16 km east of Marseille lies Cassis. At the beginning of the 1900s the city was popular among artists as Dufy, Derain, Camoin and other Fauvists. Winston Churchill also travelled to Cassis and painted in the 1920s. From their pictures, you can see how the city was at the time, and it has been kept well maintained.
Today Cassis still is a small fishing village, but in the summer, the city is well visited by tourists and many from Marseille and the surrounding area come here on day trips. The harbor is where the action is, with many restaurants and cafes.
Beaches in Cassis
The main beach in Cassis is called Plage de Grand Mer and is located just south – east of the harbor.
The beach Plage du Bestouan is located just west of the town and is somewhat smaller.
In addition to these beaches, there are several small beaches if you move along the bays in both directions from the city. Many of them are easily accessible by boat, but it is also possible to walk to several of them and some are accessible by car. If you are lucky you might find a small bay all to yourself.
Calanques de Cassis
Along the coastline between Cassis and Marseille is Les Calanques. This is a fjord-like landscape of limestone. At the end of the small bays or fjords are often small beaches. From the port of Cassis, boats sail along the fjords. This is an adventure if you have the opportunity. Several companies offer tours, you will easily find them find them on the docks.
Food and Drink
As a former fishing village seafood usually is on the menu. One of the specialties are sea urchins – Oursin. Sea urchins are divided in half and you take out the orange inside and put it on a piece of bread. Some places will also offer omelet with sea urchins. The good local wine Cassis is often enjoyed with sea urchins. This is one of the few places in Provence where white wine is the main focus.
Getting to Cassis
There are buses to Cassis from most nearby cities. Buses stop right above the city, to avoid having to drive all the way down, but it’s just a short walk down to the harbor.
The train station is about 3 km north of the harbor. There are buses running from the station to the harbour, if you do not want to walk.