The ‘Real’ Côte d’Azur

 

So having been to the touristy Côte d’Azur (St.Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Monaco etc. (blog post about these coming later)) we headed to the non-touristy part for a couple of days: Cassis.

We found a great little apartment to rent in Ensuès-la-Redonne via airbnb, which was just a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk from the Calanques, which are coves or creeks specific to the Marseille area.

Our apartment

Our apartment

We were driving a little Renault Twingo, which was good for the roads. Anything bigger and we really would have struggled to fit down the tiny little lanes!

The hilly and windy roads of Cassis

The hilly and windy roads of Cassis

Cassis is very un-touristy. A great deal of effort has gone in to preserve the area for its natural beauty. It is very difficult for people access. There are a very limited amount of parking spaces, no bars or restaurants, and access to the Calanques by foot is very challenging!

Access to certain Calanques can be somewhat tricky

Access to certain Calanques can be somewhat tricky

The majority of the people that we came across were people from the South of France (recognisable from that strong accent!). We were one of the very few with a non-southern French accent, and I was certainly the only Foreigner!

The first day we went to Figuières. The beach we found was perfect: completely secluded, quiet, great views, and brilliant for snorkelling and seeing some big fish!

Beach in Figuières

Beach in Figuières

The water was so clear and calm. Though it was a bit difficult to get into the sea because of all the jagged rocks, once deep enough it was great for swimming and snorkelling.

Gallery from Figuières:

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The second day we went to Mejean. We were met by incredible views over the cliffs, which could have very easily been mistaken for a country like Croatia.

Views over the Calanques of Méjean

Views over the Calanques of Méjean

It was so quiet. Fantastic for relaxing and sunbathing, and again great for getting the snorkel out and going for a swim. However, as it is very rocky, you have to find the perfect position so you can be comfortable on the rocks!

Sunbathing on the rocks isn't always the most comfortable

Garance showing that sunbathing on the rocks isn’t always the most comfortable!

But it is worth it, it really did feel like we were in paradise!

Being on the South coast, we were lucky enough to have the sun from the moment we arrived, right up until the evening. Great for getting tanned enough for my return to England soon!

Gallery from Méjean:

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One word to summarise: Paradise. It was a great little break and so relaxing. Great to be on the South coast again but seeing something completely contrasting from the other very touristy areas!

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