We tested... a kayak excursion in the "Calanques" fjords!
Time to row
Fancy grabbing your paddle and swishing off to the translucent waters of En-Vau fjord? Test your biceps with a kayak tour of the myriad of fjords dotted along the coast between Cassis and Marseille. We don't want to burst your champion's bubble, but even if you pack in 6 hours of sport a day, you'll find it VERY hard to get any further than the stunning Grotte de l'Oule.
But who cares, no pain no gain as they say - and here's the proof in images.
Your mount awaits you at the main beach in Cassis. The friendly owners of the firm Lokayak explain that you generally need to schedule 4 hours: "1 hour to get to Calanque d'En-Vau, a 2-hour break and 1 hour to return to Cassis". They will also tell you that the return trip is harder than the outbound because yes, the excitement of your new discovery and the call of _the Pan Bagnat _roll you slipped into your waterproof bag disappear as if by magic as soon as the picnic is over...
Nonetheless, paddling from Port-Pin to Port-Miou then Port-Miou to En-Vau is undoubtedly one of the best ways of exploring the Calanques National Park. Left to your own devices on the (relatively) still waters of the Med, you can paddle at your own pace and take a well-earned dip at every stop-off, topped with a sunbathing session and picnic to feed an army on the beach. Because if the local Pan Bagnat roll isn't your cup of tea, there's nothing to prevent you buying a roast chicken on Cassis port to go with a nice little local rosé...
What's more, if you paddle fast enough, the chicken will still be warm and the wine will still be chilled when you arrive. Succulent!
Although 90% of people choose to end their trip at Calanque d'En-Vau, hardier paddlers can continue their way to Grotte de l'Oule, 30 minutes away. Tucked in a rocky crevice and lit only by the sun's rays penetrating the fault, this little cave is a genuine jewel, which you can discover by entering the bottleneck between two waves.
How do you organize a kayak excursion to the Calanques?
The hire firm Lokayak is open from April to October. The easiest thing is to book your kayak a few days before your excursion by calling +33(0)7 83 80 87 37, or on site. The owners will send you a confirmation text message the evening before, according to sea and wind conditions. You'll then head to rental shop the next day to slip into a magnificent lifejacket and head off to break the waves...
How many people can do the excursion?
As many as you like: take your pals, family and even your mother-in-law (they say that if you weigh her down, she sinks in no time – just kidding). Lokayak rents two and three-man kayaks. If you have kids aged over 6 years and who know how to swim, they can climb aboard with you without having to paddle (but you will be paddling for two, obviously...). No particular physical condition is required, but if you get puffy going down to get the post or taking the bins out, you might be better off forming a team kayak with some beefy friends.
What about prices?
The kayak hire costs between €40 and €80 according to the season, duration and boat type.
But we hope you'll believe us now when we tell you a discovery tour of the "Calanques" is truly priceless...
Time to eat outside
Picnics are a great way to escape from routine and spend some quality time with friends, family or your partner. Whether you opt for the seaside, a park or vineyard, they are an ode to simple pleasures and sharing.