France // The Côte d’Azur //

The calanques

Portside posing and sunbathing aside, don’t miss a boat trip to the calanques – pristine fjord-like inlets that cut deep into the limestone cliffs between Cassis and Marseille, recently declared a national park. Several companies operate from the port; be prepared for rough seas. If you’re feeling energetic, follow the well-marked GR98 footpath from Port-Miou on the western side of the town. It’s about ninety-minutes’ walk to the furthest and best calanque, En Vau, where you can reach the shore. The water is deep blue and swimming between the cliffs is pure heaven. The fire risk is high; smoking and fires are prohibited and you’re advised not to attempt the walk in high winds. There are no refreshment stops either, so take water.

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