A must-see place when you are in the Marseille area. My latest article is about the best places to discover around Marseille and of course the Calanques National Park is one of them. I had the chance to visit several times the calanques of Port-Miou, Port Pin and En Vau located between Marseille and the charming little town of Cassis. In this article, you will find practical information about visiting these creeks, with personal tips to help you plan your day.
How to get to the Calanques National Park?
As I explain in the article about the best places to see around Marseille, we found the right plan to park when you come to the calanques by car in summer. Indeed, if you are in this region out of season, there is a good chance that you can park directly at the calanque of Port-Miou. Knowing that this is the entry point to the Calanques National Park, this is quite convenient.
On the other hand, in the middle of summer, it is almost impossible to park in the Port-Miou cove unless you arrive at dawn. But don’t panic, we’ve found the right plan to park in Cassis.
The Gorguettes car park, which is located in the heights of the town, is free and only 10 minutes by shuttle bus from the entrance to the Port-Miou cove. The shuttle bus picks you up directly from the car park and drops you off at the stop at the entrance to the calanque of Port-Miou, which is also not far from the Bestouan beach. The price of the shuttle is 1.60 euros return and the last one is at 9.20 pm.
The calanques of Cassis: a place that must be earned
Whether you choose to go to the cove of Port Pin or to continue to the cove of En Vau, you will have to walk a little and bring good shoes as the ground can be slippery.
The Calanque of Port Pin
The Port Pin cove is only half an hour away from the starting point at the Port-Miou cove. You will first walk along the cove of Port-Miou with a magnificent view of its port. You will then have to climb a little and then descend to the cove of Port Pin. Everything is very well indicated, so there is no chance of getting lost. The descent can be slippery, which is why I advise you to bring good shoes or, in any case, not to go in flip-flops (even though some people do).
The Calanque d’En Vau
If you want to see both creeks, I recommend that you continue your hike to the En Vau creeks directly. Indeed, it requires a little more energy and the access is considered difficult. It is therefore better to do it when you are still in shape and then stop at the calanque of Port Pin on the way back.
Regarding the way back, you will see that there are two paths to reach the calanque d’en Vau. Choose the shorter one on the way out because it is steeper. And the longer one on the way back, with the panoramic view of the calanques, and the opportunity to take many breaks to admire the view and quench your thirst.
Backpack essentials for visiting the Calanques National Park
It seems obvious but I was the first one to completely forget to take one in my suitcase. You don’t need a pro backpack, don’t forget you’ll have to carry it all the way, but a bag that allows you to store the following equipment.
The sun doesn’t do you any favours on the Côte d’Azur and even if you will have the satisfaction of being able to swim once you arrive in the calanques, in the meantime, you will be in the sun all the way. As soon as it’s over 25 degrees, it starts to heat up. So I advise you to wear a cap or a hat and don’t forget to slather on some sun cream (Protection 30 minimum).
Lot of water
For the same reasons, bring enough water. In the middle of summer, it is very easy to get sunstroke. Protect yourself from the sun and drink plenty of water. I had taken a litre and it was not enough. There are no places to eat in the calanques, so you will have no way to buy food or drink.
PS: Reusable bottles are the way to go!
As mentioned above, there will be no catering facilities. So take a picnic with you. Also take some snacks in case you feel a little weak or need some sugar while walking in the creeks.
This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in France and therefore one of the most visited. It is a wild place that we have to protect, so it is advisable to bring your rubbish with you and to throw it in a rubbish bin. An eco-citizen gesture which seems normal but which is apparently not, considering what we found when we were there.
Here is an article if you want to you are looking for some sustainable travel tips.
Beach towel and swimwear
What a pleasure it is to be able to cool off in the crystal clear water of the Calanque d’En Vau or Calanque de Port Pin after a beautiful hike through the paths of the Calanques National Park. There’s nothing more satisfying than that, so don’t forget your swimwear and towel!
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I hope that this article has answered your questions about the Calanques National Park and provided you with useful information. Don’t hesitate to ask me other questions in the comments if you haven’t found the answer to your questions about this unforgettable place.