France

Marseille: A Piece of Paradise

After leaving Notre Dame de la Garde, we got back in the car and drove along a beautiful stretch of highway that ran along the coast, with water so blue it looked fake. We were on our way to the Calanques, a series of inlets with steep cliffs surrounding them, to enjoy the water and marvel at the natural beauty. Our destination this time was the Calanque de Sugiton, one of the closest to the city of Marseille.
View of the inlet as we hiked in
 Being the whiny baby that I can sometimes be (don’t lie, we all get that way), I was not happy when I realized just how far down we had to climb to get to the water, slipping on loose rocks and barely passing people on the narrow trails. D was ever so patient with me- instead of getting annoyed at how fussy I was being, he encouraged me all the way down. Of course, it was the idea of going back up the steep rock stairs we had just nearly slid down that irritated me, but I quickly forgot about that when we finally made it down to the rocky “beach”.
The water was incredibly clear (and incredibly cold!)

There were lots of people already there sunbathing- a surprising number considering the number of people we’d seen leaving on our way in. I was glad it wasn’t so crowded the whole time we were there
We only spent about ten minutes total in the water because it was so cold and then the rest of the time reheating our bodies on the rocky beach, though as the sun set behind the cliffs we kept having to move to stay in the rays. As chilly as it was, the scenery was absolutely worth the hike to get there.

 

After we realized how late it was and that we should probably start heading back, we decided to make a quick detour to climb up higher and get an even better view of the sea.

 

 

 

We got up even higher so we ended up level with the semi-paved road that runs in as close as it can get to the calanque, for use by emergency vehicles and things of that nature. Rather than dragging ourselves back up the rock stairs, we followed the road to get out. It took a significant amount longer to get back to the parking lot that way, and this time it was D who was complaining that we shouldn’t have taken the long route. But we were still privy to some gorgeous views and the beginning of an amazing sunset, so I was perfectly content to walk a little longer on a flatter surface. To each their own, I suppose.
In spite of the hike, it was one of the most beautiful natural sites I have ever visited, and I can’t wait to go explore another calanque the next time we’re in Marseille. And this time, I’ll be better prepared for the hiking requirements.

 

In Marseille or the south of France and looking for a day hike in the Calanques? Click here to learn more about parking and public transportation access.

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