Exploring the Cote d’Azur’s Calanques National Park

If experiencing breath-taking views and exploring incredible natural beauty and thriving wildlife is what you crave for in a holiday, then you’ll be interested in learning more about Calanques National Park.

Calanques D'En Vau bay, Calanques National Park

This beautifully scenic national park is located in Bouches-du-Rhone and Var on the highly-desirable Cote d’Azur in the south of France. The national park was established in 2012 and is the only national park in France to comprise of both land and sea. In fact, just 85km2 of Calanques National Park is on land. The rest of the 520km2 park comprises of water.

Within this aquatic landscape, which brags one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems in the Mediterranean, are several beautiful islands.

A ‘calanque’ in French describes a steep, narrow creek, typically made of limestone and which can be found along the Mediterranean’s coastline. Given its name, it’s no surprise that dramatic limestone creeks crafting an incredibly unique and distinct landscape, dominate Calanques National Park’s landscape.

This vast and diverse national park is internationally-renowned for its strong cultural heritage and flourishing biodiversity. Calanques was the tenth national park to be created in France.

Here you can enjoy wandering through the wilderness, each step taking you further into compelling natural beauty. Though part of Calanques’ unique identity is the fact that despite its wilderness, it’s situated next to the busy city of Marseille, with a population of more than two million.

On the other side of the national park, lies the bustling coastal town of Cassis. With its pebbly beaches, limestone ‘calanques’, a harbour lined with pastel-hued houses, restaurants and bars, all being overlooked by a centuries-old chateau. The fishing port of Cassis more than warrants a visit and is certainly in-keeping with the steep and narrow landscape that gives the outstandingly beautiful Calanques National Park its unique identity.