Cassis Things to Do

  • The calanques and cap Canaille
    The calanques and cap Canaille
    by vinc_bilb
  • Falaises de Soubeyranes - Cap Canaille
    Falaises de Soubeyranes - Cap Canaille
    by vinc_bilb
  • Cliffs near Cassis at sunset
    Cliffs near Cassis at sunset
    by scanos

Best Rated Things to Do in Cassis

  • firechick's Profile Photo

    The Calanques by Boat

    by firechick Written Jul 31, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yes, this is completely touristy and very catered to (boat companies wait in the port and take visitors on tours ever few minutes in high season).

    However, the Calanques are a unique formation of rock cliffs (originally formed by glaciers!) on the ocean, which along with the weather, has worn them away into some very odd shapes. They start just outside of Marseilles along the coast, and end just a bit after Cassis.

    You can only view them properly from the water, so a boat tour is recommended. After this, explore them further by hiking along the shore or rent a kayak and snorkel.

    They offer several tours of the Calanques - 3, 5 and 8 Calanques. We took the 8 Calanque tour (1.5 hours) and paid €15 each. I think the extra €5 was worth it, as some of the more interesting things to see are further away than the short trip which only goes from Cassis to En Vau and back.

    The Calanques
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • firechick's Profile Photo

    The Sea (of course!!)

    by firechick Updated Jul 31, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are several beaches in Cassis. The main one near 'downtown' is always full of people (La Grande Mer). It is a true sand beach (the shore is otherwise rocky). No dogs are allowed at this beach. There are showers, WC, volley-ball and restaurants nearby. It is supervised (lifeguards). A bit further on is the 'clothing optional' beach - more topless really - Plage du Bestouan. Also sand and patrolled with a couple of snack bars nearby, but slightly more out of town.

    Other less crowded places to sit in the sun do exist! The Plage de l'Arene and Plage du Corton are both rocky beaches which are not supervised with small parking facilities (better to walk). You can bring dogs to these, and find plenty of hidden places to hang out in peace and watch the waves crash.

    The Calanque du Port Pin also has a pebble/sand shallow beach (you can hike there from town in about 45 min-1 hour). The Calanque d'En Vau is more remote, and either is a very long hike (1 hour more past Port Pin) or faster - requires a boat ride to get to (you can arrange a round trip in the AM) and is very gorgeous - there is also rock climbing at En Vau.

    There are also diving outfits in Cassis which can take you out (we didn't have time to try this) and kayak or canoe rentals (a bit pricey, actually).

    June is a bit early for 'warm' feeling water - it was actually a bit too cold for our tastes - we 'waded' more than swam. But plenty of kids and other brave souls did swim (I would say many more people were just out sunbathing, however and would also wade in to cool off, then wade out again). July and August and even into September we are told is better for the water temperatures.

    Plage de l'Arene
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo

    Walk around: Cap Canaille

    by vinc_bilb Updated Jul 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Canaille means rascal, villain but comes from Latin "Canalis mons", "the mountain which swims into the sea".
    The Cape Canaille is magnificent.
    It forms an immense stone rampart. The cliffs of this mountain are the highest maritime cliffs in Europe. Their main feature is the Grande Tête or Large Head with its 394m cliff.

    The 15km tourist route along the Peaks snakes through the rocks and joins with La Ciotat. It offers some spectacular viewpoints of the Gulf of Cassis, the Calanques, the archipelago of Riou, the roads to Marseilles in the west and views reaching until the Var in the east.
    There are some well situated carparks along the route that allow access to the best vantage points.

    For those on foot or bicycle : there is a 12 km path (one way) which traverses the massif (easier here than in the Calanques) - see picture #2 (map)

    Falaises de Soubeyranes - Cap Canaille On foot or bicycle : 12 km path
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo

    Visit the city

    by vinc_bilb Written Mar 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A magical effect? I think yes: vineyards and pine forestin around, narrow streets and squares bordered by the colourful houses, local fishermen and the the port, hot spot for tourism (with its boats and inviting terraces).

    Don't be affraid to be lost in the small streets.

