Cassis Harbor © 2013 Mikestravelguide. All rights reserved.

Cassis, France

The best-kept secret in southern France is Cassis. And we love it!!  We’re talking about the town, not the fruit, though we’d probably love that, too. Cassis is a favorite vacation destination, as well as weekend get-away for the French and we can totally see why. Located on the southern edge of France, between Marseilles and Toulon, Cassis has the appeal of a coastal fishing village and the relaxed feel of a Riviera beach without the massive crowds.

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It’s obviously been a popular port for quite some time and prehistoric cave drawings found in Grotte Cosquer, now underwater, date back to the Upper Paleolithic era (27,000 B.C.).  Additional archaeological finds, which include ancient coins, add weight to the belief that the Greeks may have settled in Cassis, and it’s been recorded that the area was inhabited by the Celto-Ligurians some time around 500 B.C. But, it was the Romans who made the first written reference to this quaint harbor.  They called it Carcisis Portus. In later years, the town’s claim to fame was the natural stone found along the cliffs. This ‘Stone of Cassis’ would be used in the construction of the docks in major ports from Algeria to Greece. It was also used in the construction of ‘le phare du Planier’, a lighthouse in Marseilles, and le phare de Cassis, the lighthouse in the port of Cassis.  This white limestone was also used to create the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Like many other French towns and cities, Cassis is dotted with sidewalk cafes, pizzerias, creperies, and ice cream vendors. But, for us, the things that make Cassis special are the slower pace, picture postcard scenery (day and night) and local cuisine (mainly seafood).

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7 Comments

  1. Looks beautiful! Putting it on my bucket list.

  2. Tara

    Hi Mike, I love your “The easiest way to get from Marseille to Cassis”. I would be grateful if you would write one coming from Nice direction.
    Thank you!
    Tara

  3. Tara

    Hi Mike!
    We just returned from our trip to France? Thanks to your blog, we felt confident taking the train and everything worked like you described! We could not have done this without you!
    Keep up the good work!
    Tara

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Tara, Thanks for your feedback. We’re happy to hear that our guide was helpful to you and that you enjoyed your trip to France!! Happy travels!

  4. robert

    thanks for this information Mike. I am travelling to the Marseille area the week of the 24th in October. I am looking for things to do and places to stay in this area. Your blog has certainly added Cassis to my visit list and perhaps an overnight. would i be able to rent a boat n Cassis? I have a Canadian boating licence.
    Rob

    • Mikestravelguide

      HI Rob,
      I did not notice any boat rentals.
      I am not sure if this would be possible.
      Thanks for visiting our website.

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