The Calanques A natural gem to discover and preserve

The Calanques National Park has something unique: it is the only one to be both continental, insular and marine. Linking Marseille to Cassis along 80 km of coastline, with around 20 km of marked trails, it is located in the heart of the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole. The one-of-a-kind landscapes are simply spectacular.

Inland, the highest point of the Massif de Saint-Cyr is Mont Carpiagne, that climbs to 646 metres, between the valley of the Huveaune and the Calanques. This former agropastoral land offers wonderful panoramic views from the numerous hiking trails. The deepest point of the calanques is the Cassidaigne canyon that drops down to – 2,191 metres under the sea. The Calanques National Park can be explored on foot to discover the numerous creeks, but also by boat for a memorable trip starting out from Marseille or Cassis. The scenery is spectacular: majestic cliffs, the sea as far as the eye can see, maquis, and a large diversity of flora and fauna.

An outstanding biodiversity can be admired in the heart of the park, the most protected part: various animal and marine species and over 1,000 plant species. The area benefits from a specific regulation for its protection, notably the LIFE Habitats Calanques project whose aim is to protect and restore the flora of the calanques with a number of actions, particularly at such emblematic sites as Callelongue, Marseilleveyre and Morgiou. Climate change, pressure from human activities and natural sources are among the threats the area is facing today and it needs respecting and looking after. In addition to the terrestrial core, the Calanques National Park has the particularity of having a marine core covering 90% of the total core area which is equally threatened and protected.