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Hiking to Cassis calanques and on Cezanne footsteps : Aix en Provence

Hiking to Cassis calanques and on Cezanne footsteps : Aix en Provence


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There are no compromises or half-measures here: the landscapes along the jagged coastline paths in the "Calanques" are as dramatic as the cities are rich in their architecture, history, and culture. The jagged white limestone along the coast reflects the deep blues of the Med Sea, creating a symphony of turquoise inlets of the famous "Calanques".

These inlets stretch from Marseille to Cassis, both of which you'll explore at length. You finish in style in Aix en Provence, atop the narrow spine of the Sainte Victoire mountain, famous with Cezanne paintings, from where an uncomparable panorama is unveiled.

Important : this itinerary is not recommended to a person afraid of heights

Please note  : Very busy time and sup on the Grand Prix of Castelet (End of June) and on the Cassis marathon (End of October )  

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • 1 dinner included
  • Spectacular and dramatic coastal walking in the Calanques
  • Swimming opportunities during the walks
  • Local fish and seafood specialties
  • Marseille city
  • The lovely village of Cassis
  • The architectural and cultural heritage of Aix en Provence & its markets
  • Walking to the summit of the Sainte Victoire mountain

Day 1

    • Distance :
    • 10km
    • Elevation :
    • + 10m
      - 10m

Marseille the Magnificent and the Frioul Islands 

hiking in provence from marseille

  • Marseille > The islands > Marseille (1h30 to 3h)
  • Our suggestion: we highly recommend an extra night in Marseille, to enjoy this vibrant & cosmopolitan town !
  • Your holiday begins in the bustling Mediterranean city of Marseille in the morning, and your hotel right in the center on the old port. Founded by the Greeks 2600 years ago, Marseille is the oldest city in France. A cosmopolitan pot-pourri of neighbourhoods, culture, and architecture, Marseille itself would suffice as a week-long walking holiday. 
    From the picturesque Vieux Port, your ferry takes you to "Chateau d'If" island, famous with the novel of "Monte Cristo" (30min crossing). Another 15 mn ferry crossing takes you to the Frioul Islands. Other than the restaurants that you find in the port area, the islands are a protected oasis of wilderness. Rare plants are sprinkled around the sun-bleached walking paths with great viewpoints of the city and swimming opportunities along the way. Return by ferry to the Old Port.
  • Night in Marseille. 
  • Market : Fish market every morning on the old port : a genuine ambiance ! 
  • Access: Regular train lines from Paris-Avignon-Aix en Provence>Marseille city center -
    Regular bus lines from Marseille airport>Marseille city center 

Day 2

    • Distance :
    • 12km
    • Elevation :
    • + 200m
      - 460m

The famous Calanques of Cassis 

walking tours of provence

  • The Gardiole pass > Calanque En Vau > Calanque Port Pin > Cassis (4h ) 
  • A 30-min private taxi transfer takes you to the Col de la Gardiole pass, high above the Calanques of Cassis. You're among a garrigue vegetation of shrubs and aromatic herbs, their perfume concentrated by the penetrating Mediterranean sun. Soon you find a shaded and deeply encased valley that descends in tight zigzags towards the sea, and here you reach the Calanque of En Vau
    This is followed a short but steep climb through the jagged limestone to reach the Calanque of Port Pin, a narrow finger-of-an-inlet complete with a sandy beach, the perfect stop for your secluded picnic.
    The third Calanque is Port Miou, over a kilometre long but ultra-thin, lined on both sides by picturesque sailboats sheltered in this quiet cove. You walk straight into the centre of Cassis, a small village set on the Mediterranean, just a handful of narrow streets, restaurants huddled tightly around its port.
  • Dinner included and night in Cassis. 
  • Market on Wednesday morning in Cassis
  • Please note : From June 1st to September 30th,  there is no car access to the Gardiole pass.  You will then need to walk 2km along the road to reach the Col de la Gardiole.

Day 3

    • Distance :
    • 12km
    • Elevation :
    • + 500m
      - 500m

Cap Canaille cliffs

walking tour cassis provence

  • Cassis > La Ciotat > Cassis (4h)
  • You begin your walk in Cassis, on a small country lane surrounded by vines. Then via a wide track you climb towards Cap Canaille. At just under 400m Cap Canaille is the highest sea cliff in France, and one of the highest in Europe. Facing the vast expanse of the Mediterranean Sea the 360° view is incomparable, including the bay of Cassis below. 
    From here, the walking path remains above the vertiginous cliff (without getting too close!) as you make your way along the impressive coastline. Your walk leads into the adjacent town of La Ciotat, with its stunning port, naval construction site, and its sandy beaches (and you've earned a swim!). 
    5pm : A taxi is waiting for you in La Ciotat for a transfer back to Cassis ( transfer not included, cost around 25/30 €uros)
  • Night in Cassis. 

Day 4

Aix en Provence, town of art & culture

tours of provence in aix en provence

  • Cassis > Aix en Provence 
  • It's a free day of leisure without a planned walk. In the early afternoon - after a great lunch in Cassis at a terrace - you are transferred to the beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence. Aix is a lively university town and unapologetically bourgeois: regal stone fountains line the Cours Mirabeau, behind which 17th and 18th century mansions now house chic shops and banks. A labyrinth of winding streets in the centre of town unveil a wealth of historic buildings, squares, and shops of all kinds. 
  • Night in Aix-en-Provence. 
  • Market every morning on the "town hall" square, and BIG market on Saturday morning in Aix en Provence

Day 5

    • Distance :
    • 10km
    • Elevation :
    • + 650m
      - 620m

Montagne Sainte Victoire : on Cezanne footstep

aix en provence lavender sainte victoire

  • Aix en Provence > Bimont dam > Vauvenargues > Aix en Provence (4h30 )
  • A short morning transfer takes you to the Bimont dam, at the imposing foot of the Sainte Victoire mountain. It's here that the impressionist painter Cézanne tirelessly painted landscapes, immortalizing the mountain ahead. A jagged spine soars to the 1000m summit and that is your day's goal. And though it may look imposing the climb is steep but there is no scrambling involved. On a clear day from the summit the snow-peaked Alps are visible to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Once at the the top you can choose to continue walking along the spine, or descend due south to the village of Vauvenargues, where Pablo Picasso found his eternal rest. A local bus will take you back to Aix en Provence. ( not included)
  • Night in Aix en Provence. 

