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Kayaking the calanques from Cassis

We will be in Cassis for a day (driving from St Remy) on our way to the Cote d'Azur and want to spend about 4 hours or so kayaking to and around the calanques. Ideally, I would like to go all the way to Sormiou, but from what I have read think this is not realistic given our time frame. Barring that, can anyone here tell me if making it to and from calanques Morgiou/Sugiton is and what we can expect in terms of water temperature during the last week of May? I don't imagine we can swim at that time of year.

Lastly, I am having a ridiculously hard time deciding whether or not to rent kayaks and visit the calanques on our own, or go with a guided tour. The guided tours seem to be primarily limited to Miou, Port Pin and En Vau. I would prefer to go on our own, but am not sure how obvious the route is for people unfamiliar with the area.

Thanks :)

Posted by
1198 posts

I rented an outboard motor boat to self-tour the calanques. The boats, whether self or guided, are not permitted all the way in to the Calanques - they must anchor further away from shore. I did not, however, go to the two you mention so maybe this is different there. I agree that 4 hours is cutting it short for kayaking all the way to Morgiou/Sugiton but it may be possible (did you ask the kayak company?), but you could likely get to and from En Vau. I dont know about water temp, but google says its too cold for swimming. Good luck. The Calanques are stunning

Posted by
15 posts

It's pretty obvious. But I think it's quite a distance and while stunning the calanques do start to all look the same. The water is cold but swimmable - 18 degrees I think.

The next time I go, I'd do a 1/2 day kayak (no guide) from Cassis, and on another day hike to the Marseille-side calanques. On a weekday to avoid crowds. There are several good articles by travel bloggers with details this if you google.

Posted by
3799 posts

Kayaking from Cassis, typically from Port Miou, all the way to Morgiou and back, is very ambitious.
Going to the Calanque du Devenson, inaccessible by land, is about as far as you can go in 2 hours (1-way) if the water is calm and if you do not take a detour inside En Vau.
If the sea is ever so slightly choppy, you are unlikely to make it further than En Vau, which is already a lovely excursion. Sea kayaking is harder than it looks...
Getting lost is difficult, although if you go beyond En Vau / Port Pin, on the way back make sure not to mistakenly head that way, it is a dead end!

Posted by
295 posts

Thanks very much everyone.

Jessica, I did ask the kayak companies, but not sure if it’s too early in their season, but no one has replied. We are considering doing a boat tour instead if time is feeling like an issue. Not really interested in driving one myself. That was brave of you!

Sehosking, thank you for confirming that we aren’t likely to get lost on our own and info on water temp. I can imagine that, regardless of how beautiful they are, the calanques can start to get repetitive. It was having read travel articles that gave me the idea to go to Sugiton/Sormiou! Until then I had been happy just to go to En Vau. Next time I will alot more time in the area.

Balso, Devenson could work, so thanks for providing an estimate of the time that would take from Cassis. We aren’t on a tight schedule, I am just mindful that we will have driven from St Remy and have to get to Villfranche at the end of the day. I want to budget some time for the port in Cassis, so might have to either pivot to doing a boat tour of the calanques or seeing fewer of them then I’d ideally like to.

Thanks again for the helpful insights.