Sunday, 4 October 2015

A mini-guide to CASSIS, French Riviera.

In southern France, picture-postcard fishing villages are not hard to come by.  However as my time in the area was limited I did some research to uncover the hidden gems.  All the reviews led me to the small, colourful harbour side town of Cassis, perched on the edge of the Calanques national park.  Cassis is characterised by narrow streets and pastel-coloured buildings all wrapped around a large harbour of yachts and fishing trawlers.  Typical of the Côte d’Azur, this place is brimming with vibrancy and sophistication.

Cassis harbour

What to do in Cassis

  • Take a boat ride from Cassis harbour to explore the turquoise coves and inlets of the rugged Calanques coastline.  Protected as a national park, this stretch of coastline is one of the most dramatic in France.  It is a haven for hikers, divers, climbers and a great place to relax in the sun.  Most parts of the park are not accessible by road – access is by foot or by sea from Cassis or Marseille.
  • Enjoy local seafood in one of the town’s many authentic Provençal restaurants.  A particular delicacy in this area is bouillabaisse, a seafood stew made with a variety of different fish and shellfish.  However, it is worth noting that restaurants in Cassis (along with the French Riviera as a whole) have a tendency to be rather costly.
  • Stroll around the pretty harbourside area and wander through the colourful backstreets, absorbing the atmosphere.

  • Relax on one of the town’s lovely beaches and soak up the Mediterranean sunshine.  This area prides itself as being the sunniest part of France, with the nearby city of Marseille clocking up 264 sunny days each year (Météo France statistics). Despite the sunny skies, the sea was particularly rough on the day I visited, which made for some pretty dramatic photographs! I’m not sure if the sea is always like this here, but it was certainly pretty cool to watch!

  • Visit the nearby historic seaport city of Marseille (approx. 30 kilometres to the west of Cassis by road).

This is the second of a series of posts on my journey through the beautiful French Riviera.  Check out this post for my thoughts on the historic town of Hyères, and keep updated over the coming day and weeks for my thoughts on Le Lavandou, Théoule sur Mer and Menton!  Thank you so much for reading, and feel free to leave any comments in the section below.

Elis Griffiths. x