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Cassis and Calanques

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San Diego...
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Cassis and Calanques

Hi all,

We will be driving to Cassis from Aix. I have read posts on this forum and done a bit of research online. We will spend the morning in Cassis. In the afternoon, we will catch a boat to see the Calanques. We are particularly interested in doing some swimming in the Calanques. I've read in this forum and in other places and got the impression that it might be too cold to swim in June. Is that true?

After reading guidebooks, forum posts, and online posts, I am still unsure about the boat arrangement. Most of the posts are about boats to see les Calanques (but not swimming, at least to my impression). I did see one company offering the opportunity for swimming, but the boats depart from Marseille. I think there must be boats from Cassis that offer an opportunity to swim in the les calanques.

Please advise. Many thanks in advance.

Aarhus, Denmark
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1. Re: Cassis and Calanques

I just came back from Cassis, it is a lovely small town, and worth of visiting. Although it is may, it wasn't coald. We took the boat trip to Calanques and it was nice, but the boat can not go too close to the beach. And I had seen no possibilitie to have a boat trip and a swim trip at the same time. Though I have seen people staying at the beach near El Calanques. Most people came by canoe, as well as cliffs climbers. There are also possibilities to g hiking and try to find the place to swim.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Cassis and Calanques

Indruta,

Thanks very much for your reply.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Cassis and Calanques

Not so sure in June but during peak season one of the boat is making a stop at Calanque d'En Vau ( the most famous and only one with a beach ). There no real place for the boat to stop, so it goes as close as possible from the rocks and passengers have to jump (no chlidren allowed) and then a very nice 5 minutes walk to get to the beach where you will have to stay until boat comes back to pick you up, about 5 or 6 hours later ( only one per day ) This is not promoted on any website so you have to find out at the " boat terminal " in Cassis ( as far as I remembre the boat that makes a stop in En Vau departs around 10am ). But bear in mind sea temperature will be quite cool in June ! Enjoy

San Diego...
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4. Re: Cassis and Calanques

Hi Paris,

Thanks very much for your response. I am having second thought about swimming if the water is that cold. I don't tolerate "cold" very well. I was hoping to do something active other than sitting on a boat and see les calanques. It seems that information is difficult to come by regarding les calaques. I hope I will gather as much info as possible and post here for others to use in the future.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Cassis and Calanques

I am putting this mini report for others to use in the future.

So I did the Calanques. They were very nice. My sister keeps on raving about it. From the tourist office: None of the boats will drop you off for swimming. While on the boat, I did not see any tour boats dropping off passengers for swimming.

After the boat tour, we hiked to the first Calanques, Port Pin. There were no well marked signs. We got lost. Luckily, I was able to ask some park rangers for directions. We did have a "hike" map from the tourist office but it was not very clear. The hike itself was not too bad.

The water in June was on a chilly side. Not the most comfortable temperature but doable. What I did not like was the algae on the rock. It felt gross when I stepped on them.

If you are driving into Cassis, the roads are a bit of a challenge. They are small and many one-way streets. I also worried about parking. However, there are plenty of paid parking.

Overall, it was the highlight of my trip to the South. I would recommend this to almost everyone.

Calais, Vermont
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6. Re: Cassis and Calanques

We went to Cassis/Calanques in August 2009. My husband and I have done a lot of traveling, but the day we spent at the Calanques (en Veau) was one of the most marvelous we have had any time, any where. Our friends can't believe the photos.

But we did something different: We rented a sea kayak and paddled there (about 30 mins or so). We are NOT expert kayakers, or even especially outdoorsy-adventurey; in fact, this is the first time we'd been sea kayaking; but it was really great.

We moored our boat on the rocks away from the beach, so it was less crowded. We chatted with the other sunbathers, jumped off high cliffs, did some snorkeling. The water was 100 shades of blue. The mists rolled across the heights of the sheer rock faces. It was magical.

Definitely do the kayaking. BUT Reserve in advance. The tourist office told us the day before we planned to rent that we would have no problem, there were lots of outfitters. That may be true, but they were ALL out of kayaks when we arrived. One gracious lady took pity on us when I told her we had come all the way from Vermont, and it was my dream to see the Calanques. She found us a kayak, and off we went. The moral: Make your rental reservations IN ADVANCE. You might not get as lucky as we did.

Edited: 01 August 2010, 17:20
Midwest
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7. Re: Cassis and Calanques

I am traveling solo. Do you think that renting the kayak and going to the beach would still be okay with only one? Also where would I reserve ahead of time online? Are the rentals per day or hour?

So I would take food with me, correct? And water?

8. Re: Cassis and Calanques

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