Bathing in the Calanques
Before you leave
Before going into the National Park, plan your visit: find out about the access conditions, check out the route and ensure you are well-equipped (good walking shoes, enough water, sun protection, etc.).
Where to swim?
In the Calanques
All the popular bathing spots in the National Park (Saint-Estève, Sormiou, Sugiton, En-Vau, Port-Pin, Figuerolles, etc.) are difficult to access, small and overcrowded in summer. You will find no shops, no water points, no toilets, no bins.
It is possible in some places to swim from the rocks, but this activity must be carried out outside the natural regeneration zones marked out by posts and wires, and with the greatest caution, only in calm seas. The coastline of the Calanques is often very steep and presents real dangers, and the currents can be unpredictable (particularly on the southern coast of Marseille, from Mont Rose to Cap Croisette and Les Goudes). Unfortunately, fatal accidents occur every year.
Due to underground springs that drain below the surface and currents, the water in the Calanques is often cold.
Near the Calanques
The towns of Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat have several beaches. To the north of Marseille, the Côte Bleue also has beaches. Unlike the Calanques, these beaches often offer facilities (toilets, showers, restaurants, etc.) and are easily accessible (proximity to town centres, car parks, etc.).
- Use public transport to get to reach the starting point of your walk to the beach.
- On the path to the beach, stay on marked paths to avoid trampling the flora.
- Respect the vegetation regeneration zones marked with stakes and wires.
- Respect the wildlife: do not feed it or disturb it.
- Respect the flora: do not pick it or pull it up.
- Do not move the stones: they are shelters for insects and lizards.
- Respect the peacefulness of the area and make as little noise as possible.
- Wear light clothing and long sleeves to protect yourself from the sun.
- Bring a zero waste picnic to reduce plastic consumption.
- Clear up any rubbish you find on then path.
- Respect the peace of other visitors.
- During the summer period, swim in the mornings or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.
- Protect the Calanques against the risk of fire, don't smoke in the National Park and don't make fires on the beach.
- Take your rubbish home and recycle it.
- Keep your dog on a lead to prevent it from wandering.
- For the beaches of Saint-Estève, la Maronnaise, Sormiou, Morgiou, En-Vau and Port-Pin, check the quality of the bathing water on the City of Marseille website.
- Before leaving, check your route on an IGN map, and take it with you or use the mobile app Mes Calanques.
- Choose your route according to your experience.
- Check the weather conditions.
- Wear shoes that are suitable for walking.
- Take a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with you.
- Take at least 1.5 litres of water per person per ½ day, as well as food.
- Stay on the marked paths to avoid falling.
- When swimming, supervise children to avoid accidents.
- In an emergency, call 112.