Cassis is a small attractive town in Provence in southern France on the Mediterranean coast. Celebrated for its cliffs and calanques, it is also known for the Cassis wines (white, but also rosé) produced in the region.
"Qu'a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, pou dire: n'ai rèn vist" (He who has seen Paris but not Cassis can say, I haven't seen anything." These words, spoken by Nobel-prize winning writer Federique Mistral, reflect the great attraction that Cassis exerts on all those who go there. The little fishing port, tucked between two exceptional natural sites (the celebrated Calanques and the majestic Cap Canaille) offers a concentrated version of Provence and the Mediterranean. The magic begins to work on the little road that leads to the village, winding between vineyards and pine trees. Walk along charming back roads lined with the brightly coloured homes of fishermen. Cassis will be forever remembered by those who see its port, boats and welcoming terraces for the first time.
By Train: Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles Gare de Cassis
There's a train station on the edge of the town. For practical purposes, much of the city is quite a distance from the train station. It is walkable from the station to the city, just be prepared for a hike.
By Plane: The [Marseille-Provence] Airport is located 55km from Cassis. Navettes Airport - Marseille Gare Saint-Charles - Journey takes about 25 minutes.
By Car (or cycle): Some of the roads around Cassis are narrow and have many sharp bends.
Les Taxis Cassidains: are happy to take tourists on a route which exhibits the charms of the region: a visit to the Calanques, the village of Castellet, the vineyards of Cassis... For all enquiries phone: 04 42 01 78 96
You can walk or cycle pretty much everywhere, it is a very small town.
The beaches (remember your swimming costume). These can get very busy in the summer months.
The nearby Calanques (see the Marseille entry for more details).
The boat trips to the Calanques are definitely worthwhile. A choice of trips is available, either tours or drop-on or pick-ups from the Calanques. Walking tours are also available.
There are plenty of souvenirs available, ranging from the tacky to the upmarket. Some of them can be quite expensive so do shop around.
The sea provides a variety of flavours: sardines, tuna, redfish, bass, cuttlefish, sea bream, conger, grey mullet, eel, red mullet, mussels, sea urchins, and squid. The earth provides vegetables coloured by the sun and cut when ripe, honey, herbs, olives...
The harbour is lined with many seafood restaurants, which are usually good, due to the huge local competition.
Although not a well known wine region, some of the good Cassis wines have been found as far afield as the USA. Fresh whites and local Rose go well with the fish dishes that many of the harbour restaurants favour. They do not seem to travel well, so are best tasted locally when they are still young in the bars and restaurants in the town.