Surrounded by vineyards, flanked by monumental cliffs, guarded by the ruins of a medieval castle, and nestled around a picture-perfect fishing port, Cassis is the prettiest coastal town in Provence. Best known for its delicate white wines and wild Calanques, it is a quiet fishing village out of season and inundated with sun-worshippers in the summer. The pastel houses at rakish angles framing the port and harbor attracted early 20th-century artists including Dufy and Matisse. Even the mild rash of parking-garage architecture in the outer neighborhoods can't spoil the effect of unadulterated charm.
Stylish without being too recherché, Cassis's picture-perfect harbor provides shelter to numerous pleasure-boaters, who restock their galleys at its market, replenish their Saint James nautical duds in its boutiques, and relax with a bottle of local wine and a platter of sea urchins in one of its numerous waterfront cafés.