Parcours Aventure Trou Souffleur, Escalade, La Ciotat ©joomtcmparcours-aventure-trou-souffleur--la-ciotat--escalade-joomtcm--6-.mp4
Adventure course in the "Trou souffleur"-Hole Blower

Discovering the Calanques by via cordata

Discover the “via cordata” during a half-day trip in the calanques of Marseille. An adventure course accessible to all, which allows you to combine the discovery of a new sport practice, and the pleasure of the eyes…

Published on 26 August 2021
Jade Orengo
  • Marseille in 3 words

    Wonderful, diverse, native.

  • My favourite neighbourhood

    Les Goudes, and its quiet side (in the off-season) for sipping a drink and having an aperitif facing the sunset.

An excursion from La Ciotat

Adventure course in the calanques

It’s 9:20 am when our instructor, Guillaume, welcomes us at the meeting place. We are in the town of “La Ciotat”, at the entrance of the Calanques National Park. The address is easily accessible, we parked a little further down the road, and walked a few minutes to reach the starting point of the activity.

Guillaume introduces us to the course we will carry out  : a 3 hours excursion during which we will follow reminders, tyrolean traverse and via cordata on the cliffs : the program is attractive, and does not require any particular knowledge in climbing. We will then equip ourselves with a harness and a helmet, like adventurers!

Once the whole group is equipped (made up of a family of 4 and 3 couples), we can start the activity and we set off on a path, in the heart of nature…

an intermediate route between classic hiking and climbing

The sun is already high, but the heat is pleasant. We wind our way through the scrubland to get closer to the cove and reach the first stage of the route. We arrive at the top of a large rocky mass, where the instructor installs a rope. It will  be used for our first descent by ropes.

After a few tips on how  to position ourselves and get the hang of the descent, we all look at each other to see who will go first : it won’t be me! A slightly braver boy decides to take the plunge and lead the way. He then sits down facing the cliff, and with both hands on the rope, he starts to descend the wall. Each one of us takes a turn to descent by rope, down several times and end up in the hollow of a fault a little further down.

In the end, it’s not that complicated, the hardest part is getting started

Did you know?

The difference with via ferrata is that there are no cables in via cordata (also called via corda, or roped adventure course). The progression is often horizontal and requires very little fixed equipment. This practice can be considered as an intermediate between hiking and easy climbing.

Journey to the centre of the “Trou Souffleur” (Hole Blower) canyon

A magnificent landscape between steep cliffs and turquoise water

Once our feet are back on the ground, the landscape we discover is spendid. The contrast between the orange  cliffs and the turquoise water is striking. We are in the heart of the “Trou Souffleur” (Hole blower). This place is named after  the noise that can be heard when  water rushes into the rock ( a bit like a monster waking up…).

Here, in the hollow of the canyon, we are cool, sheltered from the sun and the wind. We take the opportunity to hydrate and immortalize the moment : the place is magical, the pictures speak for themselves…

An unusual experience in Marseille

Once we have all descended into the calanque, the instructor sets up  the zip line which will be used to reach the other side to continue the course. When it’s my turn, I don’t hesitate to gain momentum : a moment suspended in the air, flying over the crystal clear water.

Then we walk along the cliff, still attached with our lanyards to the “life line” that Guillaume puts in place. A cormorant shows itself to us and brushes the surface of the water. The atmosphere is friendly and everyone appreciates this original outing, in a place where few people venture.

This excursion is recommended for  children from 9 years old, but it depends on their abilities. Although some could give vertigo,  I found this excursion very accessible and fun. It doesn’t require great fitness, it’s just fun! (the most tiring part was the return because it was necessary to walk everything up again, but it lasts 5 minutes).

Good to know

Climbing trips in the calanques

This route is offered for people who wish to learn this practice in a fun way. But there are also longer and more complex outings, in order to discover the calanques in a different way. Sugiton, Sormiou, Luminy : the National Park is a privileged playground to discover climbing in Marseille.