Les Calanques

For those travelling the South of France, skip the riviera and head straight to Calanques National Park located right off Marseille. We actually unexpectedly stumbled across this amazing gem of France, and I could not have been happier.

Having little wifi access makes it difficult most days to know where to go or what to see within the area you are in - so the fact that we managed to pick a camp spot right at the foot of this National Park was a miracle really. If I hadn't found Calanques I probably would be complaining to Kyle to this day!

The park is huge by the way! We spent two days walking it and only saw like a fifth or something crazy like that. I definitely recommend starting from Cassis which is a small picturesque seaside town just half an hour east of Marseille. From there you can easily walk to the start of the trail. We both decided to walk from our campsite which added an extra 5km onto our journey, but it was probably for the best.. you know from all that daily pizza and ice cream ;). If you plan to go in Summer it is most likely that the park will be closed off due to increased fire risks, so try visit around May or October. If it is shut for hikers then the only other way to access secluded beaches is by boat or kayak.

I hope my photos will do most the talking on how extraordinarily magical this spot on earth is. Couldn't believe I had not heard of it before! It's part of the Provence area, and when you think Provence you think purple lavender fields and bright sunflower fields for days right? Well apparently it has way more than that to offer! The park stretches over 20km and is made up of limestone cliffs, aqua blue (can't believe you're eyes) water, secluded beaches, steep rocky trails, baron landscapes and hot temperatures! At some points along the hike you are certain there could not be a paradise beach nearby. You almost feel like your in the middle of nowhere haha. We hiked to the first three beaches including Port-Miou, Port Pin, and d'En-Vau.

d'En-Vau is by far the most beautiful spot and the most challenging to get to (of course it is right? haha). To get there you either have to take a long, and challenging 8km walk or take a boat or kayak. Because we are stingiest at the best of times we decided to walk haha! And also because I seemed to love the fact that the beach was difficult to reach, like only the real adventurers were able to experience it 👣.The beach is engulfed in these huge limestone cliff faces that stretch down about 100m, giving it a very secluded and enchanted feel. I hope my photos do the water justice on how amazingly turquoise it was! The clearness and colour was so intense I just wanted to drink it.

Port-Miou is the first bay you reach on the hike, and is usually filled with yachts, divers, and sometimes the brave cliff jumpers. The water here is also freakishly blue! So blue I could not turn down the opportunity to take my first big cliff jump. Took Kyle some time to convince me as I stood on the ledge counting 1.. 2.. 3.. about a million times haha. I'm not going to lie, I few too many curse words left my mouth when I finally did, but I knew if I didn't jump I would be kicking myself everyday.

Port Pin was also very beautiful but a lot more touristy as it is really easy to get to - so you'll tend to see more families and kids here. For that reason we didn't stay long just enough to get that quick snap (as always). For those people who are up to break some serious sweat, the hike to D'en-Vau is 100% worth it!!!

When people ask me where my favourite spots in Europe were I pretty much yell Calanques, just at how excited I get in telling people about it! So whatever you do, if you're travelling the South of France and aren't too fussed missing the crowded and chaotic French Riviera, do not miss, and I repeat DO NOT MISS, Calanques! Got it? Good :)

Hope you all enjoy my photos as much as I do. The joy I find in creating beautiful images for others to see is inexplicable  :)

*Please click on image for full quality image :)

Hayls x

1, 9, 11, 17, 18, 19 & 22 - Port Miou

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 23, 24 & 25 - d'En Vau

15, & 20 - Port Pin

21 - Hiking spot between Port Pin and d'En Vau