The Pelagos Sanctuary

Deeply committed to an eco-friendly approach, our four-star campsite Les Jardins de La Pascalinette ® in La Londe is always researching new ways to protect our fauna and flora. And that doesn’t just cover land-based fauna and flora – it of course encompasses the marine environment too! Italy, Monaco and France are currently tackling this difficult mission by working hand in hand to protect the marine mammals that live in our 87,500 km² marine area.

Mission of the Pelagos Sanctuary

Signed between Monaco, Italy and France in 1999, the Pelagos agreement is designed to protect the marine mammals that live in our corner of the Mediterranean Sea. The sanctuary, classified as a special Mediterranean marine protected area, is also a platform for experiments that can benefit normal marine protected areas.

In concrete terms, the Pelagos agreement limits our impact on marine fauna and the threats to it due to excessive human interference. Collisions, accidental capture, disturbances, nuisances, stress and pollution… The large cetaceans that inhabit the area often fall victim to ill-informed yachtsmen. Therefore, the Pelagos mission also consists of informing the public with regards to good behaviour in the special marine area.

Fancy going whale and dolphin watching?!

Many people dream of getting up close and personal with dolphins. But beware! For their wellbeing and your safety, swimming with them is absolutely not recommended!

Unfortunately, in the last few years, an increasing number of tour operators have started offering whale watching excursions that ignore animal wellbeing. In fact, the representatives of the Pelagos Sanctuary are opposed to them, as this approach is too intrusive for the animals and can, in some cases, lead to accidents – whether for the whales themselves or for swimmers – and long-term repercussions on the development of these animal species.

However, by following the recommendations of the sanctuary, you can still enjoy observing them at a reasonable distance.

Make the most of your stay at our seaside campsite in the Var, French Riviera-Côte d’Azur!

Fancy coming across a Ziphius, Risso’s Dolphin or whale? Look no further! All you have to do is head out to sea along our Mediterranean coast in summer (between two sessions at the campsite’s water park! ;)) and you’ll have a good chance of coming across all of them: many species congregate here during the hot weather when there’s a genuine feast of food in the water! And it just so happens that your favourite campsite is ideally located by the sea. How lucky is that?!

Here are the main guidelines to respect when you’re whale and dolphin watching:

  • Observation must take place at least 5 nautical miles from the coast
  • Observation must be interrupted if the animals show any signs of being disturbed
  • Approaching the animals is prohibited if babies are present
  • The observation distance should be at least 100 metres
  • The boat must approach from the side, moving in the same direction as the animal
  • Speed must be regular and limited to 5 knots, adjusted to the slowest animal
  • single boat is authorized in the observation area
  • Boat presence is limited to 15 minutes
  • Bathing, touching or feeding the whales or dolphins is prohibited 

Read more…

If you want to find out more about the good behaviour charter and the operators offering whale and dolphin observation tours that respect the animals properly, please go directly to the Pelagos Sanctuary website.

Meanwhile, if you’re keen on spending a sporty holiday with us, you’ll love exploring our seabeds and the many gorgeous sites along the Var coast, kitted out with a mask and snorkel.

  • Pelagos Sanctuary
    Parc National de Port-Cros
    83400 Hyères