About a month ago we took five days holiday down on the coast. Yes, we would have liked to have taken more, but it was a bit of an experiment. As we have mentioned before, Toulon is very well known for its spectacular traffic jams and it’s not easy to go round it, because of the mountain immediately behind; this rules out day trips to the area to the west. So we based ourselves at Six-Fours-les-Plages with an AirBNB that was well, okay. From here we headed out westwards to a number of coastal towns, which had they not all been quite so heavily built up would have been very attractive indeed.
In successive order west from Six-Fours they are Sanary-sur-Mer (which we have actually previously visited), Bandol, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer and La Ciotat. The last is particularly interesting because it’s not simply devoted to residents and yachts but has quite a sizeable ship building and vessel maintenance area as well.
From La Ciotat we were able to wind our way along the “Route des Crêtes”, which runs over a protected area that is part of the Parc national des Calanques.
It has many claims to fame, the most striking being that the headland of Cap Canaille is, at 394 m (1,293ft), the highest sea cliff in France. Being France, there weren’t too many warning signs at stops where too far in the wrong direction would have been a serious mistake. We only saw one place where there were railings to stop you plunging 300 metres into the sea.
From the tops of the cliffs we took the steep road into into the town of Cassis, which suffers from being very close indeed to Marseille. It must have been a very pretty town once and the port area is still charming, although when we were there we felt it had already reached and indeed exceeded saturation in the numbers of visitors. But it was good to at last visit it!