The Calanques

The limestone cliffs and coves of the Massif des Calanques are coastal formations between Marseille and Cassis and the remains of ancient river mouths. With hiking, sailing and diving facilities, find out about the flora, fauna and access...

The Calanques are a series of deep narrow inlets in the rocky limestone cliffs, forming pristine turquoise coves along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between Cassis and Marseille. Stretching over 20 Km, the Calanques are a paradise for scuba divers, rock climbers, hikers and nature lovers for the unspoiled views and rare plant species.

The Massif des Calanques includes the calanques, listed from west to east, of Callelongue, Mounine, Marseilleveyre Podestat, l'Escu, Sormiou, La Triperie, Morgiou, Sugiton, Devenson, l'Oule, En-Vau, Port-Pin and Port-Miou.

Flora and Fauna

Even though the landscape seems quite barren, there are approximately 900 plant species, fifteen of which are protected. The cliffs act as nesting sites for a number of rare and unusual birds such as the Bonelli's Eagle, the Peregrine Falcon and the Great Horned Owl.

Access

The Calanques are largely inaccessible by car, instead being reached via a wide variety of walks, differing in degrees of difficulty. Marseille tourist office runs guided walks between January and June.

The Calanques can also be accessed by boat. A range of boat excursions leave from Marseille and Cassis; boats can also be hired from both locations.

Note: During the summer months from June 1 to September 30 access to forested areas is regulated, depending on weather conditions. An information line, available in English, details the areas which are accessible all day and those open in the morning only or completely closed.

  • Access Info Line - Tel: 08 11 20 13 13

The Forest Fire danger levels are regulated as follows:

  • Orange: accessibility to walk in the forest at any time of day
  • Red: accessibility to walk between 06:00 and 11:00
  • Black: Walking, driving, and vehicle parking is prohibited throughout the day

Calanques National Park

The Calanques are destined to become the Parc National des Calanques in 2011. It will be France's eighth national park and will encompass 2200 ha of marine area and 6500 ha of land area.

Further information is available from the Groupement d'Intérêt Public des Calanques:

Tourist Information

Further information is available from these tourist offices: