France 5 Star Rating Added: 13th April 2011 by salinred
Patient staff, very attentive, nice coaching. Helped me to catch up with what I had learnt for scuba diving a long time ago. Nice diving sites, lovely fishes, beautiful weather, good quality/price. It was a wonderful experience!:D
Diamond Diving - A jewel in the sun!  Diamond Diving, France 5 Star Rating Added: 9th March 2011 by GLGilbert
Being a bit of an old guy at 67 retired in the South of France, I thought I could take up scuba diving to keep me out the house. Alex and Noemi where really patient, efficient, and soon gave me confidence in the new environment. Now with Advanced Open Water...
Opening up the South of France to Divers  Diamond Diving, France 5 Star Rating Added: 8th March 2011 by listingslab
I was lucky enough to be one of Diamond Diving's first clients. I'd just moved to France and wanted to carry on the diving I'd begun in the UK. Right from the start I saw that diving with Alex Diamond was going to be a great experience. The dive sites...
Fantastic Team  Planet Ocean, South of France 5 Star Rating Added: 30th June 2010 by saragf
I did 4 dives with this dive company in late June this year (2010). The dive centre is big and with great facilities - two boats (one RIB/up to 14 divers and a hard bottom/up to 20 divers) , an electric dive board showing who is diving with whom, where...
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