Calanque de Sormiou

Page Type
Provence - Côte d'Azur, France, Europe
Hiking, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
492 ft / 150 m
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Calanque de Sormiou
Created On: Nov 14, 2006
Last Edited On: Jun 18, 2016


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

Calanque d'En-Vau
La Guardiole
Calanque de Sugiton / Luminy
Calanque de Morgiou
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... Getting There

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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, take road D559 west towards Marseille.
After crossing a beautiful plateau, you will drive down to the East side of Marseille.
When reaching the "Mazargue" round-about, turn left and follow signs saying "Sormiou" for a few kilometers.
You will end up on a on a winding road up to the Calanque that goes up to a small pass, then down to the Calanque.
About 30 minutes from the camp site by car.

Site Description & Essential Gear

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Calanque de Sormiou 03

Calanque de Sormiou 04

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 de Sormiou :

___Climbing Area_______Routes________Pitches________Level____
L'Arenas111 to 34c to 6c
Colline de Lun6514a to 7c+
Col de Sormiou1814a to 5b+
La Pinède2312b to 6c+
Le Pouce2512b to 6b+
Dalle Tarzan424a to 3c
Aiguille de Sormiou101 to 23b to 6b / A1
Le Baou Rond3614a to 8a+
L'Arche Perdue2113b to 6c
Pyromaniaque171 to 53b to 6b
Lou Spigaou291 to 23c to 6c
Petit Saussois / Oasis171 to 32c to 6a
Rumpe Cuou131 to 53b to 6b+
Dièdre Guem81 to 73c to 6b+
L'ouro513a to 4b
Le Conglue61 to 25a to 5c
Lui d'Aï141 to 24c to 7a+
Archipel71 to 44c to 6b
L'Apanaù1213c to 6a
Ali Baba513b to 4c
Falaise de la Tiragne531 to 25a to 7b+
Le Bec de Sormiou271 to 102b to 7b
Cap Redon814c to 6a

Books, Maps & Weather

The best guidebook is :
Escalade dans les Calanques

The best map is :
IGN 3145ET Marseille / Les Calanques

And for weather forecast :
Meteo France > Cassis
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