Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cassis and Calanque Port-Pin

Sablet is in the Côtes du Rhône region of Provence, which was unfortunately an hour and forty-five minutes from my favorite place we visited. Cassis is a little village by the Mediterranean, which Rick Steves says is a poor man's St-Tropez (don't know anything about St-Tropez, but assuming it means not very glitzy), and popular with the French. I dragged Pat and the kids there to see the calanques. Calanques are inlets created by the steep sides of cliffs that line the shore of parts of the Mediterranean.

Our first stop upon arrival in Cassis was the Tourist Information Office to see if any of the three calanques were doable with three small children. Thankfully we were assured that the kids could make it to the second calanque, Port-Pin, with no problem (the first, Port-Miou, was just a dock for boats). The third calanque, Calanque d'En-Vau, would be too long (at two hours each way from Cassis) and too hard. It is supposed to be the most spectacular of the three, so I was a little disappointed, though not surprised.

Most of the way to Calanque Port-Pin was ridiculously easy, but about ten minutes or so before we reached it the path became very rocky. The rocks were extremely smooth and slippery, and Ro and Niamh both found it quite difficult.

It was well worth it though. Calanque Port-Pin was amazing (how I wish we could have gone on to d'En-Vau!). The photos I took didn't turn out so great and hardly capture the beauty of the clear, sparkling blue water. Maybe because we were there when the sun was directly overhead?

Niamh tripped in the water while wading, so we stripped her down to her skivvies and laid the wet clothes out in the sun to dry. Didn't work so well, and she had to hike back to Cassis in a wet dress.

Muriel and I on the way back to Cassis.

After we returned to Cassis, we stopped Plage du Bestouan, the beach across the street from where our car was parked, for much deserved ice-cream and some more play time. Rowan was in heaven playing in the waves.

Niamh and Muriel went down to the water for a bit, but were mostly happy to just sit and play in the sand/rocks.


  1. Emily, this looks like heaven for big kids and little kids. Thanks so much for sharing it with me. I am putting it on my list of to sees. We will have a chance to live in France for a summer in the next couple of years, so it is good to know where to go. Look look fabulous! Have you found out when you are moving?

  2. Gorgeous. . . added to my list for next time :) Thanks for the tip.