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What to see & do in… Cassis

Cassis port Port of Cassis

Ahh, Cassis.  There are few places that we like visiting more than this picture-perfect village along the sea.  And not only will you find incredible views, but between the brilliant green of the surrounding vineyards, the deep blue of the mediterranean, and the towering beauty of Cassis’ sea cliffs, you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of incredible natural beauty.

Mind you, things are really “heating up” in Cassis at this time of year – the sun is shining, the restaurants are hopping, and the streets are full of weekend-trippers from Marseille.  Late spring and early fall are perhaps the best times to appreciate the town and still be able to grab a spot to lay down your beach towel.

Nevertheless, we braved the growing crowds and had a fantastic day trip to Cassis a few weeks ago.  Although the village itself is fairly small, there are plenty of things to see & do for a thoroughly memorable afternoon.

Here’s a list of a few of our favorite things to do during a day-trip to Cassis:

Take a boat ride along the Calanques

This is definitely not-to-be-missed and easily our favorite thing to do on any visit.  Besides hiking along the Calanques to Marseille (also great, but will take you a good 3 hours!) there’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of these “inlets” which hide pretty little beaches and deep-blue coves.

You can visit as few as three Calanques or as many as eight – prices vary, from €16 – 22.

Packing for Provence

Calanques-bound

Have lunch on the port

There are many cafes and restaurants that line the port.  Have a gander at all the folks enjoying heaping plates of fresh seafood and crisp, white wine and it’s very hard not to splurge on a decadent south-of-France lunch.

Do a Pastis-tasting

After lunch, why not pop in at Pastis et Compagnie, a local shopping selling anything and everything related to this ever-popular “southern” drink.  If you’ve already had a bit too much Rosé during lunch to indulge in a tasting, they also sell several colorful pastis bottles to take home as souvenirs.

Pastis tasting Pastis-tasting at Pastis et Compagnie

Lounge around on the beach

Cassis has two local beaches which are both very popular.  The easiest one to reach is just next to the lighthouse, while the other requires a bit of a hike up the road (direction the Calanques).  A great way to cool off in the summer and / or enjoy a late-afternoon picnic as the sun goes down.

Enjoy a bit of  “lécher les vitrines” (window-shopping)

Cassis is nothing if not full of cute, port-side boutiques.  We recently spotted a very “shabby-chic” addition (right next to the popular “white” clothing shop Blanc de Nil) which offers Provençal-style tablecloths, linens, and adorable home-deco items.

Cassis boutiqueShabby chic along the port

Go winetasting at any of Cassis’ world-famous vineyards

This can be a bit tricky as after a few hours in the sun you might be ready for more of a “siesta” than a glass of wine, but it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to sample some of the most famous wines of the region. Heading away from town and toward the “autoroute” (motorway), you’ll find several vineyards along the road and a particular favorite of ours is Domaine du Paternel.  You’ll find their wines served at the restaurants in Cassis and throughout Provence.  Tastings are free and there’s no obligation to buy, although their prices are very attractive and perhaps just the right souvenir to celebrate your fond memories of Cassis.  (Here’s a nice article written by Our House in Provence blog about Michel’s visit to Domaine du Paternel.)

Other vineyards to visit include: Domaine de la Ferme Blanche, Clos Sainte Magdeleine, Domaine du Bagnol, and Domaine Saint Louis.

 

Voilà – just a few of our favorite ways to spend the day in Cassis.  Please share below if you’ve ever been to this enchanting town or any of your tips for day-outings in Provence.  Would love to read your comments…

 

To Learn More:

Cassis Tourist Office

Route de Vins De Provence

Pastis et Compagnie

9 B Rue Brémond
13260 CASSIS
T: 04 42 70 21 55

Domaine du Paternel

11 Route Pierre Imbert
13260 CASSIS
T: 04 42 01 77 03
F: 04 42 01 09 54

contact@domainedupaternel.com

http://www.domainedupaternel.com

 

 

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3 thoughts on “What to see & do in… Cassis

  1. We had two nights in Cassis in early October last year – we literally picked it on the map ( from Australia) and it was out last stop before Paris.

    Staying at a fabulous B & B a short 5 min walk into town – Chambre d’hôtes Clos du Petit Jésus – divine hosts, room and superb breakfast which had us energised for a magnificent day hiking the Calanques. Swam in stunning blue inlets and picnicked high on a ridge..divine. Had wonderful meals in town and many a pastis at the port!

    Would have loved to stay longer….

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  2. Just loved our stop over in Cassis! The Calanques, the port side cafes and the cute stores filled in 3 days…didn’t get to taste test the pastis, but DID stumble upon the fragrance store / musée L’Eau de Cassis. So glad I did, as I was able to pick up some ideal gifts 🙂 would loved to have experienced a winery… But the two we came across whilst strolling around the back of Cassis were closed (Sunday) That’s ok though..means I will have to go back! 🙂

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