    Tourism office (english) website just after

    Cassis city (from Tourism office)
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • vinc_bilb's Profile Photo

    Walk around: the calenques

    by vinc_bilb Updated Mar 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A classiefied site, 20km of sign posted paths, the Calanques are limestone cliffs which plunge into the Mediterranean Sea, can be visited either on foot or by boats that set sail from Cassis.
    (I recommend both, as you don't have the same view)

    The Calanques are a paradise for the diver, the climber and for those who wish to discover the local fauna and flora..

    Some "WARNINGS" (visit on foot):
    - good shoes are mandatory,
    - smoking and fire are NOT ALLOWED.
    - Access could be restricted by the Authority (
    - Requires some attentions (could be dangerous for childrens),

    Voice mail available for access control checks (see Tel)
    Pic from tourism office, some others in my HP

    The calanques and cap Canaille The calanques
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • ptitetoile's Profile Photo

    Calanque from Cassis : Calanque de Port Miou

    by ptitetoile Written Jul 14, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Port Miou is the deepest Calanque and the Calanque that is the best protected against all winds. The Romans called it "Portus melior" : the best harbour.
    Since the begin of the second wold war, but mainly since the sixities, the water sports have developped a lot in France and Port Miou that only sheltered boats that loaded the "stone from Cassis" extracted from the nearby quarry was filled more and more with jachts and will be transformed in a real marina. The organisation ot this natural harbour has preserved the naturel character of the place. And we can enjoy the perfect intergration in the landscape from the point of view at the beginning of the harbour. There is also a park where you can enjoy a walk and see the boats...

    Port Miou
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports
    • Sailing and Boating

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    boat trip to the Calanques

    by GentleSpirit Updated Jan 19, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a must do. You catch the boat right in the main harbor, the ticket office will assign you to boat based on which tour you buy (3,5,8 and 9 calanques). The price ranges from 16 to 22 euros.

    I took the one to 8 calanques, which was fun. Judging from the rest of the people on the boat though, most of them were sitting quietly, their cameras in their laps, by the last half hour of the trip, which I took to mean that it had all started to look the same by then.

    I would definitely take the boat trip though. If you are a hiker, you will get a totally different perspective and the view from the water is quite dramatic in many places. The color of the water is just sublime!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Petanque

    by GentleSpirit Written Sep 27, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Petanque is a typical French game that you can see in just about any French city, large or small.

    The sign over the entrance to the petanque courts in Cassis, just off to the side of the harbor, reads that you should be careful (for flying objects, I suppose.)

    Its fun to see everyone arrive with their little carrying cases for the Boules (petanque balls). People seem to play in groups, it seemed to me most people either knew each other or played a similar style (the aggressive younger men that threw the ball harder all played together,etc)

    Particularly later in the afternoon the courts are crowded. It seems like a friendly enough game

    note: be careful taking pictures at the petanque court. Particularly when someone is getting ready to take their shot. I haven't seen any of the players say anything but you can sort of tell they aren't crazy about you taking pictures.

    Cassis petanque courts an afternoon of petanque for the locals the small ball is the objective this dude had style!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • scanos's Profile Photo

    Picnic on the rocks

    by scanos Written Jul 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Immediately to the west of Cassis are some great rocks and beaches on which you can have a great picnic or barbecue, particularly in the evening. You can buy some baguettes, cheese and wine and have a great al fresco experience as you absorb the wonderful views of Cassis and the nearby cliffs. Obviously, one shouldn't over indulge in alcohol and you must take away any rubbish. In my experience, a lot of young french tourists picnic on the rocks - les rochers - pronounced roshay - and behave very sensibly. Also, be careful if Le Mistral is strong.

    Cliffs near Cassis at sunset Lighthouse in Cassis Cliffs near Cassis at sunset Les Calanques, Cassis
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • ptitetoile's Profile Photo

    Calanque from Cassis : climbing !

    by ptitetoile Written Jul 14, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Calanque d'En-Vaut is visited by a lot of climbers...its walls are irristibles...so we did it also!!! Well, in fact, we just wanted to take a shorter way between En-Vaut and Port-Pin that was the red GR walk (closed for danger...I guess)...and we ended up climbing walls because we did not found the good way !!!! it was quite funny and not that difficult (except maybe one step) but only for confirmed climbers....!

