As Frédéric Mistral, the famous Provençal poet, said: "Whoever has seen Paris and not Cassis, has seen nothing". According to the number of visitors on holiday in Provence who visit this small fishing port every year, this must be the "true truth". Between sea and cliff, calanques and sun, Cassis (whose final "s" is not pronounced) is a mecca for tourism in Provence and one of the most beautiful villages in South of France. Its picturesque little port is the center of this small village with its many bars and restaurants bordering the quays and making it an essential stopover if you are planning to come to Provence.
Small in size, Cassis sees its population increase during the summer season, and you have to get there early to find a parking spot! The old quarters are absolutely charming, with shaded and cool squares where you can stroll after a hot day and of course play bowls.
A little history
The first vestiges of life in Cassis can be traced back to antiquity, as testified by the Cosquer cave, now closed to the public. The small port depends on its fishing. Cassis stone has also been exploited since antiquity in the largest ports around the Mediterranean.
In the 15th century, the city became part of the Comté de Provence.
It was not until the 18th century that Cassis expanded. Today, its fame is mainly due to its beaches and calanques, its small port and its wine.
History tells us that Cassis stones are the foundation of the Statue of Liberty in New York.
The first experience with Cassis usually begins with a long and desperate search for a parking spot. Even if you arrived early, it's not easy. After these efforts, comes the comfort and spectacle that the city and its coasts provide at first. Small charming alleys typical of Provençal villages, a very pleasant tourist port with a multitude of bars, restaurants, ice-cream shops, then comes the sea, the beach and the calanques which are never very far away. Cassis restaurants will often offer you typical dishes based on fresh seafood products. In short, this small fishing port will not stop surprising you or attract more and more enthusiasts.
When you sit on a restaurant terrace on the port, you can also taste the production of the famous Cassis vineyards, which produce excellent whites and rosés. The Cassis vineyard was one of the very first appellations of controlled origin with Sauternes and Châteauneuf du Pape. Grown exclusively in the commune of Cassis, which is rare enough to be mentioned. The most accomplished or motivated tasters can meet the twelve winegrowers of the region. The winegrowers are pleased to introduce visitors to tasting. This wine, which has the particularity of "dancing in the glass", goes perfectly with a good bouillabaisse.
Beaches and calanques of Cassis
But Cassis is above all the sea and its calanques: the perfect place for a stay in the sun. They extend as far as Marseille, and the city is located in the heart of the Calanques National Park.
A small typical port but also a famous seaside resort, the city of Cassis is busy during the summer.
For the less adventurous, the 2 beaches of Cassis are located a stone's throw from the city center. For the others, by taking the Promenade des Lombards, you can reach two accessible creeks while contemplating the magnificent landscapes of the Cap Canaille. From the Calanque de Port Miou it is possible to reach the calanques of Port Pin and En Vau, which are the essential ones of the calanques of Cassis, at the end of a hike. The excursion will lead you to magnificent and wild views. Remember to bring your masks and snorkels because diving in Cassis, in its turquoise waters, can be a real pleasure for the eyes.
Trails connect Marseille to Cassis for more than 20 kilometres. To go in the calanques, we usually start from Cassis. Magical and bewitching places, the calanques of Cassis are a delight for all marine activity lovers, from boating, fishing, diving or simply swimming.
Hiking enthusiasts will have a great time as the possibilities are so numerous. Be careful, however, if you have children, the journey can sometimes be difficult. Bring water, good walking shoes, and remember to pick up your garbage behind you.
Stay in Cassis
If you want to enjoy this Provencal jewel for longer, why not consider renting a holiday in a holiday residence, a hotel in Cassis or, why not in an apartment hotel in Cassis?
The best way to discover the region
Are you on holiday in the region and want to go for a walk? Feel free to test our hikes!