Calanques at Marseille
Visit Calanques at Marseille (Provence, France)
The Calanques are found along the coast to the south-east of Marseille, and are usually accessed from the attractive harbour town at Cassis.
One of the highlights of the coast of southern France, the calanques are a series of limestone cliffs, fjords and rocky promontories plunging into the Mediterranean, for about 20 kilometres of coastline between Marseille and Cassis. In places there are pine trees clinging to the gleaming rock, adding further to the dramatic appeal.
Explore the Marseille Calanques
The calanques around Cassis are the most accessible, while those near Sormiou, a little to the west, are perhaps the most dramatic.
There are several small beaches set among the rocks, with pine trees climbing the hill behind the beach, for example at En Vau and Port Pin, where you can swim between the cliffs - very dramatic!
In order, heading west from Cassis, the calanques are: Port Miou (easily reached on foot from Cassis), Port Pin, En Vau, L'Oule, Devenson, L'Oeil de Verre, Sugiton and Morgiou.
The coast and surrounding countryside to the east of Marseille has now been designated as the Calanques National Park, one of just seven French national parks on mainland France.
How to explore
Boat: One particularly stunning way to see the calanques is by taking a boat trip from Cassis along the coast.
Tickets for the boats are available in the harbour at cassis - 13 euros to visit three calanques (45 minutes), 15 euros to visit 5 calanques (65 minutes) and 19 euros to visit eight calanques (90 minutes).
Whichever boat trip you choose you won't be disappointed, as the little boat travels around the beautiful coastline with a new surprise around each corner. After many years of exploring much of France I still consider the boat trip I took here as one of my favourite days out!
Hiking: The other option to explore is on foot by hiking along the coastline - this region really is a walker's paradise. There are also designated climbing areas in the calanques.
Note that because of fire risk, there are significant restrictions on access to the inland regions, especially during July and August.
Diving: The coastline around the Marseille calanques is very popular with divers. Note - the underwater Cosquer cave at Morgiou contains some of the oldest cave paintings in the world - said to rival those at Lascaux.. Unfortunately the entrance is 35 metres under water and access is prohibited even if you do come equipped with diving equipment!
Attractions near the Marseille calanques
Photos of Calanques at Marseille
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Address: Calanques de Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence || GPS: latitude 43.19, longitude 5.41
Map of Calanques at Marseille & places nearby
Highlights close by
La Ciotat 16km
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Calanques at Marseille.
See Provence and Bouches-du-Rhone (the region and department for Calanques at Marseille) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Calanques at Marseille, France
- Jardin de la Magalone - remarkable garden (8km)
- Parc Borély - remarkable garden (8km)
- Parc Longchamp - remarkable garden (8km)
- Parc du 26e Centenaire - remarkable garden (10km)
- Cap Canaille - site of natural beauty (11km)
- Chateau d'If - national monument (12km)
- Marseille - town of art and history (12km)
- Parc du Mugel - site of natural beauty (16km)
- Parc municipal du Mugel - remarkable garden (16km)
- Saint Cyr sur Mer - recommended detour (24km)
The French version of this page is at Calanques at Marseille (Francais)