Les Calanques and Cassis, France

10:20:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

In full disclosure, the first photo collage is not my own, but my friend's.  She is a far superior photographer than me AND she was in Cassis on a sunny day.  As you will see, my photos are a bit drab, but I loved Cassis, so I wanted to share some of her photos so you get a vision of why people come here.  
Have you ever seen the photo below?  It circulates the pinterest travel pages as a desirable "must see" location and I too was smitten.  What is not to love about the aqua water and deserted beach.  When I learned this was  in southern France and that we could actually hike into that beach I was determined we make it a stop along our "best beach" discovery tour.   
Calanques are fiord type formations along the southern coast of France between Cassis and Marseilles.  This one is called En Vau and is suggested to be the most beautiful.  
Unfortunately, we only scheduled one day for Cassis (a total mistake worth a couple at least) and that one day just so happened to be a crummy weather day. My husband reluctantly agreed to take the Calanque boat tour, but the second we were out of the harbor we all regretted the decision.  The sea was rough and the boat bounced around like a basket ball.  I'm sure we were totally safe, but immediately I was worried we would capsize and no one had life preservers on.  My husband kept giving me a glare that suggested, "Really, Brooke, I hope this was worth it to you!"
Typically, the calanque tours offer 3, 5, or 9 calanques--the longer the tour the more expensive.  Due to weather conditions they were only offering 3, and that was enough.  The sun was behind the clouds so the water wasn't brilliant, we couldn't jump out and swim so the whole thing was a bit anticlimactic.

We were sitting at the back of the boat when Bob and Eden were drenched by a wave.  I laughed, but they didn't find it as funny.
So, back on land we were determined to not let the weather or lack luster boat trip ruin the day.  We continued on with our plan to hike into the deserted beach and began following the signs out of town when we came upon a large sign that said, "Calanques closed to hiking after noon due to fire hazard."  Time check 12:30!  Are you kidding?!  This is what we get for making our beach discovery tour also a mostly spontaneous unstructured trip (lessons learned will be shared in another post).
So, disappointed and a bit frustrated we turned back around and headed to the beach in Cassis.
The girls contented themselves for a few hours, but the water was rough and Eden kept saying she was getting beat up by the waves.  Despite our disappointing day, I would totally go back to Cassis.  I would plan a few days to do some hiking in the area, to be at the deserted beach between 6-11am, to hike up to the fortress on the hill and shop the cute store fronts.  Aww, the luxury of planning a "next time."



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