Hiking in the Calanques of Marseille. A 6-day trip w/ a Yves, a local UIMLA certified mountain leader.
Calanques, a unique location in Europe, of an unsuspected grandeur and splendor. In April 2012, the Calanques National Park became the 10th French National Park. This geographically tormented massif is dotted with a network of small “secret” footpaths and crossings whose complexity surprises even the regulars!
The diverse flora, the hundreds of meters of high cliffs and foothills assailed by Mediterranean
Heave and the sheltered coves will amaze our unfamiliar eyes with such natural colors.
We will stay in Cassis, a small village which stays forever in the memory of those who discover the port for the first time, with its boats and inviting terraces.
The highlights of the beautiful that which I propose are:
– The splendor of the Calanques landscapes;
– Discovering the calanques of the Côte Bleue, wild and unknown;
– A minibus available to optimize the excursion organization;
– A journey limited to 8 people to discover the most “secret” paths of Calanques;
– A welcome at the Marseille railway station Saint Charles
I generally organize this beautiful walk over 6 days. I can of course adapt it according to your wishes and the time you have available in this beautiful region.
I will welcome you at 9:30 AM at the Marseille railway station Saint Charles.
You should be wearing hiking clothes (picnic is provided).
Transfer to Cassis at the start of our hike.
Calanques of Port Miou, Port Pin and En Vau.
We will cross the small port of Cassis to reach the Port Miou Calanque. This very deep calanque is a natural harbor that is home to many sailboats. A small path allows us to reach the famous Port Pin Calanque and then the En Vau Calanque. Its serrated cliffs plunging into the turquoise waters render the En Vau Calanque one of the most beautiful in the world! The hike then takes place in the middle of very varied Mediterranean landscapes, alternating beautiful pine forests, deep coves, garrigue plateau with sea views all along the route.
Night in Cassis
Walking time: 4:30hs
Altitude change: +400 m, -400 m
Day 2: Sormiou and Morgiou Calanques
After a short transfer, we take the road to the Sormiou Calanque. Here the colors of the water, the Alep pines, the flower sheds and some boats in the harbor invite to contemplation! We then reach the Crête de Morgiou at more than 200 m over the sea. The aerial feeling is greatly increased as we descend towards the cape where the hiker has the feeling of diving into the sea. A small visit to the ruins of the fort which used to control maritime trade and a small narrow path dotted with a few rocky ledges (but I am there to help you!) takes us to Morgiou, the other “inhabited” Calanque. Some fishermen still live here, defying modern times by practising according to ancestral rites on their tiny wooden boats: the “pointus”. We then take a beautiful panoramic path over the Calanques that leads us to the Morgiou pass.
Walking time: 6hs
Altitude change: +650 m, -650 m
Day 3: Morgiou Calanques, Sugiton and Candelle pass
Short transfer to the start of an unfrequented route that leads us over the Margiou Calanque. A coastal path allows to reach the magnificent Sugiton path where swimming under the Alep pines is sometimes possible. Depending on site conditions (weather, trail conditions, group level…) your guide may take you to the Mont Puget or to the beautiful balcony route under the Grande Candelle. These itineraries with breathtaking views are certainly amongst the most beautiful ones in the Calanques!
Night in Cassis
Walking time: 6hs
Altitude change: +600 m, -350 m
Day 4: Crossing the Devenson cliffs
Drawn in large vertical organs, the Devenson cliffs plunge over the green waters of the Calanque and continue on 2 km to 300 meters high!
A short transfer from Cassis to the Gardiole pass and then a one-hour walk through a vegetation-rich valley leads us near the Oule Calanque. Crossing a few small rocky ledges where sometimes we will have to “lay our hands” recall of some alpine trails! The path that overlooks the many bays and small calanques over nearly 2 km is unique due to its panoramic view of the Cap Canaille at the îles du Riou. A small climb allows to reach the “Pas des Escaliers” and the Cap Gros summit at over 510 m, one of the highest summits in the Calanques. We regain the Gardiole pass through a long path with surprising vegetation.
Transfer and overnight in Carry le Rouet
Walking time: 5:30hs
Altitude change: -150 m, +370 m, -250 m
Day 5: La Côte Bleue from Niolon to La Redonne
Short transfer to the start of the hiking by the Côte Bleue train (10 minute ride).
The Côte Bleue train connects Estaque with Sainte-Croix, going through Sausset, la Couronne or even Martigues. Built from 1907 to 1915, this historic train line reaches 45 inferior passages, 21 superior passages and 18 viaducts from which 4 are labeled Twentieth Century heritage!
