Saturday, September 25, 2010


I think you know Cassis is one of our favorite towns in Provence. With its narrow streets, pastel colored houses and Provençal street names, Cassis is a charming blend of the Mediterranean Sea and Provence.

Thankfully, it's an easy drive of about 1 hour and 4o minutes from Sablet to Cassis. The picture perfect town is tucked into a curve of the coast along the Mediterranean Sea amidst the calanques - little coastal fjords, 20 kms east of Marseille.

Cassis is a small fishing port with 8,000 inhabitants. The port is filled with little fishing boats, yachts and a collection of tourist boats for visiting the calanques, something we still have yet to do.

Cape Canaille which stands over Cassis, is one of the highest cliffs of Europe at 399 meters (1,309 feet) above sea level and the highest cliff in France.

Frederick Mistral famously wrote in his poem Calendal “Qu'a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, a ren vist”? (Those who have seen Paris but not Cassis, have seen nothing).

The port is lined with tourist shops, terrace cafés and restaurants, offering a variety of food and prices.

There are even more shops and restaurants on the little streets of the village away from the port.

We have tried a number of the restaurants along the port but except for being great for people-watching, we have yet to find one that has really good food.

If anyone has a restaurant(s) in Cassis to recommend, please share so we can try it out on our next visit which I am sure will be in the not too distant future.

At the outter most tip of the port stands the statue of Calendal. Calendal was a humble anchovy fisherman and hero of a work by poet Frédéric Mistral that recounts Calendal's exploits to win the heart of his true love. His memory is now honored by this statue made of Cassis stone.

Besides not having discovered any good restaurants yet in Cassis, the one bad thing is trying to find parking close to the port. Invariably, we've had to park quite a ways away and walk to the port.

The last time we were there, this plant was in full bloom around the parking lot where I (I drop off wife Shirley as close as I can to the port and then I go park) found an empty space.

A beautiful plant but don't know what it is despite my efforts to identify it. Anyone know?

We will return again and again to enjoy the beauty of Cassis and the surrounding area along with the wonderful white and rosé wines that are produced in the Cassis AOC.


  1. I love Cassis! And the next time you go, check out Restaurant Bonaparte. It is a small seafood restaurant, very good quality, very good prices. It is on Rue de la Bonaparte, only a couple minutes walk from the port into the winding streets.

  2. Sara Louise, thank you so much for the recommendation. I can't wait to try out Restaurant Bonaparte. To be truthful, we have not spent a huge amount of time exploring Cassis except for around the port and several of the wineries. So this will give us a good reason to wander the streets away from the port.