“Anyone who has seen Paris, but hasn’t seen Cassis, hasn’t seen anything” Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914)
Cassis is a charming fishing village nestled between two incredible natural rock formations that protect the village from the harsh Mistral winds. Beautiful beaches, a scenic harbour, terraced port-side cafés, and a historical past that will astound you – all aspects of Cassis that you won’t want to miss. Cassis’s naval history has been dated back to the 1st Century AD – if you are a lover of Roman history, be sure to stop in at the museum in the heart of town. Cassis is also known for gastronomy. La Villa Madie (located almost right beside Clos Sainte Magdeleine) has two Michelin stars and a spectacular view over the Mediterranean.
While you’re in the area, it is well worth visiting a few great spots.
Domaine Cassis Bodin: founded over 100 years ago by Émile Bodin, this small winery produces many award-winning wines. Their rosé is not to be missed, taking Gold at Le Mondial du Rosé 2015, and Silver at Le Concours International de Lyon 2016. Make sure to try their “Traditionnel” wine tasting – six wines, Mediterranean-inspired apps, and a tour!
Clos Sainte Magdeleine: if you are looking for something to do in town, this picturesque winery with an incredible view over the Mediterranean is highly recommended. It produces just three wines (plus two more in outstanding vintages) – a red, a white, and a rosé. Tastings are offered at 11am and 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
Le Route des Crêtes: an incredible road and walking path joining Cassis to La Ciotat. If you’re feeling fit and adventurous and want to walk off all that wine, you can hike it, otherwise you can drive, taking in the dramatic cliffside views from strategically positioned lookout points all along the road.
The Cassis Market: a bi-weekly Provençal market featuring fresh fish and seafood, local fruits and veggies, handcrafted soaps, jewelry, pottery, and delicious breads and pastries. Look for it every Wednesday and Friday in Place Baragnon.
Les Vendages Etoilées: this is an annual celebration of wine that takes place in late September to celebrate the year’s harvest. Meaning “The Starry Grape Harvest”, this celebration includes the participation of Michelin-starred chefs (hence the “Starry”), and you can attend lavish dinners, a chef battle with local ingredients, and tours highlighting the region’s gastronomic delights. For 2016, the dates have been set as the 23rd-25th of September: mark your calendars!
Photo credit: Consul France