Bathing in the Calanques

The Calanque d'En-Vau during the summer season
The Calanque d'En-Vau during the summer season © Z. Bruyas - Parc national des Calanques
The Calanques are a mountainous massif by the sea, with few beaches. Located in the hollows of creeks, devoid of facilities, they are often difficult to access, cramped and overcrowded during the summer.


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.

Only the beaches of Sormiou and Saint-Estève are supervised in the summer.

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.).


 Best practices

  • 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.




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