Visit the calanques in winter

When winter arrives in France, a visit to the calanques between Marseille and Cassis becomes the best way to warm up under the Mediterranean sun, while enjoying an absolutely marvellous landscape between land and sea.

Winter hiking in the Calanques

To feel the sun’s rays warming your back and admire the play of light created before your eyes, what could be more pleasant to experience? Winter remains the ideal time to visit the Calanques on foot. There are fewer visitors than in summer, the climate is mild (unlike in summer, when the heat is stifling) and the coastline of the Calanques National Park is still accessible, unlike in summer, when access is highly restricted and sometimes closed due to fire hazards.

Calanques of Morgiou, Sugiton and mont Puget

Starting from Luminy, you have the option of following a 14-kilometer loop that gives access to sublime coves along a steep coastal path before making the ascent to the massif’s highest point. At an altitude of 563 metres, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the Calanques from the summit of Mont Puget.

For a more precise itinerary, first take the track towards the Col de Sugiton from Luminy. About a kilometer before reaching it, follow the path down to the bottom of the valley in the Calanque of Morgiou, which takes you to a small road leading to the village and port. Then take the hillside path to reach the beautiful rocky coves of the Calanque of Sugiton. From here, you climb back up to the Col de Sugiton via the only trail accessible to hikers. When you come to a bend in the road, turn off and follow a path straight up the scree to the summit plateau. All that’s left to do is enjoy the view from the highest point!

Calanques d’En Vau et de Port-Pin

Long at 13 kilometers round trip, the hike to discover the Calanques d’En Vau and Port-Pin is mainly for the more adventurous. From the Col de la Gardiole, take the trail down into the En Vau valley to the beach of the same name. Retracing your steps, you join a track quickly giving access to the waymarked path circling the plateau and offering a view plunging over the Calanque d’En Vau. Continue on past the Piolet refuge to reach the Calanque de Port-Pin via the descent of the coast. You can make a stop on the beach of this calanque before completing the loop by rejoining the Col de la Gardiole via the Fontasse trail.

The Calanques in winter, a nature sports paradise

Beyond hiking, different nature activities can be enjoyed in winter in the Calanques such as climbing, mountain biking or even scuba diving.

Climbing in the Calanques offers a large diversity of routes to explore. A true climber’s paradise, the cliffs of the calanques will introduce you to a rich and exceptional biodiversity. If you opt for climbing, you will be invited to practice this activity with the greatest respect for the site.

Biking within the calanques offers you real sensations, it will enable you to discover this exceptional place in a different way, but be careful however, the activity is possible but strictly supervised. Only a very precise network of tracks, carriage roads and paths is authorized. Outside this zone, activity is prohibited. You may be fined if you fail to comply.

Scuba diving in the calanques invites you to discover the seabed of our beautiful Mediterranean. In these crystal-clear waters, a veritable ballet of aquatic species awaits you as you enter the world of silence. Like all activities in the Calanques, scuba diving is subject to very strict regulations. respect certain rules. Wearing a wetsuit, be sure to use the mooring buoys and rings provided for divers. You respect the species by avoiding voluntary contact with them and not feeding them. Certain zones are prohibited for scuba diving, such as the zones de protection archéologique (ZPR) located in the Cousteau triangle off the islands of Riou and Plan, and at Pointe de la Voile at Cap Morgiou.

Outings and excursions by sea

If you’re not into nature hikes or any other physical activity, you can visit the calanques by boat for an original experience. Tours are available all year round, departing from Marseille’s Vieux-Port. From this initial location, you’ll enjoy incredible scenery throughout your boat ride. You’ll have a view of Marseille’s harbor, the islands of Frioul and Château d’If and the Calanques coastline. You can also discover the calanques by sailboat accompanied by a professional skipper who will offer you an introduction to sailing. A connoisseur of the calanques, your guide will take you to places to which only boats have access.

Want to visit the calanques by boat without other tourists? It’s possible to opt for a private boat tour where you decide which way to go according to your whims. For this kind of adventure, we advise you to book with licensed professionals so you can enjoy your stay with peace of mind.

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