le journal

Cassis: the sea in Provence

Cassis: the sea in Provence

Provence is a wonder because it encompasses the southern Alps, towns like Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Arles...and the sea! The Mediterranean is a beautiful part of the wonder of this region.

Cassis ranks among the most charming of port villages along Provence's stretch of sea. The heart of the village is found along the port - buildings and their shutters a lovely palette of colors facing rows of boats standing at attention, eager to return to the turquoise waters of the region. The tapering streets of the village meander from the port with small shops and restaurants scattered among village houses. Market days are Wednesday and Friday mornings.


A great pleasure while spending time in Cassis is to laze over a long lunch on the port, watching the boats and passersby. Two restaurants to note if heading to Cassis: Chez Gilbert for their bouillabaisse (famous Provençale fish soup) and Le Bistro de Nino (freshly caught fish - delicious).

Yes, the village and the little harbor are very charming...but what makes Cassis remarkable is what lies to the west along its coast: the shoreline and the Calanques (sea cliffs with little beach coves between Cassis and Marseille). The Calanques are a protected National Park, and for good reason; they are mythical. The jewel-toned water against the gray limestone cliffs belies belief.

A beautiful stop when leaving Cassis is Cap Canaille, France’s highest sea cliff. Take in a sweeping view of the town and the entire coastline from this viewpoint.  One can only marvel at the vista – the Mediterranean sea, the cliffs of the Calanques and the bays of Cassis.

Photography and writing by Emilie Johnson. She can be found on instagram at @emilie_joly_johnson