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Calanques in Provence on foot:itinerary, advice and organization

Calanques in Provence on foot:itinerary, advice and organization

Do you like hiking and discovering magical places? No need to go far, because we are going to invite you to travel in the National Park of the Calanques to admire unique landscapes of breathtaking beauty. This still preserved place is however very popular in summer, but between April and June, and September and October, you will discover an unparalleled mineral and aquatic world. Here is a little fitness program for your hike.

Crossing the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis

Crossing the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis takes place on a two-day hiking route. According to Gaston Rébuffat, the site is “a real stone garden by the sea ". You leave from Cassis and walk through the sometimes quite steep white massif along the Mediterranean . You will be charmed by the many visual treasures that the place between Marseille and Cassis has in store for you. . The circuit is not always easy but so magnificent that you will forget the few minimal sufferings it imposes on you.

What are creeks?

The creeks are fairly deep creeks composed of a turquoise and clear sea, a beach of fine white sand and bordered by limestone massifs whose white contrasts with the blue of the water. This postcard decor is a unique jewel offered by a generous nature on a land space of 8,500 hectares and another marine part of 43,500 hectares at your disposal before your eyes.

Warning :in summer, the National Park of the Calanques can be closed due to the very high risk of fire. Find out more from the Cassis tourist office to know if the park is open or not. In addition, be aware that hiking in the creeks can be dangerous because of the stones which can be very slippery in certain places. It is therefore necessary to be equipped with hiking shoes to complete this route. In some parts of the route, there may also be Mistral , it is still advisable to check the weather forecast before going on this excursion. Finally, plan a stock of water to drink , because there are not many gray areas. A hat and sunglasses as well as sunscreen are still essential. If you are hiking with children, plan frequent stops.

Hiking with children to visit the creeks

Do not hike with children too small to visit the creeks. However, you can bring your children from the age of about ten. In this case, plan the most accessible hikes which are in order:

  • Port Miou
  • Port Pin
  • En-Vau

The calanque of Port-Miou is the easiest to reach on foot with children. There is a path along the calanque which is very practicable and does not involve any difficulties. Everyone will be able to swim in blue lagoon water at a temperature close to that of swimming pool water in summer.

Starting point for the calanques hike

To go hiking to discover the creeks, you can park in Cassis town centre or at the car park next to the calanque de Port Miou . On site, you will be able to swim, explore the surroundings and eat on the terrace, a restaurant offering good Provençal cuisine and an exceptional view of the sea. You can then go on the path leading to the creek from Port Pin then to the calanque of En-Vau , but be aware that the course is complicated and can be quite long for children. It is advisable to do this part only between adults.

Departure from the cove of Port Miou

Starting from the calanque of Port Miou , you can park your vehicle in one of the nearby car parks and join the GR 98-51 for about a kilometer. The route is marked in brown up to the junction with the red dot. The trail is very well marked and you can't get lost. You will see many sailboats in the cove of Port Miou. At the end of this track along the quarries, you have the choice of taking the very easy current GR 98-51 or the more complex old GR 98-51 , but with much more beautiful landscapes. It is in this old GR that the stones are slippery due to their wear.

Between Port Miou and Port Pin

Between Port Miou and Port Pin , there is a 2 km walk. Allow half an hour to three quarters of an hour to reach Port Pin. This calanque is small, but magnificent and its waters are remarkably clear where you absolutely have to swim. There are far fewer people in Port Pin, as the calanque is not accessible by road, but only by walking or by boat.

Between Port Pin and En-Vau

Once you have thoroughly enjoyed your swim in Port Pin, you can take the purple route to reach En-Vau . The journey is about 3.5 km, but allow 1 hour 30 minutes to reach this destination. The Calanque d'En-Vau is very steep and therefore much less accessible than the others. From Pointe de la Cacau , you can see the calanque and its high cliffs. Here again, you will discover a magnificent place where nature has achieved miracles of beauty. If you want to continue your hike, be aware that the hike becomes much more difficult from En-Vau. Otherwise, turn around and sleep in a hotel in Cassis to leave the next day for the creeks of Sormiou, Morgiou and Sugiton.

The creeks of Sormiou, Morgiou and Sugiton

This second day, you will join the ridge path dominating more than 200 meters the sea above from the creek of Sormiou. You don't have to be dizzy to complete this route and the aerial impression is increased tenfold by seeing this magnificent Provençal landscape. You will then descend towards the calanque de Morgiou and will have the distinct sensation of diving into the Mediterranean as you get closer to the place. This creek is still inhabited by a few fishermen and their boats called "pointus ". You will learn that they still practice ancestral fishing which is unfortunately increasingly lost. You will then take a coastal path to reach the Calanque de Sugiton. You can swim and then rest under the Aleppo pines . Finally, you will finish your hike by going up a pretty path offering you an exceptional view of the harbor of Marseille . Please note that some passages are secured and equipped with chains or small ladder rungs which ask you to help you with your hands, but which do not make you dizzy.

We advise you to have a car waiting for you when you arrive, as this hike has a elevation difference of 534 meters for a walking time of 5h30 to 6h .

In any case, discovering the creeks between Cassis and Marseille is an exceptional gift that nature gives you. You have to be a little trained or do them at your own pace, but the creeks will give you back a thousand times more than the inconvenience of the physical effort you will incur to get to know them.