The Calanques & the town of Cassis
A Provence walking tour through the Calanques National Park
From Marseille to Cassis, over a stretch of 20km, the Calanques are a set of jagged limestone inlets carved out along the coast. With each hidden inlet you'll discover the magnificent and intensely turquoise waters caressing the white limestone cliffs that plunge into the sea. The Calanques National Park is comprised of around 8 500 hectares of land spread over 3 communities – Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat. A further 43 000 or so hectares are on water. The National park is home to an amazing biodiversity and boasts a rich cultural heritage.
Walking in Provence: exploring the town of Cassis
The town of Cassis is famous for its majestic cliffs, creeks and coves of deep blue water. The population of Cassis can be traced back to around 500 to 600 years BC and it is thought that the Greeks were present also. Indeed, Cassis has a strong cultural link to Marseille which was founded by the Phoenician Greeks.
Cassis has a large port and for centuries, this was the economic heart of the town as it was considered an important trading port. More recently, the wine industry has boomed in the area with the expansion of vineyards and today Cassis enjoys the reputation of producing good rosé wines. Away from the port, the town centre is a maze of small colourful streets and alleyways, shops, market stalls, bars and restaurants, quirky hotels and shaded squares with fountains.
Our self-guided Provence walking holiday begins in Marseille and leads you to two beautiful calanques ‘En Vau’ and ‘Port Pin’ before arriving in Cassis. The hiking trail zigzags its way through lush Mediterranean vegetation and aromatic plants and pine trees that diffuse their mouth-watering fragrance under the penetrating Provençal sun.
So much more than just a simple walking holiday in Provence, you can enjoy a variety of sporting activities such as diving, snorkelling, climbing & sailing. The views from your hiking path look down on the sailboats vying for position in the inlets, sun worshippers lying in the quiet coves & kids jumping into the waters and swimming back to shore.