Calanques in the Cote D’Azur // Cassis, France

Calanques in the Cote D’Azur // Cassis, France

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Our first full day of the trip was important. It was one of the main reasons we’d chose to go to the French Riviera, and it’s all Pinterest’s fault (this picture, to be exact). Our plan? To explore the famous calanques, narrow steep walled inlets, near the charming port village of Cassis.

Despite the gals jet lag from their flight from the US the day prior, we rose at a reasonable hour, had our coffee and headed down to the docks. Using ‘the more the merrier’ logic, we opted for the longest boat cruise that toured all 8 calanques due west of the town.

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While we waited, we were highly entertained by a jousting contest taking place in the harbor between the local youth. As boat captains slowly puttered towards one another, the kids skillfully aimed their foam swords at the opposition and braced themselves. Sure enough, one would topple into the sea and be rescued moments later by what appeared to be the middle school class clowns (see next picture). Not your average Saturday morning activity but one I loved watching!

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As our boat got underway we exited the harbor towards the open ocean, passing beautiful condos and apartments built into the hillsides. Nearing the coastline, cliffs began to grow steeper while the water evolved to a deeper blue as indication of the mounting depth.

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Arriving at our first calanque, it felt a lot like what I had imagined but significantly drier. I think it’d pegged palm trees to be part of the equation but the rocky terrain still made for a dramatic setting. With the arid climate, the calanques near Cassis are highly prone to fires which is why visiting by way of land is not possible. Further, only private boats and kayaks are permitted to unload visitors on shore so instead of piling off the boat are experience was limited to our eyes and lens.

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I think what struck me most was the sheer height of the cliffs. As clouds passed overhead they’d efficiently engulf the peaks. After touring the 9th inlet I was admittedly calanque-d out and ready to get back and explore Cassis. 

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While we waited to de-board the girls amused themselves by trying on my hat (you’ve probably noticed I wore it a lot this year, like here and here). Normal gals-only vacation activity, you know. 

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Back in Cassis we wondered towards the Saturday market and perused the handicrafts followed by a little window and boutique shopping. 

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Our wallets and tummies had other ideas though. Realizing our cute Airbnb porch was waiting for us at home, we ducked into the local grocery store for a few bottles of rose, cheese and a baguette. It IS my french routine after all. 

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Once the wine was poured we cheersed to old friends and the rocky inlets that brought us together and immediately agreed, the calanques of Cassis had already made the trip a great one!

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  • Amazing, looks like so much fun!!

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  • Rebecca

    I was just here in July! We were able to hike over land to the first three calanques; there’s a trail starting in town that takes you through the state park along the coast so you can access the beaches. The fires are such an issue though that it’s usually closed…we just got lucky while we were there! The views and the water are amazing! So glad you enjoyed it, we can’t wait to go back!

  • Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I can’t believe how blue the water looks there!!

  • Sea jousting, I like! Lol. What a fun girls trip!!

    • Ha and can you even imagine the lawsuits and protests if they had children’s sea jousting in the US? Ah! God bless the French.

  • I’ve totally pinned that picture before too, how cool that you got to go!! Your pictures are absolutely stunning and a day on a boat followed by wine and cheese sounds like the perfect girls’ day to me!

    xo Mary-Katherine |

    • Ah, it was definitely a great day! I’d love to go back sometime very soon sooo here’s an idea – a blogger retreat 2016 to Cassis!? We could drink wine and you could teach us all how to be stylish. That kind of thing. 😀

  • What an amazing girls trip! Such gorgeous blue water!

  • Cassis looks so beautiful with the crystal clear blue waters that it almost doesn’t seem real! I can’t believe that kind of beauty exists, and that it’s in France. It looks like you should be in Italy or Greece instead! Definitely a perfect girls trip!

    • The South of France is REALLY this amazing & gorge!
      Regards – from there 🙂

      • Sigh! If I could teleport back to Cassis for another bottle of Rose I would. Since that’s not quite possible do me a favor and enjoy a glass for me this weekend, okay? 😀

    • I totally hear ya! I have a whole slew of pictures just of the town of Cassis that I’ll post soon too. I’m curious what you’d think of them because though it does remind me some pretty Italian village there’s a certain French flair that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe you’ll be able to though! 🙂

  • These shots are beautiful! Such a cute last shot of yall on the porch.

    • Thanks, Katie! You can’t see it but on my lap was my cell phone that was wirelessly connected to my camera that allowed me to tap to take a picture then review it immediately. Needless to say, there were many, many takes and lots of hair/arm/smile adjustments for each of us. Ha.

  • This is one of my favourite towns in France. It’s so, so perfect!

    • I absolutely agree, Marie-Eve! Cassis is absolutely beautiful. Glad to hear that you’ve been there too then! Lucky us, right? 🙂

  • The landscape of smaller towns in france is just insanely gorgeous!! I love your photos margo! You look amazing in that blue floral dress 🙂

    x Carina / Running White Horses

    • You’re so sweet Carina! Good ole JCrew outlet always has the best stuff!

      Totally agree about rural France, it definitely holds most of Europe’s charm. IMO! 😀

  • Beautiful! Did you go for a swim?

  • The slow pace

    Lovely pictures! Ireally want to visit the area! I almost did recently… (Remember my E-mail?) but we finally ended up in Copenhagen! What can we say? We are obsessed with that beautiful charming city!

    • ah, sigh! I completely understand… kind of. I’ve never been to Copenhagen but your pictures and stories certainly make it seem SO appealing. Dan and I were thrilled that we had a one hour layover in Copenhagen on our one-way ticket home from Heidelberg (the airport was full of blondes) but that’s the closest I’ve gotten! Next year, right?

  • Wow the colour of that water is stunning – and those cliffs are beautiful 🙂