    Charlie climbing
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo

    Visit "Les Calanques"

    by Toshioohsako Written Oct 16, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can take a boat tour around so called "Calanques". Your will bee taken a pleasant ride around creeks and blue sea.
    In one hour, you can see nice creek views. Inside the creekes, there are many beaches and fishing spots.The creek coast stretched to Marseille. From your boat, you can see a good view of the Cassis harbor and the castle.

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Musee de Cassis

    by GentleSpirit Updated Oct 25, 2014

    Cassis has a small museum, about a block away from the harbor, next to the city hall. Entry is free.

    The ground floor has an exhibition of Roman articles salvaged from known shipwrecks in the area. Interestingly for a museum this small, it has full explanations in both English and French.
    Ceramics from mainland Italy have been found and identified as well as ceramics and vases from Africa. They do show you the difference between jugs that held olive oil, wine and other things.

    The second floor is dedicated to stone working, wine and fishing, three of the main forms of economic activity around Cassis. Until 1981 Cassis had a large quarry and they do not hesitate to point out that it was high quality stone, some of which was used in the building of the statue of liberty in New York.

    Wine making is also a big local craft, with cassis wines enjoying fame in France. There are several wineries around town.

    Fishing of course for a harbor town, is one of the main occupations, interesting that the museum paid far less attention to this than the others.

    I don't think the museum staff spoke any english, but they welcomed me very warmly and the gentleman explained to me (in french) what the museum was about.

    Musee de Cassis roman headstone from christian era roman amphora
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Cap Canaille

    by GentleSpirit Written Sep 28, 2014

    The first thing they will tell if you if say you want to go to Cap Canaille, the big rock you see on your left hand side when you are in Cassis harbor, is that it is a tough hike. Locals looked at me incredulously when i was asking for directions, like are you serious? you want to do it on foot? The way up is VERY steep.

    The hard part is getting to the trailhead, after that its not especially difficult, and you will be rewarded with some amazing views of Cassis, the harbor, the calanques and the Mediterranean.

    Most of the locals seemed to go up in their cars, stop at the viewing points, go on the trails for a bit and get back in their cars.

    As hikes go, figure about 50 minutes from the town of cassis to the trailhead, at least another hour or two before returning. If you have survived the way up you will love it, if you are coming back in the afternoon the wind is blowing nicely so its very refreshing on the way down.

    It is a challenging trail to be sure, you can make it easier by hiking along the paved road for a bit before going back on the trail at the next viewing point.

    DANGER::::: be VERY careful. some of the viewing points are perilously close to the cliff. If you are afraid of heights DO NOT look down!

    on the way to the trailhead Cassis from the first viewing point the trail, you'll be going up for a while at the edge of the cliff
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Photography
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Boat ride to see the calanques

    by Dabs Written Jun 10, 2012

    When we walked into town, just past all of the restaurants lining the waterfront there was a booth selling boat trips out to the calanques, you can purchase 1/2 hour before the scheduled time. You can visit 3, 5, 8 or 9 calanques and the rates and length of cruise vary depending on how many you select. We opted for the 8 calanque tour which lasted for 1 1/2 hours and cost 21€ per person.

    The boat had covered and uncovered seating all on the same deck, the commentary was all in French so for us English speakers it was just a scenic boat ride.

    A calanque is a steep walled cove or inlet on the sea, the boats take you inside the cove, some of which have beaches although you can't get off the boats during the cruise.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Go to the beach

    by Dabs Written Jun 10, 2012

    There were a lot of people hanging out on the public beach near the harbor, I didn't bring a swimsuit but it didn't matter, the water was filled with litter and stuff that floats around in the sea and most of the beach was pebbles not sand. I was a little surprised to see this in the south of France where I assumed all of their beaches were well maintained, maybe after the high season gets started the beaches are nicer?

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Cassis

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

25 travelers online now

Comments

Cassis Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Cassis things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Cassis sightseeing.

View all Cassis hotels