Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 43.20051°N / 5.50209°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 492 ft / 150 m
Sign the Climber's Log


When people talk about "Les Calanques" it actually covers an area that is almost 20 kms long with several climbing sites :

La Guardiole
Calanque de Sugiton / Luminy
Calanque de Morgiou
Calanque de Sormiou
Les Goudes

The great thing is that you can climb almost all year long, apart from summer where it can be hot and closed for fire risks.
The landscape is stunning, as you climb right above the blue Mediterranean Sea !

The Calanques are also famous for two of its most passionated climbers :
Gaston Rebuffat and Georges Livanos (known as "Le Grec").

Map of Les Calanques

Staying... and Getting There

Calanque d En-Vau 03

The main place to stay is located in the small town of Cassis (20 kms East of Marseille). There you can find shops and petrol easily.
The camp site is :

Camping Les Cigales
Avenue de la Marne
13260 CASSIS
Tel 04 42 01 07 34

It would be a mistake to stay in Marseille as there can be traffic jams (second biggest city in France after Paris... 1 million people),
and there is no camp site. However the good thing about is that it is only 3 hours away from Paris by train.

From Cassis camp site, first drive to city centre.
From follow signs saying "Les Calanques". You will quickly reach the Bestouan beach.
Shortly after turn right through a residential area (don't follow the "Calanques" signs anymore). The road will go down to a car park, where you stop (15 minutes driving in total)
You then have to walk, following the track GR51 to the Calanque d'En-Vau (45 min hiking).

Site Description & Essential Gear

Calanque d En-Vau 04

Calanque d En-Vau 02

Calanque d En-Vau 01

In Les Calanques, the entire rock is limestone.
It's not always perfect as there can be bushes and rotten rock, but usually the rock quality is very good.
Routes can be up to 150m high. A few are long horizontal traverse.
To descend, sometimes you have to abseil, sometimes you can walk down on the other side.

As there can several pitches the usual climbing gear is need :
2x 50m ropes
Quickdraws and sling
Abseiling equipment
Helmet (highly recommended !!)
Sun cream and lots of water in summer (undoubtedly)

Here is a description of the climbing areas in Calanque d'En-Vau :

____Climbing Area________Routes________Pitches________Level____
Le Pouce61 to 43a to 6c
La Grande Aiguille51 to 33c to 5c
La Moitié Moitié51 to 42c to 6b
Sirène91 to 52b to 6a+
La Petite Aiguille1014c to 6a
Saphir31 to 42b to 5c+
Dalle du Chat615c to 7a
Dalle de la Conversation71 to 34c to 7a
Doigt de Dieu61 to 53b to 7a+
Arche des Marseillais41 to 54b to 6b / A3
Secteur des Américains201 to 54b to 8a
Passerelle161 to 44c to 6c / A3
Conan516b to 7b
Les Sans Souci41 to 62b to 6b
Calendal1914c to 7b
Dalle de Port-Miou1515b to 7a


The best guidebook is :
Escalade dans les Calanques

The best map is :
IGN 3245ET Aubagne / La Ciotat

And for weather forecast :
Meteo France > Cassis
Calanque d En-Vau 06



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