A last minute change of plans during a trip to Provence left a friend and I looking for accommodation between St Tropez and Marseille the night before catching a flight from Marseille. Where should we overnight that would be enjoyable but also within easy reach of the airport? It looked like an opportunity to explore Cassis had landed in our laps.
About 20 kilometres east of Marseille, Cassis sits nestled at the foot of high cliffs and gazes out at the Mediterranean. It is a good place from which to explore the spectacular calanques (inlets) along this stretch of coast. This one-time fishing village, now a picturesque little town, is a maze of narrow streets that all seem to lead to the sea.
|Cassis Cafe, France|
Sadly having arrived late the night before and needing to depart at lunchtime we didn’t have time to see the calanques (on the positive side – it gives us good reason to return!) Still, we awoke to a beautiful spring morning, enjoyed breakfast in the sunshine on the quayside overlooking the boats and the thirteenth century castle, and set out exploring.
|Exploring Cassis, Provence, France|
On foot we ventured along quiet residential streets bountiful with window-boxes and flowers, and headed towards the centre. We treated ourselves to locally made light, crunchy biscuits and enjoyed admiring the fountains, street shrines and various boutique shops around town.
Cassis has a history of attracting artists and as you stroll around on a bright and sunny day it is easy to see why as you admire the colourful town, hillside vineyards and harbour.
It is also a town that recognises its fishing heritage and has a court dedicated to fishing. The court houses a statue of Saint Peter, patron saint of fishermen, which is the focus of the festival of the sea that takes place each year in June.
We only scratched the surface of Cassis, but I was still impressed enough to want to go back. Cassis is a beautiful town even the road leading from the highway through the vineyards and down to the harbour was pretty. Imagine exploring the calanques by sea! I’m already plotting to go back.