CASSIS – Les Calanques – En Vau – Port Pin
The Calanques between Marseille and Cassis is my favourite French Mediterranean coast line. It’s 30 km. of no permanent dwellings, fantastic scenery all the way and good for swimming May till October. It’s also well known for climbing for those that fancy that.
The area is normally closed to the public from 1st July till 15th September (except for morning walks till 11 am) because of the risk of forest fires. But call 0811 201313 for exact information.
If it’s during the winter, or you simply fancy the lunch high up with a really good view of the sea and nearby islands, take trail 8 (GR51 & 98) to the right up to Col de l’Oule and follow trail 2 out to the view point (Belvedere d’en Vau).
From the beach at En Vau, return back again the same route for about 10 minutes before you turn right up trail 8 (GR51 & 98). This is a short but breathtaking climb that will take you anything from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on fitness. Once you are up on this plateau, don’t continue trail 8 straight for Calanque de Port Pin unless you are in a hurry. Use a good hour on the magic rout along the two calanques by following blue markers all the way (trail 4). The views along this route are just too good to be believed, especially late in the day when the sun is right and you have the back drop of Cassis town and the large cliffs on the eastern side (highest cliffs along the coast of France – Cap Canaille – 400 meters strait down).
Distance: 15 km.
Ascent: 500 m
Start/finish: Cassis (Parking le Presque Isles)
Map: IGN Les Calanques de Marseille a Cassis (1cm=150 m)