The sailing season is fast approaching in the Mediterranean and the “Parc National des Calanques” is among the most popular destination for sailors! Since 2021, in order to preserve the fauna and flora in the park, they are subject to various regulations which can make their visit intricate.
With recent evolution in the restrictions applied, the Octopus is taking you to the “Parc National des Calanques de Marseille” to explain to you the different protection measures applied there and to shed light on the mooring and sailing regulations to help you avoid an unfortunate fine.
''Parc National des Calanques'' cruising regulations interactive map
Made with the Park officials' help
We created this interactive map showing the different regulations linked to anchoring and cruising in the “Parc National des Calanques”. Click on the anchorages you are interested in and on the different areas indicated in order to open the information window and understand which restrictions they are subject to.
How to use filters on the map
You can also find each of these anchorages on Navily.
One regulation in particular is applied to the whole park and on the rest of France’s Mediterranean coasts . It is the prohibition for boats over 24 meters to anchor beyond the limit represented by a black line on our map.
These regulations were adopted to protect Posidonia herbariums from the impact of larger boating units. There was an urgent need to act because the Posidonia herbariums, the pivotal system of Mediterranean ecosystems, lost an average of 20% of their surface area during the 20th century. Any degradation of this habitat, which grow by only one to two centimeters per year, is irreversible on a human scale.
The main pressure exerted on Posidonia herbariums today is the mechanical impact of anchors. In the bay of La Ciotat, 30 acres of Posidonia herbariums have been lost in 10 years, the equivalent of 240 Olympic swimming pools!
Boat renting regulations
Boat rentals in the “Parc National des Calanques” are affected by various regulations. From now on, 600 rental boats are allowed to cruise in the park, and only 60 to 80 of them are authorized to be rented with a skipper.
If you want to rent a boat to visit the creeks, you have to make sure that it has an authorization to navigate in the park, because renting a boat that does not have an authorization will be considered a prohibited economic activity in the park, and can be punishable by a fine that can go up to 75 000 euros and two years in prison. You can simply ensure that you are sailing with a rented boat legally thanks to the various signs that have been implemented.
Any motorboat allowed to be rented in the park must have a green sticker authorizing a professional rental.
If you want to rent a boat with a skipper, in addition to the sticker authorizing a professional rental, the boat must have a special authorization sticker for professional sailing.
The skipper must carry a flag showing that he is authorized to operate by the park. The same regulations apply to the rented boat tenders.
Anchoring rules creek by creek
1. Anse de la Maronaise
In this first zone, you can find the anchorage “Anse de la Maronaise“. Only one regulation is applied here, in addition to the prohibition for boats over 24 meters to anchor. If you are planning to visit this creek, you will have to make sure to enter it without any motorized boat, as they are forbidden. The area where you can’t moor or anchor is delimited by yellow buoys with an ”no anchor” sign . Be aware, it is forbidden to enter this cove on a boat equipped with an engine even if it is off or lifted.
2. L'ile Riou
On the Riou island, it is possible to visit and stopover in many creeks, including the “calanque de Fontagne”, “Calanque de Monasterio”, and the “Baou Rouge”, which are still accessible. However, there is a no-anchoring zone off these creeks. You will find a series of yellow buoys which delimit the upper limit of the Posidonia herbarium and therefore the beginning of the no-anchoring area. In this creek, it is therefore necessary to anchor between the coast and the line of buoys. On this island, landing is only possible on the coast, between Fontagne and Monasterio. In addition, land circulation is only possible following the beaten paths.
Finally, “Calanque de Pouars”, located on the Calseraigne island, doesn’t have any anchoring or mooring regulations. However, in order to protect nesting birds, landing is strictly prohibited on the island.
3 - Calanque de Marseilleveyre
The “Calanque de Marseilleveyre”, typical of the Parc national des Calanques, is only concerned by one new regulation : a ban on motorized boats, so you will be allowed to visit it if your boat does not have a motor-engine. Although this creek does not have an anchoring prohibition, it contains a lot of posidonia. It is therefore necessary to be vigilant in order to preserve the marine habitats present in this area.
