How to prepare your visit to the "Calanques de Cassis" ...

Are you dreaming of visiting the creeks? Favourite for walks, swimming, diving or simply breathtaking views, the creeks promise you relaxation and a complete change of scenery. Follow the guide!

Provence is for many travellers the most beautiful region of France. Natural and sincere, it stretches out in the sun, caressed by the limpid waters of the Mediterranean. The rocky bays of the Calanques de Cassis are renowned throughout the world. Treat yourself to gentle hours of relaxation and swim in these little corners of paradise at the end of the world. The song of the cicadas and the sun of the coast are waiting for you.


Are you ready for it? Then here is a little practical guide to really discover these unique and enchanting places !

The "Parc des Calanques": between land and sea...   

World-famous cliffs, translucent blue water, breathtaking panoramas, this is what awaits you in the Calanques de Cassis. Discovering them in Pieds will leave you with an extraordinary memory and an unforgettable experience.

Created in 2012, the Parc National des Calanques is one of the 10 French national parks and welcomes an average of 2 million visitors per year.

 It is located in the heart of the Aix-Marseille Provence metropolis, and has the singularity of extending over both land and sea. 

A true natural jewel, you will undoubtedly be charmed by its majestic cliffs, the sea as far as the eye can see and its exceptional flora and fauna.

A remarkable setting for thisNational Park with a worldwide reputation and open to all.

The list of Calanques is long (26 in all). They stretch over the 20km that separate Cassis from Marseille. Underwater, on the water, or even on land, the Calanques invite you to explore and discover.

👉 Good to Know : The visit of the Calanques is totally free   


Stroll in the Calanques de Cassis...


There are 5 essential and indispensable elements to plan to visit the creeks on foot :

  1. - Fresh water (2 litres/person)
  2. - Good walking shoes,
  3. - Sun cream
  4. - A wide-brimmed hat
  5. - A mobile phone (100% recharged)

You should know that the Calanques are not a quiet walking path. We speak here of "small mountains" with sometimes steep passages with significant differences in height.

Access is regulated. In Mistral weather, they may be closed to the public (major fire risks).

Note that the Calanques de Cassis have no buildings or supply points. If you forget your snack or drinks at home or in your holiday rental, this is a good opportunity to start that diet you have been talking about for so long. Don't look for a refreshment bar, toilet, phone box, charging point for your smartphone etc... In the Calanques you are in the heart of nature, nothing but nature.


👉 Good to know: Don't forget to bring a bag to take your rubbish home and an IGN card (on sale in the shops of Cassis).


The Calanques de Cassis à Pieds: your itinerary


There are 9 main Calanques listed for the visit from Cassis. While the first 3 are relatively easy and quick to access, you will need 6 to 7 hours to visit them all (+ the same for the return trip...) 

Please note however that you cannot be in the massif after sunset.

In reality the first 3 Calanques are the most visited because they only require a few hours of hiking (round trip) from Cassis ...

 You will discover there a concentrate of all that makes the charm of the Parc des Calanques.


👉 Good to know: baby prams are unusable in the calanques. Don't forget to entrust your "little darling" to a nanny 


The Calanque of"Port-Miou"

It is the closest to the city centre of Cassis. You will reach it in 20 minutes on foot (If you want to reach it by car, a small car park is well situated at the end of the calanque but ... places are (very) rare and, as is often the case, ... first come, first served...).

Formerly a limestone quarry which has become a light port welcoming nearly 500 boats (mainly sailing boats), it is also the starting point for all hikers. Although this cove has a small beach (20 metres), it is mainly used as an infrastructure for launching light boats. 

Prepare your camera and continue your walk in the direction of "Port-Pin".

👉 Good to know: a small refreshment bar selling drinks, ice creams, sweets and other "in case" items is available at the entrance to the car park at the end of the cove.

Calanque " Port-pin"

After a 35-minute walk from Port Miou, you will reach the pleasant creeks of Port-Pin. 


It is a heavenly place with a fine sandy beach and Seychelles-style water. 


Take advantage of this ideal location for a nice day out (bring a picnic) in the creeks.


👉 Difficulty level: easy hike with good shoes as the descent to the beach can be slippery.


👉 Good to know : Remember to bring your mask and snorkel. The seabed is superb and the water is particularly clear.

Calanque "En-Vau"


From Port Miou you will have to walk about 1 hour to reach "En Vau, La Reine des Calanques".

Guarded by the "Doigt de Dieu" a rocky spur of more than 90 metres, it is undoubtedly the most beautiful of all.

To get there, you can walk along various paths with breathtaking panoramic views (get out your camera...). There is also a very pretty beach where you can refresh yourself in an exceptional place.


👉 Difficulty level: medium because the slopes are quite steep. Good shoes are essential.


👉 Good to know: in summer there may be a lot of people. So start early (8-9 am) to be on the spot around 10-11 am.

What about visiting the Calanques by kayak ?


Let yourself be tempted by a kayak (or private boat) rental to discover the Parc des calanques ? 

😍 Visiting the Calanques by sea kayak is undoubtedly the most popular attraction for holidaymakers.

In fact, several thousand tourists wish to rent a kayak in Cassis during their stay.

And as everyone arrives at the same time, the local professional renters (there are only 2 of them ...) are obliged to refuse customers because their fleet of boats is not infinite.

So don't take any risk, remember to book well in advance ...


👉 Level of difficulty : easy activity within everyone's reach.     👉 Good to know : don't forget your sun cream


As if you were already there ...

Sea Kayaking in the Calanques de Cassis - Reportage France 2- Jean-Pierre Royer


Adopting the right gestures ...


Good practices

  • I prefer the shuttle bus to reach Port Miou, the starting point of my walk.
  • I stay on the marked paths to avoid trampling the flora.
  • I don't pick any plants.
  • I respect the fauna: I don't feed or disturb it.
  • I respect the peace and quiet of the area and make as little noise as possible.
  • I prefer to wear light, long-sleeved clothes to protect myself from the sun.
  • I opt for a zero-waste picnic to reduce my plastic consumption.
  • I pick up any rubbish I find on the way.
  • I respect the peace and quiet of other visitors.


Regulation

  • I don't smoke in the creeks to avoid the risk of fire.
  • I collect my rubbish to throw it away at home.
  • I keep my dog on a leash


Security

  • I prepare my way before leaving.
  • I choose my itinerary according to my experience.
  • I have an IGN map with me.
  • I check the weather forecast before leaving.
  • I have adapted equipment
  • I stay on the marked paths to avoid any falls or incidents.


In case of emergency: I call 112     


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