A quick hop, skip and a jump down the A8 and the A52 and we are in Cassis. Forty minutes to be exact. An exquisite town too small to cope with the thousands that visit. Mid October and its quieter……. Lovely. Am I really here? This is one of the local beach hangouts close to Aix en Provence and it’s picture postcard perfect.
Living in London for so many years’ I regularly yearned to pop down to the coast, but it never happened as it felt too far away or I was never organised enough.
It’s the second time in Cassis for me and it certainly won’t be the last. Having read all the guides books – it lives up to its reputation. Apart from a little fishing port, it also has a pretty town and a truly superb beach, where the sea is turquoise and sparkling. Everything a tourist needs. No long treks to find that perfect plage after you have had lunch on the quayside – its all there and easy.
Lunch at a restaurant tucked away in a backstreet was spectacular – scallops with a basil sauce (olive oil and fresh ground basil) and a delicate courgette mousse that simply melted in the mouth. The waiter had to really twist my arm to try a glass of local rose crafted in nearby Bandol. Sounds perfect – it was!
A quick change in the restaurant and its down to the beach for a swim – well a paddle! Even after the lunchtime wine I’m not ready to brave the cold water. Plenty have and many have done it with great sea bathing style; some even wear swimming hats. I wish I was one of those people who runs and dives in under the waves eventually emerging from the water looking satisfied and cool but I’m not sure I will ever cut that look. Maybe I’ll have a go next time when there are fewer people about.
One of the greatest tourist attractions of the region, the magnificent calangues, are a short ride from Cassis by boat. But its the afternoon now and there’s a growing queue for the calangue boat. I need to find my way back to Aix to pick up the kids. So much more to explore here but we’ll save that for another day, perhaps market day as a real treat!