Calanque d’En Vau, formerly pronounced as caw-lawnk don voe, is a breathtaking calanque in the Calanques National Park. These stunning landscapes are often overlooked by American tourists, but anybody visiting southern France should not miss out on seeing them for themselves.
The beautiful Calanque d’En Vau may be reached through a path just outside of Cassis, a little town on the Mediterranean 30 minutes southeast of Marseille, France, and we will show you the exact route to get there in this post.
Calanques are rocky inlets along the Mediterranean coast, comparable in construction to the much larger fjords of Norway. You may get there by taking a boat excursion, kayaking, or trekking into the Calanques. There is a single trail that departs from Cassis and leads to three distinct Calanques: Port Miou, Port Pin, and d’En Vau.
Quickly and on a level path, you can reach the first two Calanques; however, getting to Calanque d’En Vau is a little more of a hike, and it ends in a challenging descent and ascent. That’s a thrilling, albeit difficult, part of the route. Extremely steep, with possible need for handholds.
This comes with a HUGE reward, however. The first two calanques are pretty, and if you’re looking for a simpler hike, you should just stop there. However, they are just a precursor to Calanque d’En Vau. The additional work to get there is well worth it if you are able to do so physically.
Hiking to Calanque d’En Vau
All around France and the rest of the world, climbers are making the journey to En-Vau to experience its fascinating landscape. The majority of the trails are located on the right bank (west) above the sea, on the side of Castelviel and Eissadon, and on either side of the defile, which leads to the beach.
But overnight camping is prohibited for hikers and climbers both, so plan ahead and stay at the La Fontasse youth hostel in La Gardiole or in nearby towns of Marseille or Cassis.
How to Get to Calanque d’En Vau
There are basically three ways to get to Calanque d’En Vau:
The En-Vau calanque is a fantastic hiking destination. The scenery is breathtaking whether you approach it from the valley or the higher trail from Cassis.
Get to Calanque d’En Vau from Cassis
This is the hike everyone should take at least once in their lifetime. It offers a breathtaking panorama of the three coves as you go from Port Miou to Port Pin and then to En-Vau. The trail is rather steep and calls for strong footwear, but the views are well worth the effort.
Get to Calanque d’En Vau from the Col de la Gardiole
This route is shorter, but the view from the Presqu’île de Cassis is more breathtaking. It’s shorter and simpler than the one from Cassis, but it takes almost as long. You should bring plenty of water and sunscreen, but the sight of towering cliffs on each side of the beach is undoubtedly impressive.
Get to Calanque d’En Vau via sea
You’ll be amazed by the sheer verticality of the cliffs at En-Vau, and drawn to the beach, where you can easily bring your boat in for lunch while you stroll along the cliffs. Fish and octopuses may be seen swimming at the level of the water, which can be either black or transparent.
Mini-cruises leaving from the Vieux-Port last either 2 hours and fifteen minutes or three hours and fifteen minutes and are offered by the firm Croisières Marseille Calanques. However, many establishments now provide full- or half-day boat tours of the waterways. You may also go swimming when you get to the coast after renting a canoe and getting closer to nature.
Highlights and Best View Points Over Calanque d’En Vau
Several trails inside the park’s boundaries lead to breathtaking vistas of Calanque d’En Vau. Each one will demand a little detour from your normal routes.
Belvédère d’En Vau
A path to Belvédère d’En Vau may be found not far from the Calanque’s starting point. You may either add it as a side trip if you’re already hiking the Col de la Gineste or do a combination of the two. At an elevation of 170 meters, this vantage point provides a view of both the easily accessible Calanque d’En Vau and the more remote Calanque de l’Oule.
Pointe d’En Vau
Instead of heading straight up from Port Pin, you may go left and skirt the headland to reach Pointe d’En Vau. From this vantage point, you can take in a breathtaking panorama of Calanque d’En Vau and the entrance to Port Pin Calanque. You may find viewpoint #3 by following the seaside route down the calanque, which passes through several scenic vistas.
The climb from Port Pin to Calanque d’En Vau takes a little diversion to this viewpoint. In order to get a good look at your destination before you make the final steep descent, follow the blue route that appears on your left. The spectacular, craggy cliffs that drop into the brilliant turquoise ocean may be seen from the route once it passes through the undergrowth.
Facts to know before visiting Calanque d’En Vau
- There are no services in this section of the park, so be sure to bring everything you’ll need for the day. There are no trash cans, so please bring all trash back with you.
- In order to avoid being dehydrated while on a hike, it is important to remember to bring along lots of water.
- Take care to dress properly, including your footwear. Some locals may be seen walking about in sandals, but you shouldn’t follow their example. There are some very dangerous areas where the rocks are quite slippery; therefore, footwear with a strong grip is essential.
- An occasional appearance of a sanglier (wild boar) in the park is not out of the ordinary. Stay cool and don’t bother them; they’re naturally frightened around people.
- At Calanque d’En Vau, the beach is shaded in the early afternoon because of the high cliffs. To make the most of the day, you should arrive early. Since the sun stays at this beach for a much longer period of time in the afternoon, you may easily stroll back to Port Pin.
- Pets are welcome as long as they stay on a leash at all times.
- The park may be closed during the summer months because of the potential for wildfires.
- Off-season and on weekdays are ideal for a day at the beach. It may get rather crowded in the summertime, particularly on weekends and holidays.
Final words about Calanque d’En Vau
Calanque d’En Vau, with its turquoise water and picturesque nature! Although it is one of the most stunning streams in all of Marseille, its location in the Calanques National Park makes it secluded from the rest of the city. To get to En-Vau, you either have to go on a long hike or sail out toward it.