Climbing trip to Calanques (France) by train and bike

I traveled from Lausanne to the south of France by train, then cycled along the Mediterranean coast. The scenery was absolutely stunning, and I climbed in the beautiful Calanques. It was a fantastic spot, with routes perfect for all skill levels, breathtaking climbs, and incredible views.

How to get there

I started my journey by taking a ferry from Lausanne to Evian, bringing my bike aboard with a bike ticket costing 22 CHF. From Evian, I continued by train to Leucate, opting exclusively for TER services since they allow bikes without the need to dismantle them. Although bike reservations are required on the TER website, they were not checked during my travels. This choice meant avoiding TGVs and not having to pack my bike, but it extended my travel time to 11 hours involving five train changes. For bike transport on trains, it was handy to have a backpack that attaches to the bike rack, making it easy to detach and carry when needed, especially since you often have to hang the bike on trains. From Leucate, I then cycled approximately 350km along the Mediterranean coast over two days to reach Marseille. (However, you can also take the train until Marseille if you want to cycle less). The cycling route featured a mix of busy roads and dedicated cycle paths. For detailed route information and more insights, visit my journey here.

Where to stay

Auberge la Fontasse: A cozy spot nestled in the heart of the Calanques, accessible only on foot or by bike. Navigation can be tricky if you're unfamiliar with the area, so it's wise to check a detailed outdoor map. The accommodation is rustic, offering minimal electricity, a 10 p.m. curfew, and showers using buckets of water, but that's all part of the adventure for those who love nature. It's also affordable compared to other options in Cassis or Marseille.

How to reach the crag(s)

Cap Canaille is accessible by bike within an hour. In just 30 minutes of walking, you can reach the Calanque d'En-Vau. You can also access Castelvieil, L'Oule, L'Eissadon, and Le Devenson. If you're willing to hike a bit longer, the Concave, which is also remarkable, can be reached in under 2 hours, including the rappels.


Supermarket in Cassis about an hour walking from the hostel.

For a rest day, just chilling in or hiking in the Calanques or visiting Marseille are for sure good options.

You can also deep water solo in the Calanques (when the water is not too cold).

More on about the trip on the slostr blog or slostr Instagram.

How to book the trip

You can book the TER for France on SNCF Connect (app or website). Bike reservations might need to be done on here. For the ferry crossing the Leman you can go on and add a point to point or day ticket for your bike.

About the author

Vladimir Fayt

Photo gallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *