Parc National des Calanques

#6 in Best Things To Do in Marseille
Parc National des Calanques picture
Parc National des Calanques
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Raffi Maghdessian/Getty Images

Key Info

Bât A4, Parc Valad, Impasse Paradou

Details

Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.4scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Visualize jagged limestone cliffs dropping into secret pebble beaches, which are lapped by the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and you'll start to get a picture of the Parc National des Calanques. Although many travelers view this national park from the sea, others say the hiking is absolutely magical too.  

Recent visitors said pictures don't do the Parc National des Calanques justice, swooning that its cliffs, inlets and beaches are breathtaking. While tourists mentioned seeing locals sunbathing on the secluded beaches, rock climbing and rappelling, and hiking, travelers short on time might have to limit themselves to a boat tour. The tourism board recommends a number of operators, including Croisieres Marseille Calanques and Levantin. These boat tours range in price: For instance, a brunch tour with Levantin costs 69 euros in the winter low season and 79 euros in summer high season. 

The Parc National des Calanques is located less than 9 miles south of Marseille on highway D559. You can find free parking at the entrance of the park, but visitors say that these are limited, so you might be better off paying a few euros for parking up on the main road. Keep in mind that with the exception of a snack stand near the parking area, there are no other facilities in the park. For more information, visit the park's website.

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Le Panier – or the Basket – gives a glimpse of Old Marseille and real Marseille culture. From its narrow winding streets that spill into squares to its restaurants, ateliers (worskshops) and terraced homes, Le Panier is a delightful place to meander. It's also convenient to attractions, such as MuCEM and Cathedrale de la Major, among others.   

Visitors say that this district is full of character, highlighting the street art and local restaurants and boutiques. Others describe it as charming and a great place to wander for a few hours.

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