Cassis, between land and sea November 05 2016, 0 Comments

 

Is there a little of Cassis in the U.S.A?

The French village of Cassis is known for many things. One of them is “the stone of Cassis”. The stone is very hard and resistant slightly orange colored. The Stone of Cassis, which was quarried since antiquity made the town famous. It has been used in the construction of Mediterranean ports such as Alexandria, Algiers, Piraeus, and Marseille, Tradition says that it was used for the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

 

Only 30 km from Marseille, the beautiful village of Cassis will definitely charm you with its old downtown and its picturesque streets that lead to a lovely and colorful fishing port. Inlands, vineyards surround the town, and near the coast, the Calanques and the Cap Canaille mountains dive into the Mediterranean Sea. There is a lot of attractions and must see activities to discover here:

Go for a walk in the Calanques

A Calanque is a steep-sided valley found along the Mediterranean coast. If you want to enjoy the peacefulness and panoramic views of a Calanque you will have to wake up early and walk some to reach these spots but it is totally worth it! By the way you don’t have to be a confirmed hiker to go for a walk in the Calanques. The Calanque de Port-Miou, the only one located in the town of Cassis, can be reach in only 10 minutes by foot, you have no excuse! Park your car in the old city village and keep walking along the GR 98 (Great Treck Road 98). Keep walking toward Marseille and you will reach the other calanques : Port-Pin, En-Vau, Sormiou, etc. Another magical way is to take a boat tour to visit these beautiful Calanques.

Stroll in Cassis port

The port of Cassis is an emblematic place. You can walk along the port and stop for a break at one of the many cafés and restaurants. You will be seated right in front of the port’s beautiful boats. At sunset, the façades, illuminated by sunlight, become almost orange. You can book a table at the restaurant to have a dinner or simply stop before nightfall to have a glass of white wine with some olives and watch the castle of Cassis perched on a rock above the port. You won’t be disappointed.

Ride the Route des Crêtes and admire the panorama of Cap Canaille

To reach Cassis from La Ciotat, the best way is to take la route des Crêtes which crosses the Cap Canaille mountains range. You must take this road and stop to admire the breathtaking view. The cliffs are the highest maritime cliffs of Europe! Their summit, called “the big head”, is 394 meters high. From the Route des Crêtes you will see the gulf of Cassis, overlooking the village. There are many car parks along the road to stop and admire the view. A walking and biking trail of about 12 kilometers allows you to discover these exceptional landscapes.

Taste the local products on Cassis market

The Cassis’s Market “Le marché de Cassis” takes place every Wednesday and Friday in the town centre. Forty local merchants and farmers sell their products: fruits, vegetables, condiments, fishes, meats and bake goods. Go and wander there to feel the unique atmosphere of an authentic market.

Discover Cassis vineyards and wines

French people commonly say “après l’effort le réconfort” meaning “after effort comfort comes”. Hence Cassis gathers 12 wine domains and they have been well known for a long time. Its reputation comes from the white wines that are delightful and known worldwide. The town produces red and rosés wines too. In 1936, Cassis wines get the label “AOC” meaning controlled designation of origin, they were the first in Provence to get the label! Feel free to walk around the vineyards and pay a visit to the winegrowers. It is possible to visit the caves, the vineyards, and experiment a wine tasting. For sure you will be able to buy some bottles after the visit. Our advice is to taste a white wine of Cassis with a fresh fish lemon sauce. Conclude this meal with some sweets Calissons by Gilles. What else?

About The Author:

Gilles Cailleaux is the Owner & Master Confectioner at By Gilles, an online French candy store based in Orange County, California. They sell traditional French confections called Calissons from Provence. Gilles is always ready to share his 25 years plus experience of candy making and baking with everyone and want to hear about your experience with his calissons. Gilles and his team are sensitive about taste and harmony. They prepare your packages with special care and attention.