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Where is Cassis France?

cassis366Cassis is a coastal town in South France, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Marseille. Cassis is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.

Cassis is located on the Cote d'Azur coast and has traditionally been a fishing port. However, during the 20th Century, it has developed into a famous French beach resort.

The scenery around Cassis was famously painted by Winston Churchill (before he became British Prime Minister) and the town was visited by the writers, Virginia Woolf and F Scott Fitzgerald. The famous 5 star hotel in Cassis, Hôtel les Roches Blanches, is perfectly situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the bay. It has welcomed famous guests since 1887, including the singer Edith Piaf and the famous French writer and director, Marcel Pagnol.

The town of Cassis has around 13,000 permanent residents, although the population does swell by 3 or 4 times that number during the summer period.

Although Cassis is especially popular with French holiday makers, its beaches are not the best. The Plage du Corton, La Grande Mer, Plage de l'Arène and Plage du Bestouan are mainly stone beaches.

Cassis is famous in France for its white and rose wines and for the stunning deep, sheltered coastal inlets (called "calanques") which have amazing turquoise waters and high white cliffs. 


The Weather in Cassis, France

Cassis has a mild Mediterranean climate. The town is protected from the strong Mistral winds that affect much of the Bouches-du-Rhône department, by the surrounding hills and cliffs.

The summer is dry and the rain is very rare. The average summer temperature is 29°C (84°F), although a record high temperature of 39°C was recorded in August 2020.

Cassis has one of the lowest levels of rainfall in France, with rain falling on an average of just 89 days a year (mainly in the Autumn and Winter months.

The winters are very mild and there is rarely any frost or snowfall in Cassis. The average temperatures during the winter months range between 8-12°C. Cassis also benefits from an exceptional amount of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 2,800 hours of sun per year.


Cassis travel information

Even though Cassis is located in a deep rocky valley, it is surprisingly easy to travel to Cassis from other parts of France. Cassis lies between Marseille and Toulon on the eastern end of the French Riviera. Cassis is 2 hours drive from Nice and Cannes. Aix-en-Provence is just a short drive away (35kms) and the Port town of Toulon is just 40kms.

Cassis is connected by a train line which runs along the coast from Toulon to Marseille. It takes just 3 hours 45 mins to travel by train from Paris to Cassis.

Marseille airport is also just a 50 minute drive and there are regular boat services from Marseille to Cassis. Parking is always at a premium in Cassis itself (especially in the summer season), so where possible you are best to either take public transport, or to park at the train station or the park and ride car park and then take the regular bus shuttle service into Cassis itself.


How to get from Marseille to Cassis by boat?

There are a number of boat tours that depart from Marseille harbour to Cassis. You can either take just a taxi boat (journey time around 1 hour 20 mins) or you can arrange one of the Marseille to Cassis Calanques boat excursions. This is by far the best way of exploring the amazing beaches close to Cassis as the boats drop anchor in the Calanques de Cassis and you can jump over board and snorkle in the crystal clear waters. There are loads of boat excursion companies, but www.bluevasion.fr and www.levantin.fr seem the most popular.




Bus from Marseille to Cassis

cassis harbourThe Bouches-du-Rhône Bus line serves local towns from Marseille via Castellane and Cassis. The bus service takes just 45 minutes. There are 3 routes to choose from. Line M6 departs from the central bus station in Marseille and travels through Carnoux-en-Provence to Cassis along the A50 highway (this is the quickest route, but less scenic). Line M6-1 travels from Marseille to Cassis via Roquefort-la-Bédoule. Finally, Line M8 travels along the D559 from Marseille to Cassis. This route is a bit windy in places, but it is more scenic as it goes across the Gineste pass and the plateau of Carpiagne.


Train Marseille to Cassis

There are daily train services from Marseille to Cassis. The trains from Marseille to Cassis depart every 30 minutes and the journey takes just 25 minutes. You can catch the train to Cassis from Marseille St Charles train station (the main train station in Marseille). Cassis train station is 3 kms outside of the town, but there is a regular bus shuttle that you can take into Cassis itself. There are regulare TGV trains to Marseille from Paris (3hrs20), Lille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Barcelona and Milan.


Nice to Cassis by train

If you are looking to travel from Nice to Cassis, your best option is either to take the A8 highway and then the A50 (exit at junction 8), or to take the train from central Nice. The journey by train from Nice to Cassis takes 2 hours 30 mins and you will need to change at Toulon. The trains from Nice Ville station to Toulon run every 30 mins. The train from Nice to Toulon takes 1 hour 40 mins. There is then a short 10 minute wait in Toulon before catching the Toulon to Cassis train which takes 35 mins. The cost of the Nice to Cassis train journey is €23-€31 per person.


What is Cassis?

As well as being a beautiful seaside town in the South of France, Cassis is also the French name for the blackcurrant fruit. Cassis is a sweet liqueur (normally called Creme de Cassis) made from blackcurrants in the Burgundy region of France. The town of Dijon is famed for producing the best Creme de Cassis (alongside Dijon mustard). Finally, Cassis is also a white or rose wine produced in and around the town of Cassis.



Where to next . . . ?

Contact Iain by Email if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about visiting the South of France. If you liked the article then please share it with others using the Twitter and Facebook buttons below. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France. 



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