There are loads of anchorages
all over the Riviera with but three considerations. one is the wind
direction, as discussed. The second is that in season they do get very full, mostly with day sailors. Hence my advice to arrive before 1000 or between 1600 ad 1800 to get a space. (And while I'm at it, do not come to the Riviera if you are only happy with a 5:1 scope
- it's not tidal and you won't find the space.)
Thirdly there are some challenges around depth
and weed. Some anchorages
(eg Theoule, Port Man) are over 20m deep so you need a lot of rode
. And quite a lot do have thick weed on the bottom (poseidonia, a key Med habitat) so you need anchoring
techniques/tackle to cope with that.
But - if you are confident about these issues (and we all are learning
all the time) there are lots and lots of places. The French will anchor
almost anywhere and are expert at squeezing their yachts into hideyholes and creeks. There are very few restrictions, most of which are well shown up either in local literature or in the Imray pilot books
. Certainly in 2008 we spent three months ambling along there, and spent 8 days of the latter 2 months in a marina and that was a choice (the Jazz Festival in Nice.)
The anchorages are not far apart, though making sure you're protected from a mistral may sometimes take you further than you intended.
It does get a bit harder west of Marseilles, and we don't know that area very well. If you mean the Canet between Marseilles and Golfe de Fos - it's only about 6 miles anyway. The little creeks along there theoretically offer anchorages but are v small and probably choked with sports boats, but we went straight from Port St Louis to Marseilles and didn't explore.
If you mean Canet Plage and St Cyprien, and then along part Narbonne etc, we've only been there by road/air/train. On that knowledge I'd say that it was only intermittently hospitable, as you are of course right in the Golfe de Lyons (the gale factory of the western Med), with lots of shallow, sandy. But we have met sailors who have cruised happily there - it is function of your yacht's size and draft
. Sete is v pleasant and you can go through the town and anchor
in the lagoon
. It can kick up one strong froth though, so you need to be happy with your tackle. It would not be wise to leave your boat unattended for long in case of a sudden weather
change. From Sete (where we entered France
from Spain) to Port St Louis, there's not a lot of anchoring
, and you are exposed to the full Rhone-funnelled mistral. There are lots of marinas
though if you wanted to explore the very beautiful Camargue.