The Calanques, also known as the Massif des Calanques, are a dramatic feature of the Provence coast, a 20-km long series of narrow inlets in the cliffs of the coastline between Marseille on the west and Cassis on the east. The highest peak in the massif is Mont Puget, 565 metres high.
The best known calanques of the Massif des Calanques include the Calanque de Sormiou, the Calanque de Morgiou, the Calanque d'En-Vau, the Calanque de Port-Pin and the Calanque de Sugiton.
Calanques are remains of ancient river mouths formed mostly during Tertiary. Later, during quaternary glaciations, as glaciers swept by, they further deepened those valleys which would eventually (at the end of the last glaciation) be invaded with sea and become calanques.
|The Cosquer caveis an underwater grotto in the Calanque de Morgiou, 37 metres (121 ft) underwater, that was inhabited during Paleolithic era, when the sea level was much lower than today. Its walls are covered with paintings and engravings dating back to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC, depicting animals such as bison, ibex, and horses, as well as sea mammals such as seals, and at least one bird, the auk.|
The best time to visit calanques is probably March through May, when temperatures are still quite fresh and, unlike autumn and winter, rain is usually quite rare. As no fresh water sources are available in the calanques, it is advised to carry large supplies of water, especially during the hot summer to prevent serious dehydration.Boat tours are also available starting either from Marseille or Cassis , which can provide for some spectacular sightseeing