Fodor's Expert Review Calanques

Cassis Body of Water

Touring the Calanques, whose fjordlike finger bays probe the rocky coastline, is a must. Either take a sightseeing cruise in a boat that dips into each Calanque in turn (tickets, sold at the eastern end of the port, are €16–€28, depending on how many Calanques you see) or hike across the cliff tops, clambering down the steep sides to these barely accessible retreats. One boat trip lets you swim in the turquoise waters under Cap Canaille, but that must be booked at the kiosk in the morning (four- to five departures per day, depending on the weather and water temperature). Of the Calanques closest to Cassis, Port Miou is the least attractive. It is also the only one fully accessible by car, but only in winter. It was a pierre de Cassis (Cassis stone) quarry until 1982 when the Calanques became protected sites, and now has an active leisure and fishing port. Calanque Port Pin is prettier, with wind-twisted pines growing at angles from white-rock cliffs. But with its tiny beach... READ MORE

Touring the Calanques, whose fjordlike finger bays probe the rocky coastline, is a must. Either take a sightseeing cruise in a boat that dips into each Calanque in turn (tickets, sold at the eastern end of the port, are €16–€28, depending on how many Calanques you see) or hike across the cliff tops, clambering down the steep sides to these barely accessible retreats. One boat trip lets you swim in the turquoise waters under Cap Canaille, but that must be booked at the kiosk in the morning (four- to five departures per day, depending on the weather and water temperature). Of the Calanques closest to Cassis, Port Miou is the least attractive. It is also the only one fully accessible by car, but only in winter. It was a pierre de Cassis (Cassis stone) quarry until 1982 when the Calanques became protected sites, and now has an active leisure and fishing port. Calanque Port Pin is prettier, with wind-twisted pines growing at angles from white-rock cliffs. But with its tiny beach and jagged cliffs looming overhead, covered with gnarled pine and scrub and its rock spur known to climbers as the "finger of God," Calanque En Vau, reachable via a challenging two-hour hike both there and back (or your own private boat), is a small piece of paradise.

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