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Plage de la Palud underwater trail

France, Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Var, Hyères, Port-Cros Island
Heart of Port-Cros National Park
Heart of the National Park – highly protected
Plage de la Palud underwater trail

Reference system

WGS 84

Maximum depth

12 m
, swimming not recommended on days with a strong Mistral. Beware of jellyfish during certain periods

Created in 1963, Port-Cros National Park is the oldest marine park in Europe. It manages two onshore core zones, Port-Cros Island and the natural areas of Porquerolles Island, as well as their surrounding offshore zone up to 600 m. Its main missions are the knowledge and protection of natural heritage, reception and environmental outreach, providing support to stakeholders for sustainable development within its partnership zone and the adjacent maritime area. The Plage de la Palud underwater trail was the first underwater trail to be equipped with educational buoys in France.

Contact: Port-Cros National Park  www. portcros-parcnational.fr

Telephone: +33 (0)4 94 01 40 70  Email: accueil.pnpc@portcros-parcnational.fr







Description of the site of natural interest

This marked trail enables a discovery by stages of all the marine habitats of the Mediterranean. A coastal mat forms from the edge of the beach. From a depth of 2 m, the neptune grass meadow shelters a host of fish species: damselfish, green wrasse, common two-banded sea bream, peacock wrasse, etc. In well-lit rocky shallow areas, rainbow and ornate wrasse come and go, the scorpionfish on the seafloor blend in with their rocky surroundings, while the red sea star is easily visible. Further and deeper, in the obscurity of fractures in the rock, colonies of yellow cluster anemones and orange-red encrusting sponge cover the rock and form a multicoloured patchwork. In the zone affected by the swell, a few mollusks cling to the rock, including limpets. Deeper, in the rocky talus, the grouper is on the lookout and the moray eels and octopus hide away in their cavities.
The seabeds are preserved here.