Nature in Cassis

It surrounds the village on every flank with an unspoilt, colourful belt: to the north the tender green of the vineyards, to the south the indigo of the wide open sea, to the east the ochre of Cap Canaille, to the west the white of the cliffs and the turquoise of the Calanques.

Here nature offers the rambler an infinity of panoramas, an infinity of activities for the diver, hiker or rock-climber... to everyone whose best memories are born in the most beautiful landscapes.

Cassis Calanques

Calanques National Park


The geographical heart of the Parc National des Calanques, Cassis – one of the most beautiful places in the world – was determined to make a strong and innovative commitment to this unspoilt area for the benefit of its inhabitants. And to achieve this, Cassis has created and put in place an innovative concept: the ‘sustainable territory’.




cap canaille


"Canaille" comes from the Latin "Canalis mons", which means "mountain of the waters, of the aqueducts", or from the Provençal "Cap naïo", the "mountain that swims, that juts out into the sea".
To the east of the harbour and the village, Cap Canaille forms an immense stone rampart. This mountain’s cliffs are the highest maritime cliffs in Europe. Their summit is the Grande Tête with its 394 m sheer cliff. The Cap Canaille massif is a listed site.

Not to be missed!

The Crêtes tourist route

This 15 km long road snakes its way through the massif taking you to La Ciotat. It offers 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. Well-equipped car parks allow you to stop off to admire the panorama.
On foot or by bicycle: a hiking trail (12 km one way) allows you explore the massif.




The ‘Petit Prince’ path

This wondrous route is dedicated to the memory of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who died for France.
The “Petit Prince” path allows you to discover the Calanques and was created in the framework of an “integration scheme”. It is punctuated by 11 stations presenting the riches and particularities of the Calanques.
Going around the Port Miou peninsula, it is accessible to everyone for a walk, lasting about an hour, that will take you on a tour of the deepest of the Calanques (Port Miou 1.5 km).

We ask you to respect the site, not to smoke, and to bring back your waste and sort it at your place of residence.

Listed for its landscapes, the Calanques massif is a veritable seaside mountain. It’s a fragile area that is home to a large number of protected plant and animal species.
The other Calanques sites are accessible after a sporting hike lasting several hours along rugged, rocky paths.
In order to access these areas, it is essential to wear walking shoes and appropriate cloths, and to take an IGN map and a sufficient amount of water with you.




The activities

Fauna and Flora

The flora


Don’t take this dry and arid landscape at face value! The Calanques are home to an incredibly rich floristic heritage, with 900 species identified (38 protected and 43 remarkable)! 11% of the plant species present in France can be found in this chalky universe…
Some species are even typical of the site: for example, you will only be able to find the Provence Sandwort (Arenaria provincialis) in the Calanques.


Marine flora and fauna


The sea bottom abounds with an incredible plant and animal life, symbols of the water’s purity. The submarine fauna of the Calanques counts more than 60 heritage species.

The fauna


Numerous species of reptiles, insects and birds are now emblematic of the region.

As you walk around the Calanques, perhaps you will come face to face with an ocellated lizard, the largest in Europe or even a southern smooth snake.
If you look carefully at the cliffs you may spot the nest of a kestrel or of a pallid swift.

On the horizon you’ll be able to admire the “Gabians”, the Provençal seagulls, circling in the azure blue skies.

And with a bit of luck and a lot of patience the majestic Bonelli eagle will perhaps appear as you wander along the cliffs…