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Sausset les Pins

The small commune of Sausset les Pins lies halfway between Carry-le-Rouet and La Couronne (a district of the commune of Martigues). Always cited in combination with Carry-le-Rouet, Sausset les Pins has nonetheless managed to gain its independence. Its port and fishing-related activities make it an attractive, authentic Côte Bleue destination.

A little history

The Latin origin of its name is based on two different explanations: “dry soil” or “salt pans“.

In either case, Sausset was originally a modest fishing hamlet dependent on its neighbor, Carry-le-Rouet. Just 100 years ago, in 1924, it became independent, and since then the town has undergone significant development, while retaining its center around its quays.

The fishing industry remains firmly rooted here, and is diversifying to include sport fishing as a complement to traditional methods. For a taste of fresh seafood, head to the port’s west mole every morning, with the exception of Thursdays, where less than ten stalls make up a fish market that’s well worth a visit.

Heritage and urban art

The municipality of Sausset-les-Pins has chosen to display resolutely contemporaryurban art in the heart of the town. A variety of artists, all skilled in the use of paintbrushes, aerosols, stencils and other tools of artistic creation, have taken part, displaying their talents in different locations. Find the works on walls, bus shelters, not forgetting mosaics and sculptures that line the public space.

Some noteworthy works :

  • The Serge fresco at the tourist office.
  • The port fresco by Auguste Cantareil, evoking fishing and celebrating a centuries-old tradition.
  • The sculpture of the gabians taking flight, celebrating the commune’s 60th anniversary since 1984.
  • The bronze sculpture of dolphins commemorates the 30th anniversary of the creation, in 1957, of the European Economic Community, forerunner of our European Union. It also pays tribute to those who died at sea.
  • The traditional fishing boat, Fanny, built at the Borg shipyard in Marseille in 1929.
  • A full-size replica of a 12-metre whale’s tail fin, which serves as a bench on the seafront of the Grand Nid beach.

The tourist office offers visitors a free heritage guide detailing all the works.

Another point of interest worth a visit is the very large private residence overlooking the harbour. This is the imposing“Château Charles-Roux“, built in the 19th century by its eponymous patron, whose imposing stature makes it a remarkable landmark for approaching ships. Today, it houses luxury apartments and is not open to the public.

Our advice

We advise you to visit Sausset les Pins on Sunday mornings, to discover the town and enjoy the lively street market. Then head along the corniche, where you can swim on the supervised beaches and enjoy a selection of restaurants with sea views.

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A town for water sports

Sausset les Pins, like the Côte Bleue in general, is ideal for water sports and hiking (with several trails, notably the GR51 or sentier des Douaniers).

Beaches complete the picture, to the delight of bathers.

From east to west, there’s the family-friendly beach of Les Baumettes, made up of sand and gravel. Then there are the wild coves. Continuing westwards, you reach the tobacco-free beaches of Rives d’Or, which run along the Avenue du Général Leclerc. Just before the port, there’s the beach of Vieux Saussetois, made up of pebbles. After the port of Sausset, along the Corniche Jacques Chirac, you’ll reach the Petit Nid beach and the wilder Grand Nid cove. Leaving the commune via the Route de la Couronne (D49), you reach theAnse de Boumandariel, home to the small Plage du four à chaux, and finally the Plage des Tambours.

The fête de la Saint-Pierre: a long-standing tradition in Provence

On the 1st Sunday in July, the whole village gathers at the port to celebrate the patron saint of fishermen.

From the church to the port, Sausset fishermen lead their patron saint in a procession, perched on his boat. Each stop in the procession is punctuated by Provencal dances.
The mayor and parish priest board the boat housing the saint’s statue. They are followed by a procession of around a hundred boats.

Offshore, the priest pronounces a blessing in homage to those who perished at sea. Then it was the turn of the mayor to throw flowers into the water. All the boats’ foghorns sound to signal the return to port. The day closes with an aperitif and a tasting of the traditional bourride, a dish based on fish, seafood and vegetables.

Top 5 things to do in Sausset les Pins

1/ Explore the Boumandariel reed bed and botanical trail, the Côte Bleue’s only 10-hectare coastal wetland

2/ Discover the works of art that make up the Sausset les Pins urban trail

3/ Taste seafood and sea urchins (fishing of which is now subject to draconian restrictions) on a Sunday in January during the Sausset les Pins Sea Festival

4/ Stroll around the garden of the Salle des Arts et de la Culture, equipped with a

5/ Ride your electric or muscle bike along the seafront to Carry-le-Rouet (to the east) or La Couronne (to the west).