Inspired by work colleague’s excited memories about his train trip from London to Southern France, I couldn’t wait to finally see some of the famous French riviera.
With no real clue on where the pearl of the Cote’d Azur is and which village should be the first one to visit to get the real French seaside charm, I picked closest to Marseille, first seaside stop from Paris. Cassis, small fishermen village is 30 minute drive from Marseille sold me with amazing views of the breathtaking beautiful Calunques – steep cliffs, caves and inlets made from limestone.
And I somehow regret that I’m not a hiker, as beaches must have looked so much more beautiful, if you could see them from the top of the cliffs, but oh well…boat was fine as well. While it was really windy in Cassis for the 3 days we were there at the end of May, boat trip was pretty calm with couple of roller coaster moments on the massive waves, but we survived.
Boat tour guide had lot’s of information about each of the calunques, but as it was all in French I was left enjoying the beauty in my own interpretation (I think he tried to speak English, but it still sounded French to me). My favorite was en Vau, with the beach at the end … once you have seen this the rest looks pretty average. I think that tour of 3 calunques is completely enough to get the feel, and price is somehow acceptable for a 45 min boat ride(12 Eur).
La plage de la Grande Mer
But back to beaches, if the weather has been on our side, I might have opened swimming season as the color of the sea was very inviting, but I didn’t. Main beach of the city La plage de la Grande Mer has rough sand and pebbles, while water is nice – but not a place to spend a week. And even on a windy day it was pretty packed, so I’m sure it’s hard to step your feet on when it’s hot and sunny. Beach is just at the end of the harbor, no parking available there.
La plage du Bestouan
The other beach in a walking distance was La plage du Bestouan, you can see it from the boat tour, and it’s a lovely small pebbly beach, where you can lie on the cliffs or on the beach and enjoy the sun. I loved it for the 30 minutes on the morning we had to leave, when it was finally not windy. It was too short and I want MORE PLEASE! How to get there? From the center of Cassis walk west keeping left all the time and following sign of plage, it’s a 5 minute walk on the side walk.
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