Trail: Les Calanques – Cassis – Marseille

Philippe and I were a little bored of our own playground here in the Côte d’Azur and decided to go two hours West and visit Les Calanques by Marseille. We left Nice with a full packed car: climbing gear, trail running gear and our camera.

View from Paroi des toits (© Philippe Gatta)
View from Paroi des toits (© Philippe Gatta)

Saturday was spent rock climbing on the fantastic cliff called Paroi des Toits offering a spectacular sea view. We had the cliff all to ourselves! But the big challenge this weekend was to do a 36 km long trail and a film at the same time…

Video of Les Calanques (© P. & A. Gatta)

Here is the video of the Trail

After a huge breakfast in our hotel in Cassis, a beautiful village by the sea, we started the trail in Port Miou. We quickly understood that we had underestimated the elevation gain – after a few hours we noticed we hadn’t done many kilometers but loads of elevation gain. And loads of great filming = time consuming :-) The thing with Les Calanques is that it’s so beautiful and we just had to put it all on film. We continued to run into the Calanques, out again, up and down. The scenery changed constantly from vertical rock faces, fisherman villages, vast open spaces, small turquoise blue inlets and forest trails.

Arriving late back in Cassis, we had a double pasta and double dessert before driving home!

Anna above the Falaises du Devenson (© Philippe Gatta)
Anna above the Falaises du Devenson (© Philippe Gatta)

Small fisherman village, Morgiou (© Philippe Gatta)
Small fisherman village, Morgiou (© Philippe Gatta)

Distance: 36 km, ascent: 2300 m / descent: 2300 m.

Philippe with La Candelle cliff behind (© Anna Gatta)
Philippe with La Candelle cliff behind (© Anna Gatta)

Description: start at Cassis and take the GR 51 – GR 98. Pass the Calanque (inlet) of Port Miou and continue to the Vallon d’en Vau. At the top of Vallon d’en Vau, go toward the Col de l’Oule and the Puit de l’Oule. Pass the Grotte de l’Oule and follow the trail upward to the Falaises du Devenson. Follow the ridge of the cliff toward the West, great view. Pass the Col du Devenson, join the GR 51 – GR 98 and continue along the ridge.

Leave the GR 51 – GR 98 and go down to the Pas de l’Oeil de Verre. The trail is steep and requires sometimes some scrambling. Pass La Leque and go to the Falaise des Toits (great rock climbing site). Descend toward the Torpilleur (tiny island looking like a boat) and take the trail going to the Cap Sugiton. Continue to Morgiou. There is a beach there.

From Morgiou take the trail going to the Cap Morgiou but before the cap, turn right and follow the trail to the Crête de Morgiou (amazing view). Take the left trail going down to the calanque of Sormiou. There is a small beach at Sormiou too.

From Sormiou go up to the Col des Baumettes. Follow the small road for a short while and take the trail to the Col de Morgiou. From there, follow the GR 51 – GR 98 to the Col de Sugiton and continue up to the Col de la Candelle. Go to the Cap Gros and follow the PR (yellow paint) to the Col de l’Oule.

Go back to Cassis through the Vallon d’en Vau, Port Pin and Port Miou.

Anna on the beach in Sormiou (© Philippe Gatta)
Anna on the beach in Sormiou (© Philippe Gatta)

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