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Hiking to Calanque d’En Vau

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The Calanques National Park encompasses an immense natural area of land, sea and semi-urban areas between Marseille and Cassis in the South of France.

It’s beloved by locals and visitors alike, who frequent the park’s trails, hiking through native trees and shrub to secluded coves and incredible elevated viewpoints.

The Calanques are a series of steep-walled inlets that punctuate the craggy coastline, each cutting unique shapes into the limestone cliffs, and often culminating in picture-perfect beaches.

Perhaps the most loved Calanque is that of Calanque d’En Vau. Surrounded by dramatic cliffs, this inlet is one of the deepest, and most sheltered in the park, making it perfect for swimming, kayaking, and snorkelling. Its beauty is unparalleled, and it’s absolutely worth the effort required to reach it.

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Why Visit Calanque d’En Vau?

The Calanques National Park is studded with calanques, many of which can be accessed via walking trails. You can read more about the other calanques in the park here.

Calanque d’En Vau is a personal favourite, and the feeling is shared among many. Here’s a glimpse of what it’s like to spend time in this natural wonder.

How to Get to Calanque d’En Vau

The most common way to hike to Calanque d’En Vau is from Cassis, via Port Miou and Port Pin. However, there are other routes available – hikes that will be easier for those with kids, or with more limited mobility. We’ll also look at how you can reach the calanque via the sea!

Hiking to Calanque d’En Vau from Cassis (2 Options)

As mentioned above, the most popular route to Calanque d’En Vau is from the fishing village of Cassis.

You have two options for this hike, or you can mix them up. I’d recommend taking hike #1 to get to Calanque d’En Vau, and hike #2 for the return journey.

Option #1 – Via Port Pin

  • 2 hours (4 hours return)
  • Moderate difficulty
  • 4km (8km return)

The easiest place to park for this trail is at Parking de la Presqu’île (point A), just past Cassis. It costs €8 to park for the day.

From here, you’ll walk back along Avenue Notre Dame until you find the start of the track marked on a post between two houses. Continue down to the end of Port Miou where the official track starts.

From Port Miou, the track is straightforward to Port Pin. It’s an easy walk at this point, with some steep uphill parts, and rocky stairs on your descent to Port Pin.

If you wish, before making your descent, you can carry along the track to the Pointe de la Cacau where you’ll find some ruins, a blowhole, and a unique viewpoint of Calanque Port Pin and Calanque d’En Vau.

Port Pin is a lovely sheltered beach, and worth stopping at for a quick dip if you’ve already worked up a sweat!

Otherwise, keep following the path that goes straight up the hill towards Calanque d’En Vau. After a steep uphill trek, you’ll reach the summit. From here, you can take a side path to the viewpoints (more on those below), or continue straight to Calanque d’En Vau.

From here it’s all downhill – very steeply. This path is covered in slippery rocks and you do need to take care with your footing. That said, the locals make it look easy and it’s very doable if you take your time.

The last 200m are flat through the gorge, before revealing the magnificent beach before you.

I have written about our first experience of hiking this route with our then 4yo son, here. But note that time we didn’t make the descent to the beach. We’ve since completed the entire walk with him at 7 years old and he enjoyed the challenge!

Photos from this route:


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