Just got back from the magical vacation ever in the South of France. This is a trip I have wanted to do for awhile and I am so so glad it finally worked out! Provence is truly a special place, full of artisans, stunning landscape, French food and beachesJust got back from the most magical vacation ever in the South of France. This is a trip I have wanted to do for awhile and I am so so glad it finally worked out! Provence is truly a special place, full of artisans, stunning landscape, French food and beaches, and I hope if it is on your list you can make it someday ( and if it is not on your list maybe you will be inspired by the photos below.Day One- Arrive and Settle In
Just got back from the more magical vacation ever in the South of France. This is a trip I have wanted to do for awhile and I am so so glad it finally worked out! Provence is truly a special place, full of artisans, stunning landscape, French food and beaches. If it is on your list I hope you are able to make it soon, and if it is not on your list I hope you get inspired by the photos below!
Day One- Arrive and Settle In
We left Toronto on a Friday night and got into Marseille around 11am that Saturday morning. We picked up our car ( adorable Fiat 500, my go to European rental) and then made our way to Cassis.
Cassis is the most charming little French fishing village just 45 minutes outside of Marseille. It is nestled between two protected ecological attractions so while the town has gotten more developed it still has a very old school South of France vibe. We were able to snag an amazing little studio apartment on Airbnb just five minutes from the beach and in the centre of town. It even had a balcony! We spent the first afternoon getting acquainted with the town, wondering down all the cute colourful streets and then tucked in for a dinner of moules frites at a restaurant facing the harbour.
Day Two- Hike the Calanques
One of the main draws to Cassis is their proximity to “Les Calanques” a whole national park full of naturally created inlets with the best secret beaches. These beaches are not so secret anymore but still absolutely beautiful, they can be accessed via boat or by foot trails.
Our plan was to hit the three closest beaches to Cassis ( also the three busiest- if you can I would recommend going to further ones by boat or driving to the park and then hiking in). We picked up breakfast at a boulangeries around the corner from our flat and set off for our walk to the calanques. We walked to the western edge of Cassis where we found the entrance to the park ( very easy to Google Maps). Our first stop of the day was Port Miou, a pretty developed Calanque full of haboured boats. Despite the development it is still stunning a great review of what is to come.
Next we made it to the Calanque de Port Pin where we rested for a bit in the trees. It was incredibly hot this day but most of the walking is actually in the trees which was amazing. I would definitely recommend a hat for this activity though.
Finally, we made it our destination- Calanque d’En Vau! A absolutely gorgeous little bay with a beach. It was a surprisingly steep hike down and I would only recommend if you are wearing proper attire. We made it down in our Sperrys but I was pretty scared of twisting an ankle. The rock face of this bay is particularly stunning and so we hung out, hard lunch and enjoyed our surroundings for quite a while.
After being sufficiently rested, we headed back and decided to cool off in the water by Port Miou. We found a great little rock to drop our stuff on so we could swim in peace whilst keeping an eye. On the way to the park you also pass Bestouan Beach, which looked like a great beach with two little beach side clubs where you could swim as well. If we had more time in Cassis this looked like a great place to spend a day.
Tonight we got dinner at Restaurant Le Bonaparte, which I would highly recommend. Great service and amazing classic French menu!
Three- Cap Canaille
We had originally planned to spend the day driving down the highway and seeing other Mediterranean towns such as Saint Tropez, but we ended up being so in love with Cassis we opted to stay and spend a quiet day in town. The drive to Saint Tropez is only two hours and does look quite beautiful so I still think it’s worth the consideration if you have a bit more time here!
I could go on and on about how much I love Cassis but mostly I will just drop a ton of photos here so you can see for yourself. To me it is quintessentially South of France, very colourful houses, a harbour full of sail boats and patio laden streets. We did like French do and enjoyed a slow morning sipping cafe au laits and croissants outside in the habour, read by the beach and stopped by a couple stores in town.
In the afternoon we made our way to the other ecological wonder in Cassis, Cap Canaille which is the highest seaside cliff in all of France. The road up is featured on many bike races and has spectacular views. To be honest at certain points we weren’t sure our little Fiat would make it to the top of the street hill but he did!
For our last dinner in town we headed to La Nonna D’oro, where we had moules gratinees a local speciality which is to die for. We ended up ordering this a lot this trip, it was so good! Imagine the best part of escargot ( the herb butter) with super fresh grilled mussels, I am seriously getting hungry just thinking about it!
Welp! That was it for our time in Cassis. It was only three days but I left feeling like I really knew the town and I can say for sure I will be coming back. Everyone we interacted with was lovely, the restaurants were great and the proximity to extraordinary nature truly make this place special.
Stay tuned for details about the rest of our trip, from our time in Gourdes, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon!