Marseille – Parc National des Calanques

When we think of France, Paris and its Eiffel Tower comes to mind faster than everything else. Not to mention that every other cities in France have their own unique attractions, Marseille is a total worth to visit.

Location: Marseille, France
Entrance fee: Free. Who doesn’t love free trips?
Suitable for: Everyone who loves nature

Marseille is a port city with a rich cultural heritage and wonderful nature. It is one of those places in the world where you can never get enough exploring. The city itself offers a lot of historical buildings intermingled with modern architectures, delicious dishes (of course, it’s France!), and amiable local people.

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Activities captured at the Calanque du Sugiton.

The first time I saw this National Park at a Marseille travel guide, I decided that I would definitely go there, despite the fact that my ankle was not fully healed after getting sprained about a month earlier.

There are several ways to reach the calanques, either by using public transport, private vehicles, boat tours, or kayaking. The easiest way to reach the national park is by taking bus 21 towards Luminy from Castellane. The bus ends at Luminy, which is close to the entrance of the national park. There are signs everywhere and the path is quite easy to follow.

From Luminy, we may choose which calanques to visit along with its diverse range of activities; be it just a walk through the park, swimming or snorkeling, or even rock climbing. The most popular destination is Calanque de Sugiton and Cassis. I, instead, climbed up to the Bel Vedere to see the spectacular view of the coastlines.

The course is at an intermediate level with some rough rocky paths to reach the top. Make sure that you wear comfortable outfit and non slippery shoes for safety. Do not forget to carry your own water and food since it is a national park where commercial activity is not allowed. And last, always check the weather before going.

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The boat tour offers calming experience by surrounding ourselves with coastal view. If you wish to jump off the water, try kayak instead of boat tours.

If you fancy traveling by boat, there is an option to go from the old port (Le Vieux Port) which offers breathtaking views of the whole calanques. The price range for a boat trip is €25 – €30 return, depending the on the length of travel (two or three hours). The best seat is at the front of the boat where you can experience the mediterranean breeze and unobstructed views of the beautiful calanques.

I personally enjoyed both traveling by boat and climbing up from Luminy, as they offer different kind of feelings. If you are physically fit and up to challenges, you may try the kayak experience to reach one of the calanques instead and pamper yourself by swimming in between the indescribably beautiful mediterranean coasts. After all, mother nature never fails to soothe us.

Note: If you travel by private vehicles, pay attention during the summer time, between July and August, where some of the roads are closed due to fire danger. 

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