After a short visit to this charming Niolon port, the last calanque inhabited by some sheds, we go to the Régadzi small valley in the backcountry to reach the site of the old fort at over 200 m. We enjoy a unique 360° panorama of the harbor of Marseille and its surrounding summits! The path leading down the coast is splendid and we go through the coastal footpath overlooking the sea. We follow this small wild coast and we will have a picnic and afternoon swim at the Everine Calanque. After reaching some more calanques, we arrive to the Redonne Calanque where we take the Côte Bleue train to reach our hotel (5 minute ride)
Night in Carry le Rouet
Walking time: 5hs
Altitude change: +350 m, -300 m
Day 6: The Côte Bleue from Sausset to Carro
From La Couronne village we follow the coast of Carro. It is punctuated by multiple operation traces of ancient quarries and an ancient Neolithic settlement 4500 years old. We discover the Cap Couronne and its lighthouse, then the small Carro port where the women sell fish caught the night before by their husbands. We walk along the sea through a beautiful nature trail and we regain the land climbing ancient cultivating terraces today recolonized by the pine forest or sometimes replanted with beautiful olive groves. We travel along the hills overlooking the surroundings where the view of the Etang de Berre and the hinterland is wonderful. Here many German military facilities of the “great South wall” are still present. The trail descends gently towards Carro crossing old rock career paths with shell inlay, already very popular in construction since ancient times.
Walking time: 5:30hs
Altitude change: +200 m, -200 m
End of tour and return to the hotel around 2:30 PM.
Transfer at Carry station (many trains heading to Marseille Saint Charles).
I may need to change some of the specified program (extra for accommodation, regulated access to the Calanques…) and start our journey at the Cassis Calanques to finish at the Côte Bleue. When hiking, I remain the sole judge of the program, which I can modify at any time for safety reasons (weather, presence of a strong mistral, trail conditions, the level of the group…). My good knowledge of the Calanques allows me to best meet these constraints with no harm to the interest of your stay.
I invite you to contact me if you want to experience this adventure with me! I would be thrilled to guide you and make you discover all the beautiful wonders that this beautiful area has to offer.
In double room, 3 nights at Cassis in ** hotel and 2 nights at Carry in *** hotel. In case there are no available rooms in a hotel, accommodation can also be near Cassis or Carry. Individual registrations are grouped in double rooms. Single room on request depending availability, a supplement is charged. Dinner is at the hotel or a nearby restaurant. Lunch is a picnic.
Group size: 5 to 8 people. Circuits in small groups offer many advantages. We will have a better group feeling during hikes and meals. The use of a minibus saves transfer time to have more free time. On the trails of the Calanques, sinuous and sometimes narrow or with short “technical” passages, it is desirable to be a small group to avoid excessive waiting times and allow a more personalized attention from the guide. Price: 745-765 € Level: This trip is for experienced hikers since paths are stony and they need some attention. The routes running through the Calanques are sometimes steep and include brief passages equipped and secured (chains or small ladder rungs are present). The path sometimes crosses short rocky ledges that may require that you use your hands. Guided by a professional who knows the area perfectly well, these small technical passages will not pose any particular difficulties. The altitude change during ascent is around 300 to 600 m during 5-6 walking hours per day. Walking times are indicative and calculated for discovery walkers (300m/h during ascent). Your luggage is transported by taxi on days 1 and 4. This luggage (one per person) must be a flexible travel or sports bag (suitcase not allowed) and must have a reasonable weight (maximum 12kg). Luggage that is too large and heavy may be refused by the carrier. During the day you only take your backpack with you (30L minimum recommended) containing your belongings useful for hiking (picnic, warm clothing, canteen...)
I am a mountain leader in Queyras, I propose hikes and travels to places which I am deeply fond of and I know very well: Queyras and its bordering valleys, the Calanques, Nepal, Crete, Kosovo and Macedonia.
If you have already organised your trip (accommodation, transports, etc), I can propose a day or half day hiking or snowshoeing. Otherwise, we can design together a project adjusted to your desires, based on the trips presented below.
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Group of 1
|EUR 3775 each|
Group of 2
|EUR 1888 each|
Group of 3
|EUR 1258 each|
Group of 4
|EUR 944 each|
Group of 5
|EUR 755 each|
Want a different number of travellers?
- Guiding fee
- Transport during the trip
- Luggage transfer during the trip
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner