You know all about the beach, ports and summer vibes ideal for family and friends in Valras-Plage. But did you know that it has its fair share of seafaring secrets too? Some of them are buried deep.

An 80m Greek merchant ship called Le Mimosa lies on the Mediterranean seabed between Valras-Plage and Vendres. The boat ran aground and split in half during a violent storm on January 18th 1979. The waves brought both halves together to lie parallel.

But don’t worry, it’s nothing like the Titanic and the 27-strong crew were all saved!

The wreck is close to the water’s surface and dangerous for sailors. Its bow, the front of the boat, and 8m mast stood out of the water in the 80s! Several boats have been damaged or even sunk by this majestic wreck. Work to cut the boat into pieces was essential. A barge with a crane was set up to clean the area around it. But it didn’t last either and, for no apparent reason, ended up sinking 20m deep next to the Le Mimosa…

So the work has never ended. Mad don’t you think?

Since then, the area has been marked out by a cardinal buoy which has stopped the wreck presenting a danger to sailors!

Le Mimosa is now an artificial reef home to an abundance of marine life! Countless fish and shellfish call it home. It’s a haven of peace for the sargo, bass, red mullet, bream, mussels, oysters and the rest of the vibrant sealife in Valras-Plage! The biodiversity here is so rich that a scientific study into its function is currently under way and funded by the EU!

Le Mimosa’s anchor takes pride of place at the entrance to the Charles Thomas car park.

Have you seen Le Mimosa’s mast sticking out? Or are you going to try to spot it in the sea when the weather’s clear?


Originally from Poitiers, she has been living in the south of France for several years now. She is now head of communications and databases at the Béziers Méditerranée Tourist Office. Putting the spotlight on each and every one of the service providers who make up the richness and originality of the region is something she takes to heart. Judging by the articles she posts on her blog, her interests tend to lie in festivities, culture and, above all, good food! Her favourite place: the Plateau des Poètes. It's a soothing place to take a stroll, and ideal for lunch in the sun.