The Calanques are a beautiful national park directly at the Mediterranean coast. It’s a stunning place full of climbing opportunities – you can find sport-climbing routes there as well as multipitch routes. And if you’re interested in deep water soloing, there are some great options nearby. In June, I travelled with four friends to Marseille where we continued our journey to the Calanques. But it’s better to go there in the springtime or in autumn, as it can be very warm in the summer. I was very impressed by this amazing place and how easy it is to get there by train and bus. We spend most of our time in the sector Les Goudes as it’s easy to reach and a wonderful spot!
How to get there
From Munich you take the ICE to Mannheim, which takes three hours. From here you can take the direct connection to Marseille with the TGV, which needs just about seven hours. So, you can travel from Munich to Marseille in about 10 hours. You can either directly stay in Marseille and go on day trips to the Calanque or stay at the campsite in Calanques. If you prefer staying at the campsite in the Calanques, you take the train from Marseille to Cassis (17 minutes). From the train station to the campsite it’s only a 20 minutes walk.
Where to stay
We stayed in a hostel in Marseille and did some day trips to the Calanques, but there are also options to stay in the suburbs or villages closer to the national park Calanques. The next campsite (Camping les Cigales) is in Cassis, at the other side of Calanques national park.
How to reach the crag(s)
From the campsite to the closest sector Calendal, it is 35 minutes walking or 15 minutes by bike. There are two options close by where you can rent a bike (here or here). To Secteur du Vallon and Brise de Mer it is about 45 minutes by foot and also about 15 minutes by bike. All these climbing spots belong to the sector Port Miou.
To reach the climbing spots from Marseille during day trips, you start from the train station Saint Charles in Marseille and take the Metro M1 to get to Castellane. In Castellane you continue with the bus 19 to Madrague de Montredon, which is also the final destination of this bus line. From there you take the bus 20, which brings you directly into the Calanques. As soon as you arrive in the village Callelongue you can already see the climbing spots – it's just half an hour walking to reach the first sector 'Rocher des Goudes'.
There are many nice options for rest day activities like going on a hike in the Calanques, enjoying the sea, renting a kayak (for example here) or visiting the old town of Cassis. I can recommend the farmers markets which are located along Place Baragnon, Rue Alexandre Gervais, Place Clemenceau and Rue de l’Arene. They take place on Wednesdays and Fridays and start at 8am.
If you stay at the campsite in Cassis the closest supermarket is ‘U Express’. It's a ten minutes walk from the campsite to the direction of the city centre.
Besides sport-climbing, there are also multipitch routes and deep water soloing nearby.
How to book the trip
You can book the tickets from Munich or any other German city to Marseille via DB. The metro and bus tickets can be easily bought in Marseille at one of the ticket machines, for example at the train station Saint Charles where you arrive. If you book your train ticket one to two months in advance you pay about 60 - 90€ to get to Marseille.
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