Excursion 3: The Mediterranean Sea at Cassis or les Lecques

It takes approx. 1h 15min to drive down to Cassis along the motorway A50 for Toulon (exit 8 for Cassis, or exit 10 for les Lecques), so this could also be a full day outing with dinner in the lovely fishing village of Cassis at night (or dinner in Aix if that suits your time table better).


For the Cassis hike, you will need ruck sacks for everyone packed with lunch packs and lots of drinking water, swimgear etc. For parking, follow the signs marked "Les Calanques" when you get to Cassis. In summer, however, it could be very difficult to park in Cassis. Try to be very early in the morning and you could get a parking space at the large car park on Port Miou (see local map). 

Due to the great risk of forest fires during the summer months, new regulations came into force during the spring of 2013 making it more difficult to plan for summer hiking.  On the morning of the hike, you therefore need to call 0811 201313 for exact information.

Calanque d'En Vau
Take the main trail (first trail 8a, then trail 8) along the coast from the parking at Port-Miou and west towards Calanque d'En Vau. Trail 8 will first take you to Calanque de Port-Pin (only 30 minutes) where you can swim in the Mediterranean. Follow trail 8 further westwards and when you get to the top (where the forest road crosses the trail), follow trail 8 straight down into the next valley. At the bottom of the valley, you take left down trail 7 and join the sea again very quickly at Calanque d'En Vau. This is one of the most famous Calanque and a nice spot to lunch and have a swim. Return the same way, but when you come up from the first valley, turn right and follow trail 4 around the peninsula back to Calanque de Port-Pin. Stunning views all the way.

Les Lecques 

Large sandy beaches are found all the way along the large bay between La Ciotat and la Madrague, and the best option could be the one at les Lecques (motorway exit 10). Here some may be on the beach all day (the village is only 50 meters from the beach with a wealth of shops and restaurants), while the more energetic of you could drive on to la Madrague and take the coastal path that goes from here all the way around till the wine town of Bandol on the other side. There are a few places for swimming along the trail. Great coastal trail, although we prefer the rougher trails between Cassis and Marseille.

Link to the Photo Gallery - Calanques from Cassis to Marseille

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