Marseille is the largest city in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It’s the most visited destination in France and one of the top holiday destinations in Europe thanks to its rich history, beaches, sunshine, museums and palaces. And there are the calanques to explore – dazzling white limestone cliffs, 20km of natural beauty along the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, secret bays, gorgeous beaches, fabulous hiking trails and crystal clear waters…
There are around 26 calanques in Marseille we look at five of the most beautiful…
Calanque de Morgiou
Calanque de Morgiou is one of the most charming calanques to explore. The curvy hike leads you to the refreshing blue sea. This is one of the biggest and the most famous calanques and it’s popular with locals and tourists happy to spend the entire day sun-bathing or swimming. To reach the Calanque de Morgiuo from Marseille, take a bus to Les Baumettes and hike from there. There are plenty of signposts to guide you.
Calanque de Sugiton
Nestled between two beautiful creeks, Calanque de Sugiton is one of the most sought after destinations in Marseille. The jewel-blue water invites you to take a plunge and relax on the sun-kissed rocks afterwards. It’s not hard to reach two other calanques from here: Morgiou and l’Oeil de Verre. This Calanque can easily be reached by car or bus. The nearest car park is at the Luminy Campus from where it takes around 60 minutes to hike.
Calanque d’en-Vau has the most dramatic cliffs and the landscape views along the moderately tough hike are superb. The secluded beaches are worth the effort. The hike starts from la Gardiole but be aware that cars are not allowed in col de la Gardiole.
Calanques de la Côte Bleue
Another hidden gem in the north of Marseille are the Calanques de Côte Bleue. The hiking trail is accessible from Le Rouet beach or Niolon.The 16km long trek offers magnificent views of the cliffs and the shoreline. Avoid the long hike by taking the ‘Blue Coast’ bus, line no. 7, from Marseille to Miramas. There are four calanques here – La Vesse, Niolon, Méjean, La Redonne – each one has its own unique charm.
Calanque de La Mounine
Calanque de La Mounine is in the middle of the col du sémaphore and the Marseilleveyre. A short 30-minute walk will bring you to this natural wonder. The calanque is not very deep, which makes it ideal for a family outing. The hike is relatively easy, and the waters are warm.
Francesca Roho is passionate about teaching French to curious minds. She loves to explore France. Find her at www.flepedagogique.com