• Cassis, France


Hunkered below impossibly high cliffs, Cassis is an unpretentious yet lively port town that gives travelers a sunny break from their busy vacation. Two hours away from the fray of the Côte d'Azur, Cassis is a prettier, poor man's St-Tropez. Outdoor cafés line the small port on three sides, where boaters polish their teak as they chat up café clients. Cassis is popular with the French and close enough to Marseille to be busy on weekends and all summer. Come to Cassis to dine portside, swim in the glimmering-clear water, and explore its rocky inlets.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ The Calanques Exotic Mediterranean fjords — with their translucent blue water, tiny intimate beaches, and stark cliffs plunging into the sea. The most famous stretch runs between Marseille and Cassis.

▲▲ La Route des Crêtes Twisty, remarkably scenic drive above Cassis.

Wine-Tasting in the Hills Behind Cassis This area has several good opportunities to taste the famous (mostly white) Cassis wine with the folks who make it.