~ Water Sports on French Riviera ~

There are many opportunities for yachting and scuba diving in the waters of the Mediterranean off the coast of the French Rivera. The coves of the Var are particularly popular, because a number of large ships and a few airplanes lie on the ocean floor.

The area is actually the birthplace of modern leisure scuba diving. The Aqualung was the first commercially successful underwater breathing apparatus. It was developed by Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau, who for years was the director of the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.

The museum today includes an aquarium that is home to thousands of species of fish, many of which call the Var their home. You might want to schedule a visit to the Oceanographic Museum while you are on the Riviera. It is located next to the prince’s palace in Monaco-Ville.

Yachting & Sailing

For yachting in the Mediterranean, visitors should contact the France Station Nautique. The station provides advice, rental equipment and schedules reservations throughout the year. You can purchase a discount pass between the months of April and October that allows you to take part in a variety of activities, including windsurfing and jet skiing at a reduced rate.

Scuba Diving

If you want to participate in scuba diving anywhere along the French coast, you will need proof of training. If you need training you will need to provide a medical certificate stating that there are "no contra-indications", in other words, you are healthy enough to dive. Insurance is not required to dive, but it is recommended. Some facilities may require insurance, especially when you are renting equipment.

Motorised Water Sports

Popular Mediterranean motorised water sports include wake-boarding, water skiing and parachute rides. In order to operate any motor craft more powerful than 6CV, a license is required.

In addition to yachting, sailing, canoeing, rowing and kayaking are popular. The best sites for kayaking are around Nice, Antibes, and Cannes. For rowing, Monaco and Mandelieu are very nice.

General Advice

Consider the air and sea temperatures before scheduling a trip. The highest average temperatures are in late July and August. Things start to cool down again in September.

Always check the current weather forecasts before you take off on a scuba diving tour. Weather changes may cause reservations to be cancelled. The centres have different policies concerning cancellations due to weather. Read the fine print to find out if refunds are available. Strong winds sometimes arrive very quickly in the Mediterranean. Always be prepared when you go boating or yachting.

Useful Links for Watersports on Cote d'Azur

Hotels in Antibes

Antibes Hotels We've hand-picked some hotels in Antibes to suit all budgets from luxury to 2*.

See our selection here.

Rentals in Antibes

Antibes Rentals Studio apartments to 4-bed villas - you're sure to find an Antibes holiday rental.

See our selection here.