Les Calanques – Marseille’s Hidden Mediterranean Paradise

August 2019.

I had been jobless for a few months, so if I really wanted vacays, they had got to be cheap! So I booked a Flixbus (a European low-cost bus company) and the cheapest (and lousiest) hostel I could find in Marseille, France, and hit the road!

Marseille is only six hours away from my hometown, Turin, and as I mentioned in my previous post, it is a city of contrasts, yet unique and fascinating nonetheless.

However, even though the city has so much to offer, its most precious treasure is hidden just outside its limits, in the “Parc Nacional des Calanques”.

What Is a “Calanque

There is no precise English word that can translate “calanque“. The closest term would probably be “fjord”. Basically, you mix a Norwegian fjord and a Southern European, Mediterranean landscape and voilà, you get a calanque!

How To Get There?

There are several calanques you can visit within the National Park. One of the most popular ones (and the one I visited) is Calanque de Sormiou. There are two ways you can get there:

  1. The boring way

Rent a car, pay the entrance fee to the park and drive all the way to the calanque.

2. The fun way

If you enjoy trekking, go to Sormiou village by car or public bus, follow the track that goes past the entrance to the park (no fee if you’re on foot), enjoy the scenery and take lots of selfies while walking up and down the hills! Don’t forget to bring a cap, sunglasses, sunscreen and plenty of water with you.

Pros and cons

Pros: you will get a chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of a rough Mediterranean landscape and its clear blue water. There is a beach where you can relax and a restaurant where you can eat or buy food and drinks.

Cons: the beach is rather small, overcrowded and, just like most Mediterranean beaches, rocky.

Low-cost vacations can be fun. After all, I’m not going after fancy hotels, but rather after fancy sceneries.

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