Feel Cassis with our top 5 sensory experiences…
See astonishingly vivid sea colours created by the Calanques as you look down from the Crêtes tourist trail
Hear the unmistakeable chirp of cicadas in the summer heat
Smell brandade (salt cod), a speciality along the coast between Cassis and Aubagne
Taste the famous local white wine during a tour of the vineyards by electric bike
Touch some of the 900 identified plant species growing around Cassis.
Cassis is a charming fishing port on Provence’s Bouches-du-Rhône coast, sheltering at the foot of a dramatic rocky outcrop (Cap Canaille) crowned by a 14th-century château, and protected by the white limestone Calanques. It attracts visitors in their droves to its Vieux Port with bustling restaurants, to the shingle beaches, and to row upon row of pristine vineyards which produce the famous eponymous wine. You can explore the gently undulating landscape of the Cassis vineyards by electric bike under the leadership of a local guide, pausing at its fantastic viewpoints. The official route includes two stops at AOC Cassis wineries where you will be able to taste the region’s famous dry and fruity whites.
Outdoorsy types are in paradise in Cassis, whose rugged natural drama has to be seen to be believed. The 15km-long Crêtes tourist route snakes its way through the Cap Canaille massif towards La Ciotat, offering spectacular views of the Golfe de Cassis, the Calanques, the Riou archipelago in Marseille harbour to the west and as far as Var to the east. A hiking trail also allows you explore the area on foot or by bike. The Calanques are home to diverse flora and fauna, with 900 identified plant species and numerous reptiles, insects and birds – but many would say the magic really happens underwater, where astonishing marine life lives in the crystal clear waters and can be experienced from a boat, or on a dive along the Cassis underwater trail. Cassis has its fair share of culture to offer visitors too, having attracted writers Frédéric Mistral and Virginia Woolf as well as numerous artists and filmmakers over the years. Don’t miss a visit to the municipal museum and the Four Banal, the 17th-century communal oven in the historic fishermen’s quarter.