The Mediterranean, from beach to creek
Not to be missed - Family
Do you love the seaside and the great outdoors? Wild countryside bathed in sunlight? Then this tour was made for you! Over three days, take a tour of unspoilt places that have earned Provence's coastline such a fantastic reputation. Begin at the immaculate and practically deserted Camargue beach before continuing your trip with an invigorating stroll around the Côte Bleue Marine Park. Then cap off your long weekend between Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat with a tour of the calanques (creeks) including the lovely and secluded En-Vau. A fresh breath of sea air!
Day 1 – The wild beaches of Camargue (Arles, Les Saintes)
Day one, immerse yourself completely in the Camargue countryside. If galloping across sandy beaches that go on for miles sounds a great way to start the day, head to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and La Grenouillère equestrian centre. Or to explore the coast from the water, Kayak Vert Camargue can take you on a canoe. For lunch, tuck into a delicious fish speciality while admiring the sea views. Then head to Arles for the afternoon, either on the beach or following the Capelière nature trail.
Day 2 – Côte Bleue Marine Park (Martigues, Marseille)
Start your second day in Martigues with a guided tour of the 'Blue Coast' by rickshaw. Continue onward to Sausset-les-Pins where you can simply relax on Rives d'Or beach or try scuba diving with Côte Bleue Plongée. Carry-le-Rouet has a selection of eateries for lunch. In the afternoon, the beach at Fernandel calanque is ideal for a siesta or have a go at stand-up paddleboarding if you're feeling adventurous. The perfect end to a perfect day, watch the sunset over Petit Méjean beach in Ensuès-la-Redonne.
Day 3 – Incredible calanques (Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat)
End your tour by exploring the stunning scenery at the Parc National des Calanques which encompasses 8,500 hectares of land and 43,500 hectares of turquoise waters. In Marseille first, Sormiou creek and its huts are pretty as a picture. Then, by boat or on foot, take a tour of the limestone cliffs shaped by the erosive power of the Mediterranean waves crashing into them. Onwards to Cassis for lunch then follow the Route des Crêtes to La Ciotat, the final stop in the national park where sites include Cap Canaille and Le Mugel creek.
- Watching the kitesurfers at sunset in Beauduc.
- Horse-riding on the beaches in Camargue.
- Canoeing your way around the calanques.
- Exploring the sea bed along the Côte Bleue wearing a snorkel
- Alternating between sweeping sandy beaches, small fishing ports, secluded creeks and majestic calanques
The best time to visit
- In spring to have the sea to yourself before the summer tourists.
- In May for the gypsy pilgrimage in Saintes-Maries.
- In September for the Fête du Vent festival in Marseille
Not to be missed, Family
Saintes Maries de la Mer, Arles, Martigues, Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat
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It was born in the mid-Nineties but originates from the city's infamous reputation since the early 20th century.
Provence "à la mode"
Happiness is in the lavender field!