Sainte Catherine
Scuba diving
Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

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Discover Sainte Catherine and its mysterious cave
Dive in and enjoy the smugglers history

1 point of interest

  • History

    The Smugglers' Cave

    On the southern part of the Cap Béar, a mysterious cave is extended into the rock, overlooked by the customs path (or smugglers' path). This cave is only accessible by the sea. Snorkeling or kayaking are two excellent ways to access the cave. It is said that the smugglers came to hide their goods in this cave because it was impossible to access the land. The strong winds and currents of winter kept these treasures safe from customs.


The  Sainte Catherine’ site is a privileged place south of Cap Béar. In the morning, the sun light is at the right axe to give a maximum light and reveal the beauty of this site. Facing the cliff, we can see some rocky outcrops on the left, a little hidden by the color of the rock that blends with the color of the cliff. In the water, swim up to the cliff to realize that two pretty slots are detached from this great rocky wall which goes under the light house of Cap Béar. A few meters further up toward the bay of Paulilles, a small rock entrance opens onto a natural pull hidden along the cliff. 

Underwater, Sainte Catherine offers a great geological variety between the slots of the cliff, beautiful rock walls plains of scree and the vast coral massif down to 25 meter depth. Several varieties of sars cross on the site, bream and gilthead bream complete the picture.

Between two walls of rock, we can often find corbs, protected species that are usually seen in the marine reserve. From time to time for the lucky ones, it’s possible to see a crouper lost in this place or a common dentex, big fish abundantly present in the reserve but more stealthy on the other site of rock. Octopus, congers, moray eels complete the picture, in the middle of several varieties of sea urchins anemones and crustaceans hidden in small rock slots.

To discover Sainte Catherine, snorkeling and scuba diving are both ideal activities !

  • Departure : Port d'Argelès-sur-Mer, de Collioure, de Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer et Cerbère
  • Arrival : Port d'Argelès-sur-Mer, de Collioure, de Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer et Cerbère
  • Towns crossed : PORT-VENDRES


Go safe and be supervised by professional scuba diving from all the ports of the Côte Vermeille

Argelès Plongée: 06 78 48 76 30 / 06 83 89 96 90 - Résidence Santa Maria Rue des Matelots
Aquatile Plongée: 06 16 51 31 06 - Résidence Atalaya 2 Place Magellan
Archipel Plongée: 04 68 95 71 03 / 06 25 59 35 77 - 8 Résidence les Villégiales
La Sirène Plongée : 04 68 81 60 58 – Camping la Sirène, route de Taxo
CIP Collioure: 04 68 82 07 16 - 24 Rue Ravin du Coma Xeric
Paradis des bulles: 06 70 55 69 18 - Quai Fanal
Tech of Plongée: 06 58 55 41 04 -2 Quai Fanal
CAP Port-Vendres: 04 34 12 09 27 - 4 rue Jules Ferry
Scuba Passion: 06 07 56 03 73 - Plage des Tamarins Route de la Jetée
Rédéris Plongée: 04 68 88 31 66 - Quai A Port Parking Méditerranée
AquaBlue Plongée: 04 68 88 17 35 - 5 Quai Georges Petit
Plongée Bleue: 07 85 75 67 45- 10 quai Georges Petit
Aloès Plongée: 06 33 33 18 44 - Résidence les Aloes Cap Peyrefite
Plongée Cap Cerbère: 04 68 88 41 00 - Route d'Espagne