Crossing the eastern half of the Calanques massif
This half-day route is unrivaled for its land- and seascapes. It is quite a long traverse, from the university campus in Marseille to the charming port town of Cassis : through a protected natural area, Calanques National Park, you will be walking and running 12 miles over stony paths. During this trip, you will enjoy countless breathtaking views, from at least 3 marked levels : the shoreline, the top of the bluffs, and, at midway up, the balcony trail. Within 3.5 hours, you will have the chance to watch all the most spectacular Provence’s calanques pass before your eyes : Sormiou, Morgiou, Sugiton, En-Vau, Port-Pin and Port-Miou.
Walking/Running time : 3.5 hours
Rating : challenging (steep ascents/descents, rock scrambles)
A circular trail running from St. Remy de Provence
to Les Baux, including 3 km on the Alpilles ridge
Leaving the medieval streets in St. Remy, you head to an even older quarter featuring 2,000 years old Roman monuments: Les Antiques and Glanum. Walking and jogging through pines, on back roads and forest tracks, you gently climb to the Alpilles ridge’s trail, reached after a detour to the Rock with two holes, immortalized by Vincent van Gogh. Up there, you enjoy a great scenery all around. Following the main ridge, you gradually approach Les Baux de Provence. Built on a rocky spur, the ruined medieval castle suddenly appear. Once the fief of lords among the most powerful in South of France, this site is something unique. The entrance of the ruined citadel and the few streets in the village are worthwile. The trail back to St. Rémy passes the Alpilles crest at a point further west.
Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged sections of terrain)
The full crossing of the Calanques massif
This route allows you to run and scramble all the way from the Marseille bay to the little port of Cassis. Having left the fishing village of Les Goudes and the tiny cove of Callelongue, with its fifty or so cabanons (cabins), you run along the shoreline about 5 km (3 miles), passing four calanques, among which Podestat ; you start to gain elevation, reaching the pass of Sormiou and then run down to the calanque of the same name. After a look at the small fishing village and its one hundred cabanons, you attack the uphill slope towards the crags, 700 feet higher. From up there, what a terrific view of the Calanque de Sormiou ! Later, you descend to the Calanque de Morgiou with its pretty little village. Once you have admired the next calanque, Sugiton, you climb up to a balcony trail (halfway point), then to a higher one : you won’t be at sea level for 2 hours now, enjoying magnificent views, more than 1,000 feet above the sea. The final ascent, following a few minutes spent on this incredible beach in Calanque d’En Vau, leads you to a fantastic viewpoint over the nature’s gem. During the last hour, you enjoy the beauty of the closest calanques to Cassis : Port Pin and Port Miou.
Walking/Running time : 6 – 7 hours
Rating : challenging (steep ascents/descents, rock scrambles, elevation gain, length)