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Guided hiking in Calanques National Park,
a unique site in Western Europe

 

Calanque de Sormiou, one of the
most spectacular day trips from Marseille

Within 1 hr 15 min from central Marseille, you enjoy beautiful views over one of the largest calanques, these steep-walled inlets that beautify Provence’s coastline : Sormiou, a natural amphitheater with white limestone cliffs as terrace seats, the sea as stage and the little port and its cottages as orchestra. From a southern district of Marseille, your local guide will have led you after 30 minutes walking into the heart of Calanques National Park and you will be staring down to Calanque de Sormiou‘s turquoise waters, 250 meters below,  gazing at the red roofs of its ‘cabanons’, these little fishermen’s cottages clustered at the back of each cove and towered over by rocky promontories.

Walking time : 2 hours 
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)

 The calanques of Port-Pin and Port-Miou
from Cassis’ picturesque harbour 

Rich in heritage, this colorful walking path allows a soft approach of the eastern calanques : an ideal cocktail to discover and appreciate all peculiarities of Calanques National Park, while getting fond of the beauty of Provence seascapes. Starting just east of Marseille, in the pretty fishing port of Cassis from where a scenic view on the towering cliffs of Cap Canaille can be seen, you will reach the pebble little beach of Calanque de Port-Pin, this rocky inlet surrounded by pine trees. On your way back, you will walk along the natural marina of Calanque de Port-Miou

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)

Come and discover the strawberry tree
and other year end plants

This botanical walk will be an opportunity to get to know some species of plants showing their flowers or fruits at the end of the year in Calanques National Park. You will see especially the strawberry tree whose little white bells and red berries embellish, then, the so-called ‘garrigue’, the evergreen shrubby vegetation of the area. Moreover, the trail will offer you the pleasure of admiring Calanque de Sugiton from the top of Falaise des Toits, more than 200 meters above the sea. From October 20th to January 6th.

The ‘Esprit parc national’ brand has been attributed to this guided walk.

Walking time : 3 hours
 
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)

 

Calanques of Sormiou, Morgiou
 and
 Sugiton seen from above

As it takes you to several outstanding viewpoints of the three calanques from the heights overlooking the sea, this route allows you to explore the amazing beauty of the Calanques without walking uphill very long. You first discover Sormiou, the largest of all, with its fishermen cottages, small harbour, beach, and the varying blue hues of the sea. 30 minutes later, you get your first views of Morgiou, after taking a balcony path that reaches the edge of the plateau. Then, your hiking guide leads you on a broad and leveled trail to the most extraordinary viewpoint, located just above Calanque of Morgiou, and offering views of Calanque de Sugiton, as well.
Quite easy walking that provides views of great beauty!


Walking time
 : 3.5 hours
 
Rating : moderate (stony ground) 

Calanque de Sugiton :
a little jewel, so close, so far

This hike is just 4 hours and a half long but you will surely need the entire day to get the full benefit of it : when sitting on its little pebble beach or on a rock towering over its turquoise-blue waters, it is so hard to leave Calanque de Sugiton ! Before walking down to the two-cove calanque, located in the heart of Calanques National Park, you can see it from atop the rocks, in the distance, a viewpoint from where the panorama is opening over the bay : what a breathtaking view over Calanque de Morgiou, on the other side !  One of Provence’s little treasures.


Walking time
 : 4.5 hours
 
Rating : moderate (stony ground)

En-Vau, the pearl
of Calanques National Park

Calanque d’En-Vau, with its brilliant-turquoise waters surrounded by sheer white cliffs, is a paradise for hikers and rock climbers. On this walking day, you will have the opportunity to admire this Provence natural wonder from three different viewpoints : two from the top of the cliffs, behind the calanque, as shown on the picture, and from the side, quite different ; the third from the beach. On your way to the small, bustling fishing port of Cassis, your walking guide will offer you a chance to discover two other beautiful calanques : Port-Pin and Port-Miou, the last one being a natural marina, home to sailboats on half of its length.
Among all the images that will remain in your head after you trip to the South of France, those seen during this hike will undoubtedly hold a special place ! 

Walking time : 4.5 hours 
Rating : challenging (stony ground)

In the heart of the Calanques

This large-scale hike favours the discovery of the remarkable biodiversity and gorgeous landscapes of Calanques National Park. Starting from the middle of a plateau, a varied route leads you down to the sea, to the beach of Calanque d’En-Vau, at the bottom of impressive cliffs. Later, the fantastic Devenson trail, overhanging the shore, more than 1,000 feet below, provides outstanding views over the famous calanque and over four lesser-known ones. As you walk further west, the Grande Candelle, this emblematic summit of the massif, becomes more and more imposing and beautiful.

The ‘Esprit parc national’ brand has been attributed to this guided walk.

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : medium-difficult (2,500 feet elevation gain, rocky sections)

Crossing the Calanques

This day hike is unrivaled for its land and seascapes. From the Luminy University Campus in Marseille to the charming port town of Cassis, you will be walking, through Calanques National Park, 12 miles over stony paths, enjoying uncalculable breathtaking views, from at least three elevations : the sea level, the top of the bluffs, and, in-between, the balcony trail. Within 7 hours, you will have the chance to watch all the most spectacular Provence’s calanques pass before your eyes : Sormiou, Morgiou, SugitonEn-Vau, Port-Pin and Port-Miou. Nothing more needs saying.

Walking time : 6.5 hours
Rating : difficult (steep ascents/descents, rocky sections)

All these beautiful hikes in Calanques National Park can be considered as attractive day trips from Nice, the city being less than a 2.5 hrs drive from Cassis or the southern districts of Marseille.

The Côte Bleue

Another wild section of the coastline is blessed by a dozen of calanques and a few small fishing villages on the other side of the Marseille bay : the Côte Bleue (Blue Coast). A train running along a heritage track and passing over eighteen beautiful viaducts built between 1875 and 1915 can bring you to the starting point of the hike, offering you wonderful views of the coast and the Marseille bay.

The Côte Bleue,
a walk from Niolon to La Redonne

The twenty miles of coast west of Marseille is called Côte Bleue (Blue Coast) due to the colour of the sea. It is the area where the Estaque range and the sea meet. Even if that massif is not elevated, its numerous escarpments and arid appearance give the landscape its unique features, particularly its beautiful inlets. The trail, called the Sentier du Douanier (coast guard footpath) and built to allow the watching of potential invaders or smugglers, offers numerous panoramic views of the sea, with the large city of Marseille in the background. 

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : challenging (stony and craggy terrain)
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) /
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)