Parc National des Calanques

The national park lies to the south of Marseille and on the coastline all the way to Cassis. Limestone formations, or as my dutch friend stated ‘land for fossils’, are the main feature of the area within the national park. Towering structures above you to one side and the ocean present at the base the formations. The coastline takes strange shapes with peninsular like structures shooting out into the mederteranien sea. Each creating its own little bay, this is what makes up the Calanques. A Calanque is a narrow, steep-walled inlet that is developed in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata. These structures are natives in this part of the world and can be found dotted all along the Mediterranean coast.

The park offers many hikes, each leading to a different Calanque. Some of the trails will lead you to small villages and others will lead you further into the national Park. They will all lead you to water at some point. Somuni, pictured here, is accessible from the university of Luminy. The area is very popular for hiking and climbing alike, always a smiling face somewhere along your journey. If you wish not to get wet, don’t go too close to the water. Limestone is slippery and you will become the muse of those around you when you fall in (guilty).

To visit the park is made easy by the simple transportation system around Marseille. A combination of the Metro and a bus will get you to any of the Calanques. The ultimate would be able to hike from Marseille to Cassis, it is possible and for myself maybe next time.

During the summer time viewing the Calanques from the water would be (is going to be) the choice option. The way the coast line curves, bends and breaks allows anyone to find a small bay or section of coastline with limestone monsters standing tall next to you trying to invade the sky.

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