The "Calanques"

Discovering the 'Calanques'


The 'Calanques' – a life-size picture postcard

You don't need to go far to find paradise – it's right here at the gateway to Marseille! A wild setting, dotted with little ports, little coves, little islands, little beaches and little cottages… the vistas are simply stunning. Our 'Calanques' are world-unique and the cicadas know it: when summer comes around they chirp to their heart's content to celebrate the view! And the show is just as breathtaking whether you admire the fjords from the sea or the coast.


'En Vau', 'Sormiou', 'Morgiou' ... Little heaven !


Bath in the clear water of the Calanques

When you talk about the 'Calanques', you're bound to think of the 'Calanques National Park' – a protected site since 2012. In short, the National Park stretches from the tip of Marseille to a section of Cape Canaille in Cassis, via Riou archipelago.
But the fjords adorning La Ciotat and the Côte Bleue coast are just as fabulous.

The 'Calanques' offer up a rainbow of colours that vary according to the season and where you're standing, with contrasted greens, blues, turquoise and white. So we often wonder what's the best side to see the 'Calanques' from? I'd say it depends on the individual and the season. Personally, I prefer the view from the coast with the sea as the backdrop. I also love 'doing the Calanques' outside peak season, when it's cooler and they're a bit quieter. But of course, they're great in summer if you fancy bathing in their crystal-clear waters, although their access is strictly-regulated and they are closed off from time to time in case of fire risks. In that case, a boat tour is your only alternative: you can hop on at the ports of Marseille, Cassis or La Ciotat.
The cliffs are truly impressive seen from a boat. If you're on land, they offer a fabulous choice of walking itineraries: the best-known and most popular are those departing from Port Miou calanque in Cassis and the Luminy campus in Marseille. I recommend the ¾-hour walk from the Luminy car park leading to the viewpoint and its breathtaking panoramas.
Watch out though – whichever path you choose it's always preferable to be on form, wear sensible shoes and remember that your legs may be tired on the way home :)

The 'Calanques' are reputed for their charming little fishermen's cottages, overflowing with rustic charm.
Fancy buying one up and savouring Marseille's legendary lifestyle? Dream on… these little corners of paradise aren't easy to rent and have often been in the same family for generations.

The 'Calanques' are also a fabulous leisure playground, with activities including chilling out (yes, that is an activity here), picnicking, walking and snorkelling to admire the underwater flora and fauna. Rock climbing fans have a blast edging up the dizzy cliff faces. You can also opt for a dive onto one of the ancient wrecks found in the area, or simply enjoy a swim among the se bream, red mullet and – so they say – dolphins!

Our beautiful 'Calanques' must stay that way, despite being a very popular sightseeing attraction.
Check out the National Park's official website for the rules and regulations.
Oh yes – a tip if the 'Calanques' are closed to the public: go and eat at a restaurant! The security guards will let you through in some places, but they'll also check to see if you've really booked!

There's no point looking at your watch here, because time stands still…

'En Vau'

Things to do

15 January to 29 January
Sea Urchin Festival and craft fair
Local food producer

Sea Urchin Festival and craft fair

Sausset les Pins

Fêtes de la mer dimanche : l’oursin sera roi… mais pas tout seul Comme chaque année, c’est le port de Sausset-les-Pins qui ouvrira la saison des oursinades dans la région, en accueillant les dimanches 15, 22 et 29 janvier un peu avant la mi-journée, ses Fêtes de la mer, organisées et…

L'eau à la bouche
Cuisine de Provence

L'eau à la bouche

Salon de Provence

Restaurant paired with the fish, freshness and varieties carried out daily, trays of shells to take fish. Restaurant filed 3 forks in the mouth.

05 February to 19 February
Les Oursinades
Street fair

Les Oursinades

Carry le Rouet

ARTISANS Exposition artisanale (Peintures - Bijoux - Vins - Produits du terroir...) Toute la journée Sur le port FOIRE A LA BROCANTE Toute la journée - Sur le port DÉGUSTATION DES PRODUITS DE LA MER Vente de plateaux de coquillages et d'oursins Cuisine à base de poissons Quai Maleville…

The entire agenda


Art de vivre

The Cagole

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Art de Vivre

The Calanques

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More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.