Cassis was a very ancient fishing port and is an interesting village to visit.
The village was rebuilt on the old ruins in the 18th century, resulting in a more regular layout than most other medieval villages.
A walk through the old village streets will reveal some nice old buildings, some dating back to the 16th century, and some restored with the colorful pastels of Provence.
Other sites in the village are old fountains and an open-air artists market (where we bought a few small paintings of Provence). The harbor area is really the prettiest part of Cassis.
Cassis is still a small fishing port, but the little fishing boats now share the harbor with yachts and a collection of tourist boats for visiting the calanques — a trip you shouldn’t miss. Our gallery shows the stern of the double-ended pointus; on the opposite ends, note the high bow post that’s been a feature of the pointus for the past 2000 years.
A fine old chateau-fort, the 1381 Chateaux de la Maison des Baux, dominates the harbor, but it’s privately owned and closed to the public. A walk up to the hill top beside the chateau offers a reasonable view down to the village and harbor. The local map (from the Office de Tourisme) shows a “loop” route down to the shore. It’s a pretty walk, but the shore-line path back to the village is now closed off, so it’s back up over the hill past the chateau.
The first of the white Cassis stone quarries in the Calanques was opened in 1753.
Beaches Cassis has a fine sandy beach just outside the port, the Plage de la Grande mer. The beaches Plage du Corton and Plage de l’Arène are on the coast just to the south of the village. Just west of the port are the beaches La Plage du Bestouan and La Plage Bleue; in between are is the huge sloping stone shelf popular as a nudist beach.