What are the Calanques?

Les Calanques travel - Lonely Planet | France, Europe

The Calanques massif is a protected area of water and land along the French Mediterranean coast. It offers an incredible diversity of marine life and beautiful aquatic landscapes. Do not hesitate to discover them with a scuba diving session.

The creeks are often characterized by their vegetation, their rocks with steep cliffs, and their coastal towns appreciated by artists. The latter is a series of bays, cracks, and canyons that have formed as a result of differential erosion of limestone cliffs.

Calanques from Marseille to La Ciotat

The Calanques de Marseille in La Ciotat is a series of cliffs, canyons, and gorges located on the Mediterranean coast of France. All outdoor enthusiasts love to visit this surprising terrain. With a green and colorful nature, the Calanques massif is full of tourist activities and admirable panoramas. This is an appointment not to be missed during your holidays.

Calanques of the Blue Coast

The limestone creeks of the Blue Coast that alternate between small ports and beaches are some of the reasons why tourists like to spend time here. The creeks follow one another from Carry le Rouet to l’Estaque (Marseille district) so do not hesitate to take a break during your walks to admire the wonderful views.

Discover the creeks

The Calanques massifs are a dream destination for many visitors because of the paths that run through the surroundings. You can practice hiking, running, cycling, or climbing. Thanks to a rather vast environment, the creeks offer, indeed, a multitude of places to discover regardless of the season.

No matter where you start, you just have to walk along the coastline to enjoy exceptional panoramas during your walk.

In the Calanques, the most popular places for walking are undoubtedly the paths that run along the edge of the cliffs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also head to the small trails that stray from the main walk. Otherwise, many hiking trails take you to isolated villages and their small coves before taking you up to the heights.

Be careful, however, to equip yourself well before leaving, because the steep terrain and heat can sometimes be excessive.

The Calanques National Park offers tons of routes dedicated to climbing to discover! Every year, climbers of all levels confront the steep cliffs of the massif, all while respecting the existing biodiversity. Once the ascent is done, they enjoy an unparalleled panorama of the region and its colors.

Water activities in the heart of the Creeks

One of the major activities in the Calanques is undoubtedly swimming. Appreciated by all, it is easy to indulge in the pleasures of water among the dozens of small coves that run along the coast. Each of them has its own specificities, but they all have in common an ideal water temperature and idyllic landscapes.

Other water sports are widely practiced in the vicinity. The paddle or pedal boat allows you to take a boat trip at your own pace. But the most sporty will not be left out, sailing and kayaking are also excellent options to fully enjoy the Mediterranean Sea.

For those looking to experience the scenic beauty of the coast from a different perspective, a boat trip is a perfect solution. You can rent or one of the many boats to enjoy a sea ride around coves filled with natural wonders.

Finally, fishing enthusiasts can be satisfied in this region. But be careful though, because the Calanques National Park has multiple no-take zones, so you will have to be attentive to the respect of its biodiversity.

The villages of the Calanques

The main villages to stand near the famous Calanques National Park are Cassis and Marseille which have direct access. La Ciotat meanwhile, has some fabulous creeks close to the city center. If you pass through one of these beautiful port cities consider visiting the old town, the old port, and the monuments that all have an inescapable charm.

As for the creeks of the blue coast, they are surrounded by several small villages to discover without moderation. We can therefore mention Carry le Rouet, Ensuès-la-Redonne, Méjean, Niolon, Le Rove. Do not hesitate to cross as many as possible to discover their assets.