Wine was being made around Cassis even before the Greeks arrived around 600 BC, and it’s only gotten better. Cassis wine received the Appellation d’Origine Controlée in 1936 — the first in the region. It’s produced in red, rosé and white, with the white being the most famous. (see Provence Wines)
This is popular cycling country — As we left Cassis at the end of May, we had to stop for cycle race going through Roquefort-la-Bedoule, 5 km up the road. (A photo should be available soon.)
Rock climbers come here from all over Europe (and perhaps even further) to scale the white cliffs of the calanques. Climbs can start from near accessible areas at the head of the inlets, or directly from the sea, and go up as high as 240 meters. Small boats at the harbor take climbers out to the base of the cliffs, or the tourist navettes will drop them off or pick them up at the accessible points.
IGN (1/25,000) #3245 ET “Aubagane, La Ciotat, Ste-Baume”
A local map of Cassis and the Calanques is available (free) from the Office de Tourism; it includes cycling and hiking routes.
• The GR98 (Grande Randonnée) passes through the center of Cassis.
• To the west, the GR98 follows the calanques coastline to the Massif de Marseilleveyre and the edge of the city of Marseilles. There are also other local trails in the calanques, allowing some loop hikes.
• To the east, the GR98 goes out past (and partly along-side) the autoroute into the hills. It joins with the GR51 (Balcony of the Cote d’Azur) about 10 km out of Cassis.
• Some local loop hikes are marked on the Corniche des Crêtes, between Cassis and la Ciotat.
The port is lined with terrace cafés and restaurants, offering a variety of fare and prices. There are even more restaurants on the many little streets of the village away from the port. We tried “La Paillotte” on the Quai Barthelemy, which had excellent choices and quality for a 15 euro lunch menu.