Coast to Côte

Calanques de Marseille
A morning-start in the Calanques
White-Red International Hiking Route

Nathalie and Paul, my sister and my brother in law, came from the west coast of the Netherlands to the south coast of France, to visit me and .. to explore a bit of the enticing côte d’Azur. Their commercial flight was flown by their son, one of the two pilots, who landed the plane safely in Toulon. From there, they hired a car and headed for Marseille, bringing a top-10 visit Marseille list.

On the way to Cap Sugiton Calanques de Marseille
Joined by more hikers on the way

Our first day visiting the city was affected by such strong wind that several places were closed. We still could go by car to the basilique Notre Dame de La Garde, for a 360° city view as it is the highest point of Marseille. The basilique itself was also closed due to the weather. There was not much more possible to do, we planned for the next day when the wind would have quieted down and Paul would celebrate his seventy-second birthday.

Valerian flowers wherever you go
Rock formations in the Calanques of Marseille

For his birthday, Paul had chosen to go hiking in the Calanques. We started later in the morning and while walking, Nathalie and Paul, both longtime international hikers, who have hiked much with their three sons, noticed the white-red color code painted on the pine trees, indicating an international hiking route. While I took photos of the scenery, Paul recorded with his video camera our journey.

Filming the Mediterranean Seacoast
A boat touring the Calanques of Marseille

On our way back, we stopped at the famous French franchise patisserie and coffeeshop PAUL. You will find its name on cakes, cups, trays, and chairs. Here we decided for the next day, whether to visit more of Marseille or to drive to Cassis to view Cap Canaille and a bit of the town and its coastline. We decided for Cassis.

There is coffee and cake!
Shall we enter?
Someone’s birthday
A famous name

The weather was as good as the day before, when driving to Cassis. I suggested to first drive up Cap Canaille for the views of the Cassis region. There were so many excellent view-points that we drove higher and higher. So did many others, by car or even by bicycle.

View of Marseille on the way to Cassis
Route des Crêtes on Cap Canaille Cassis
Mountain climber on Cap Canaille with a view of Cassis town

Descending to the town, for lunch, and then walking down the coast to Miou harbor in the Calanques of Cassis, where people have their private boats to explore the Calanques by sea. In this way, you get a pretty good sense of what life in Cassis can be with its mountains and hiking, sea and boating, beaches and swimming.

A table at a cafeteria in Cassis reminds us of Marseille
Cap Canaille Cassis

Nathalie and Paul continued their journey for another week down the côte d’Azur, starting with Cannes. From there it would be all inspirational planning on a daily basis. Near Antibes, they had the coast-walk of their life, they told me. The region is also blessed with picturesque villages and flower cultivation for perfume manufacturing. Finally .. flying back from Toulon to Pays Bas.

Kayaking at Port Miou Calanques of Cassis
Nature’s plume design
Reflection on the way

All Photos Copyright © 2019 August Timmermans – All Rights Reserved