The Calanques of Cassis

A view of one of the calanques from the boat.

An especially beautiful bay.


There is an area close to Marseille that I’ve been wanting to see a long time. The name of the village is Cassis and it is known for the soaring white cliffs called calanques rising above the sea, with deep inland indentations, rather like fiords, although they weren’t created by retreating glaciers as in Norway but from the rising and lowering of the sea over millions of years. There are quarries nearby and stone for the building of the Suez Canal came from here.
We had thought about hiking to one of the calanques but it was a really hot day so we drove into Cassis itself, a little village that once housed fisherman but now seems to have many artists and tourists shops. I wasn’t that impressed by the little harbor, it just didn’t seem that picturesque to me. We took a boat out to the calanques, about an hour ride, and they were indeed wonderful-white cliffs toped with green pines and beautiful blue water underneath. It made me want to rent a sail boat sometime just so we could stop and enjoy areas like this, even though my “mal de mer” usually gets the best of me.
We decided to come back in the autumn when it is cooler and less crowded and take a hike, about an hour each way, to what we thought was the prettiest bay. We ended our time there with a nice lunch at one of the cafes along side the harbor and had some of the famous white Cassis wine.