Be charmed in Cassis

Cassis, France | Photo by Boris Stroujko
Cassis, France | Photo by Boris Stroujko

Be charmed in Cassis

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

There’s never a better time than right now to go to Cassis, France. Located on the French Riviera, Cassis perches on the Mediterranean Sea and is famous for its limestone cliffs, glistening waters, pebble beaches and astounding cuisine. The glorious sunshine here also makes it the perfect spot for growing grapes, which produce regional wine specialties of whites and rosés. To say that Cassis is absolutely magical is an understatement. The perfect sea breeze and nearly 3,000 annual hours of sunshine make this travel destination one of a kind. 

One of the biggest draws to the area is the National Park of the Calanques. Once you step into this oasis you will feel like you're living in a dream. The park is full of beautiful flora and fauna. The combination of the sea, pine trees and flowers create an intoxicating scent. Perhaps the most incredible part of the park is the limestone cliffs that drop straight into glittering azure waters. These cliffs create fjord-like inlets called calanques. You can hike on land and view the stunning surroundings or kayak into the calanques for the perfect outing. You can even sail in if you’re really fancy! This park is particularly unique because it is the only National Park in Europe that is terrestrial, marine and peri-urban. Spend a day taking in the sights and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. 


Calanques de Port Pin | Photo by Preve Beatrice 

If you just can’t get enough of the delightful seawater, head to Bestouan Beach, one of the main beaches in Cassis. It has a pebble waterfront and is just a short walk from town. Be sure to bring water shoes so your feet don’t hurt from the small stones and a thick towel and you’ll be good to go! 

For a peek into the local history, be sure to visit Chateau de Cassis, which took six years to restore. The chateau originated in Roman times when it was a simple watchtower. It has been privately owned since 1896 but was expanded and changed over the previous centuries. This incredible stone structure is perched high on a cliff over the town. The best part about this chateau is that you can stay in a suite here. Imagine waking up in the morning at a chateau and looking out at the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Doesn’t that sound like heaven? If you don’t want to swim in the salty seawater, take a dip in the heated pool on-site at the chateau.  


A row of shops in Cassis | Photo by Irina Finaeva 

No trip to the French Riviera is complete without a little shopping. Cassis is no exception. Here you’ll find countless boutiques and souvenir shops, as well as markets and chocolate shops. Don’t miss the Cassis market, Savonnerie de Cassis soap shop and the Chocolaterie de Puyricard for some sweet treats. 

The incredible amount of sunshine in Cassis makes it an ideal location for wine production. The wine-growers here are passionate and lovingly tend to 12 wine estates. While you could certainly taste these local wines in town at a restaurant, you should take some time to see the stunning land where the grapes originate. Book a tour or go on a bike ride throughout the countryside. The wine estates cover 520 acres, so there’s plenty of room to roam! Whatever you do, be sure to stop for plenty of samples of wine. White and rosé are the local specialties. 

As much as you’d like to only drink wine in Cassis, it’s probably best that you stop for food at some point. L'Oustau de la Mar restaurant is the perfect spot. Here you can dine al fresco on the harbor with some seriously fresh seafood. This restaurant upholds its culture for excellence by utilizing traditional cooking with quality ingredients. Pair your fresh seafood with some local wine for the perfect match. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a delectable dessert, like a strawberry tart. The perfect combination of sea views and delicious food make this restaurant a must!

Once you step foot in Cassis, you’ll never want to leave this seaside town. It is truly a little slice of heaven. Whether you’re a foodie, outdoor enthusiast, shopaholic or an oenophile, Cassis has something for everyone. Enjoy the brilliant sunshine and laid-back vibes during your stay in the charming village of Cassis.

 

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