Day 6

Bye Bye Provence

market of provence tomatoes good food

  • Your walking adventure ends after breakfast. Have this last day match with a Saturday, and you will experience the great & big Saturday morning market of Aix en Provence !  Really worth it ...
  • Unless you'd like to continue onwards in the Luberon
  • Return: Regular train lines from Aix en Provence station > Marseille
    Regular bus lines from Aix en Provence > Avignon & Marseille airport 

  • Continue onwards your exploration of Provence in the Luberon or the French Riviera !

    - The rates are per person, based on a double-bedded room (1 bed) 
    - Sup for a twin-bedded room (2 beds) in some hotels 
  • GUIDED DAY - A fixed rate: the price is the same from 1 to 4 participants with one guide 
     The rate for the guided day remains the same no matter if you are 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 persons 
  • BOTH are subject to availability
  • Go to the TRIP INFO section below :
    - to check the minimum person BASIS of this trip
    - to check the single room ( 1 pers. ) supplement
    - if you're travelling SOLO: please contact us

Sup per period
    • Unavailable
    • Low
    • High + 60€

Choose your level of comfort according to your wish & budget !

> For a single room ( 1 pers. ) a single supplement will be charged
> See in our TRIP INFO section
> Keep in mind that your trip is always subject to availability

  • Hotel Bellevue - Marseille

    A 2* friendly hotel, centrally located, overlooking on the old port of Marseille

  • Hotel Le Cassiden - Cassis

    A friendly 2* hotel, located in the heart of the center of Cassis, just a few steps by to the charming old port.

    You will appreciate the breakfast on the terrace when the weather is great ! 

  • Hotel La Caravelle - Aix en Prov...

    A lovely 2* hotel, with a sunny yellow façade, quiet rooms, in the heart of the city of Aix en Provence.

  • Hotel Oceania - Marseille

    Hotel Oceania is a 3* hotel, perfectly located right on the old port !

  • Hotel Le jardin d'Emile - Cassis

    Facing the Bestouan Beach and the famous Cap Canaille, le Jardin d'Emile stands under the shadow of old age pine trees. This ancient property preserve the warm atmosphere and the authenticity of typical houses in Provence.

    You will enjoy the friendly welcome, the terrace with a view on the sea or the blooming garden ..

  • BB Jardins de Marie - Aix en Pro...

    Les jardins de Marie is a lovely guest house, in a renovated mansion house of the 17th century guest housen in the heart of Aix en Provence.

    A peaceful place, with a garden and friendly owners ! 

  • Grand Hotel Beauvau - Marseille

    A boutique charming hotel, located right on the old port of Marseille ! 

  • Hotel Mahogany - Cassis

    Ideally located between the old port and the national park of creeks, the hotel - completely renovated - is a great base in Cassis to relax and enjoy the Med sea. You will enjoy the panoramic terrace in front of the Cap Canaille.

  • Hotel des Augustins - Aix en Pr...

    Located in Aix en Provence’s historical city center, only a few metres away from the famous Cours Mirabeau and Place de la Rotonde,  the Hotel des Augustins is a charming hotel in a historical mansion house.

The rates are per person, on a 2 pers. basis and subject to availability

  • Most prices are based on a 2-person booking ( with shared accommodation for a hotel)
  • You will be able to select the exact number of traveller(s) when completing your reservation form
  • If you're travelling SOLO : please contact us
  • Repatriation insurance : applicable for all clients visiting the Europe-Schengen region that includes France
  • Rate : for a maximum trip of 1 week = 7 days
    Supplement for a trip above 7 days
  • See the insurance contract here 

TRIP rates 

The rates are per person, on a 2 pers. minimum reservation basis ( shared room), and subject to availability


  • 5 nights double occupancy with private facilities
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Day 2: transfer from Marseille to the beginning of your walk in the Calanques
  • Day 4: transfer from Cassis to Aix en Provence 
  • Day 5: transfer from Aix to the start of your walk
  • Luggage transfers from day 2 > 5
  • Our Road Book with detailed walking itineraries, including highlighted maps
  • 1 road map of the region


  • All lunches & dinners not noted-included in your itinerary (around 16€ / person, get it directly at the boat desk)
  • Day 1 : Boat tickets toChateau d'If & the frioul islands
  • Day 3 : taxi transfer from La Ciotat to Cassis
  • Day 5 : bus ticket from the end of your walk in Vauvenarges, back to Aix en Provence ( around 1€ / person ) 
  • Entrance fees into museums, insurance, drinks
  • Items of personal nature

  • SINGLE supplement 
    Simple accommodation : 190 €uros
    Comfort accommodation : 305 €uros
    Charming accommodation : 620 €uros

Path Restrictions

Important : From June 1st to September 30th
Access may be restricted in the Calanques & Ste Victoire mountains if the risk of forest fire is high. 
There is a risk that the paths may be closed as of noon on any given day or in exceptional circumstances the paths may be closed altogether. Information is available from 6:00pm for the following day from the local prefecture by telephone (automated message).

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