Gites and beds & breakfasts in the Calanques

Cassis and the Calanques
The Calanques are one of the most beautiful places in France. Their turquoise water is a dream.

A calanque is a steep-sided valley formed within karstic regions either by fluvial erosion or the collapse of the roof of a cave that has been subsequently partially submerged by a rise in sea level.

The Calanques in our departement are one of the most famous examples of Calanque. Their area is very large : they extend on 20 km in length and 4 km in width along the coast between Marseille and Cassis, culminating in Marseilleveyre (432 m) and Mont Puget (565 m).

The Massif des Calanques includes the Calanque de Sormiou, the Calanque de Morgiou, the Calanque d'En-Vau, the Calanque de Port-Pin and the Calanque de Sugiton. There are additional calanques further east along the coast.

The Calanques are protected and their natural diverty preserved. A National Park dedicated to the Massif des Calanques has been created in 2012. The calanques have a particular ecosystem, as soil is almost non-existent there, and the limestone cliffs instead contain numerous cracks into which the roots of plants are anchored. Nevertheless, the biota is diverse, with over 900 plant species, including a number of endemics like the Marseille Tragacanth and Sabline de Marseille : members of the Papilionaceae family, which can only be found in the hills of Marseille. The Calanques also a shelter for rabbits, foxes, large crows and the Bonelli eagle, as well as many reptiles and wild boars.

The calanques between Marseille and Cassis offer several vantage points (such as the Corniche des Crêtes and Cap Canaille), allowing spectacular panoramas. A great number of hikers frequent the area, following numerous pre-marked trails. The cliffs are also used as training spots for rock climbers. Finally, boat tours are also available starting either from Marseille, Cassis or La Ciotat, which can provide for some spectacular sightseeing.
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