4. Calanque de Sormiou
The “Calanque de Sormiou”, with its crystal clear water and the magnificent landscape it offers, is one of the park’s most popular creeks. Although it is still possible to navigate and visit it, it is subject to a mooring ban. It is therefore forbidden to drop anchor beyond the line of buoys that delimits the no-anchoring area. There is also an area reserved only for swimming in this creek.
5. Calanque de Morgiou & Calanque de Sugiton
Several regulations have been implemented in this area, which contains a lot of posidonia. The “Calanque de Morgiou” is located in an area where anchoring is forbidden. You will also have to be careful if you have a motorized boat (any boat with a motor sailing boats included), as they are forbidden in many areas in this creek. Both these areas are delimited by yellow buoys. The “Calanque de Sugiton” can’t be visited with a motorized boat, but it is still possible to anchor there, provided, of course, that you own a boat that is less than 24 meters long.
6. Calanque d'En-Vau de Port Pin, Port Miou et Anse de l'Arène
On the two creeks of En Vau and Port Pin, an important conservation plan was developed, in 2021, with the permanent ban on mooring, stopping (on buoy or by dynamic positioning) and drifting of any vessel . These regulations complete the regulations already existing on this site with the establishment of areas prohibited to motorized boats at the bottom of the creek, and the limitation of access to boats with an overall length of 20 meters or less.
Port Miou also has many restrictions. As for Port Pin and En Vau, boats longer than 20 meters are prohibited. The closer you get to the marina, the more this restriction is amplified and in the back of the creek the access is exclusively for boats with an overall length smaller than 12 meters. This creek is also an “area for anchoring and light equipment : ZMEL”. It means that anchoring is possible exclusively on mooring buoys. Dropping anchor is forbidden.
In this area, a ban on sound broadcasting is applied to Port Pin, En Vau and Port Miou.
The “Anse de l’Arène” is also affected by the ban on sound broadcasting. It is encircled by many regulations that cover the “Baie de Cassis”, including a big area of anchoring ban (delimited by yellow buoys with a blue anchor which shows that you have to anchor between the coast and these buoys), areas reserved for swimming, an area where anchorage is forbidden for boats longer than 10 meters and one where boats of 45 meters and more are allowed to anchor.
If you want to visit one or more of these creeks, it will be useful for you to check out our interactive map in order to better understand what you can or cannot do.
7. Calanques de Figuerolle, de Saint-Pierre et de Seynerolle.
Close to the “Baie de la Ciotat”, the “Calanque de Figuerolle” can be visited and anchoring is allowed there. However, the bottom of the creek is forbidden to motorized boats (sailboats with engine included), you will consequently have to cruise and anchor further out after ”Le Lion” island.
The “Calanque de Saint-Pierre”, which is one of the creeks on “l’île verte”, is located in an no-anchoring area that goes from the island to the coast. In addition to this anchoring ban, the island contains an area forbidden to motorized boats. Finally for ”Calanque de Seynerolle’‘, there is an area forbidden to engines (any boats with an engine is forbidden to navigate in this area).
In the “Baie de la Ciotat”, various regulations are applied. In particular, there are several areas where motorized boats are prohibited and areas reserved for swimming along the coast, as well as an area where anchoring is permitted for boats between 24 and 30 meters. Away from the coast, boats of 45 meters and more can anchor in two areas provided for this purpose.
You now have all the information you need to start your visit of the “Parc National des Calanques” in the best possible conditions ! You can find all the anchorages mentioned in the map and the article on Navily.
Thanks to the official app of the “Parc national des Calanques”, you will be able to find many other pieces of information, such as the latest news on the Calanques, access to the massifs and the services or itineraries offered. It also allows you to participate in the park’s life and to discover its exceptional heritage.
Find the perfect rental boat for cruising in Marseille with our partner Samboat by clicking here!
Fair winds Captains,
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