It takes only forty minutes from Aix en Provence to transport yourself to the soft and sandy beach of Cassis near the enchanting little port. It’s a delight anytime of the year – winter with a warm blanket and a windbreaker and summer with well – not much apart from an ice-cream from Amorino. This little gem, 20km from Marseilles, has been an important fishing village for centuries sitting snugly between the rugged beauty of Cap Canaille toward La Ciotat and the dramatic calangues towards Marseille.
A perfect present to give friends or family – a day or longer in Cassis to just BE. The pretty harbour encircled by sunlit terraces and colourful little bobbing boats; a trip to the bustling local market; a meander down a boutique laden alleyway; a footpath up to the ruined 13th century castle or a charming boat trip to discover the calangues.
It is always the first place I take guests to impress with the extraordinary and genuinely ‘jaw dropping’ panoramas and oh that light! I wasn’t blown away with the choice of hotels so if I’m missing something please tell me. I liked Les Jardins de Cassis the most but it’s a hike down to the town. One of my quayside favourite eateries, Nino, also has super little rooms at La maison Nino. An overnight stay enables a chance to bathe in the healing light of sunset and sunrise; a little more time to just BE in Cassis and eat at an array of lovely restaurants. My favourites’ were well hidden; local spots that tourists stumble on called Le Chaudron and Le Bonaparte. If you prefer not to drive there yourself then contact Discover Provence: a super tour company with a wealth of local knowledge based in Aix en Provence. For a special and sweet smelling treat, head to La Savonnerie de Cassis five minutes amble from the town, selling my favourite soap in the area from their little garden.