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Sunday, August 24, 2014


Cassis (name comes of Portus Carsiicis from the Roman period, first century BC) is a small fishing port in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and the administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is characterized by cliffs and caves in its territory and the manufacture of the famous Cassis white wine (called white, but it's pink) that is produced in the region. In addition to wine, tourism is another strut holding the economy of this beautiful village of the south of France. It has also a beautiful marina that hosts over 500 boats. See photo above by Jean-Christophe BENOIST.

Little history of Cassis I found in the available literature in books, dictionaries and Internet. It is now known that it was regional habitation since prehistory with the discovery of underwater caves in calanque (what does mean calanque?) Cosquer (see video below, impressive) between Cassis and Marseille. Fragments of paleolithic stamped pottery and paleo-Christian lamps were discovered in calanque of Port-Miou. It seems that Cassis was a small fishing port on the Gallo-Roman era because numerous artifacts have been discovered from that period in the excavations. Politically belonged to different entities and there were frequent changes. This happens usually with fishing and border towns. Cassis meets two conditions. In the fourteenth century it belonged to the seigneurie (lordship) of Roquefort. In 1376 the Avignon Pope Grégoire XI was on track to restore the papacy in Rome when his fleet had to refuge from a storm in the calanque of Port-Miou. In 1443 Cassis became an independent parish of Roquefort and was ruled by the bishops of Marseille for much of the fifteenth century.

In the mid-sixteenth century Charles V of Spain looking to capture the Provencal part of France in his bid to become universal monarch ordered the capture of Cassis. Its castle was occupied and the village looted. This of warfare and plunder of villages seemed to be the favorite pastime of nobles unemployed, occupied only in expanding their boundaries of domination. In 1720 occurred a terrible plague that decimated the population. But in general it can be said that apart from the regular and customary visit of pirates coming for supply with pillage and theft, the population lived relatively quiet until 1813 when British, in their struggle to weaken the power of the defenses of Napoleon, entered the town and made the usual looting. However the desire of them to live in peace was always stronger than the desire of others to make war, as appears to be the only reason Napoleon had to live. Being in peace their wines were always a mainstay of its economy. They were made even before the Greeks arrived at the port around 600 bC. In 1936 Cassis was honored to receive the designation of origin of their wines. They produce red, pink and white, the latter being the most famous.

Time to go, my friends. I do not recommend trying to go by car. Some of the roads around Cassis are narrow and have many sharp bends. By train is better and safe. The trip has to be Paris (Gare de Lyon)-Marseille (Gare Saint-Charles)-Cassis (Gare de Cassis). No way. No direct trains from Paris to Cassis. Being in Paris there are several itineraries thru TGV line all departing from Gare de Lyon (Place Louis Armand, Paris 12, Metro Lines 1 and 10). Trains: #TGV6101 departs at 6:20 arrives at 9:36 (Mon, Tu-Th, Fri). #TGV6103 departs at 7:20 arrives at 10:30 (everyday). #TGV6171 departs at 7:54 arrives at 11:15 (everyday). #TGV6105 departs at 8:20 arrives at 11:20 (Mon, Tu-Th, Fri, Sat). Being in Gare Saint-Charles at Marseille there are trains to Gare de Cassis everyday every 30 minutes. Trip is 26 minutes. We are at last in Cassis. Forget your pains dear reader. You are in the middle of one of the most paradisiacal places on earth. We will fly over Cassis to give you an idea what kind of amazing place you are visiting.

Next go where you are going to stay. You should have booked your accommodation in advance. It's very important and never I will be tired to insist on this. All France as a tourist country is very requested and hotels are the most. Here at you will find many options in Cassis. You can also have a look to Trip Advisor that always has very good recommendations. Here you have: Hotels, B&B, Vacation Rentals, Vacation Packages, a Cassis map and a Travel Guide. It's a must to visit the Tourist Office. They always have the most trusted and updated info about Cassis.

Now it's time to see what to do in Cassis. There are a lot of activities and atractions. If you prefer to visit places assisted here you have the best tours in Cassis from people of Viator. They always exceed the needs of tourists. And boat tours are great.

First take a boat tour. It's a different experience. The calanques are beautiful. Visit Cassis Calanques Plongée (National Park of Calanques). Contact info is in the site I've gave you. If you like wine they produce one of the best blank wine in the all world. Visit their winery at Clos Sainte Magdeleine. Check carefully tour is not available from last of august to beginning of september because of the grapes harvests. You have complete information in the site. Like Kayaks? Cassis Sport Loisirs Nautique is an option to take a tour. If you like extreme sports is an excellent idea to have a tour in Kayak. This video is from people of this site. You need to understand some French but images are eloquent.

Want to have your own boat. Try with Caciomer. With them you can rent a timeshare boat and docked it at the port of Cassis in the immediate vicinity of the exceptional site of the creeks. Hate of water? Let's go again to the village and have a tour in the Petit Train de Cassis (Little Train of Cassis). Being in here, want to climb? Place is Cap Canaille only for really daring people. Complete technical information in Climbing Away. Climbing is not a game.

Want to swim under the water? Centre de Plongee Narval Don Luis is an option. Here a video with them. Have a lot of money? Don't know what to do with it? Congratulation. Perhaps you would like to rent a luxury yatch. Try with Luxury-Yatch Services. But having all this money, want to spend some just playing? Try with Casino Barrière Cassis. There time goes fast.

As I said there are a bundle of places to visit. You could be in Cassis enjoying your life many, many days. It appears that people and municipal government of Cassis know how to do things right and bring a world of tourists to its shores. All what you see is prosperity by everywhere. I love that. Enterprising people and good rulers is exactly equal to prosperity. That equation does not fail. Here more places to visit and activities to do.

As you see many, many, many activities to spend your time really great. Well, dear friends, see you later, alligators. It's over. But have before a complete list of the best restaurants in Cassis according to Trip Advisor. Enjoy your meal. Au revoir!


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