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HIDDEN France

See the Calanques from new angles

MOIRENC CAMILLE/HEMIS.FR/SUPERSTOCK.

The French Mediterranean coast is at its most stupendous at the Calanques National Park: a sequence of jagged limestone cliffs, hidden coves and shady pine forests between Marseille and Cassis. The Calanques that give the park its name are slender inlets that are the French answer to Norwegian fjords (only far nicer for swimming). Road access is generally banned even where it’s physically possible, so most visitors take a boat to appreciate these fjord-like formations. One alternative that avoids the well-sailed sightseeing routes is to see the parts of the Calanques that can only be reached by hiking clifftop trails. Cassis-based walking guide Franck Rotger knows these paths well. ‘The Pointe de la Cacau is a favourite of mine,’ he says. ‘It’s not on the classic itineraries.’ From this peninsula, hikers can survey three of the famous inlets, including Calanque d’en Vau (pictured). l Find out more about walking in the national park at calanques-parcnational.fr. Ask about guides through the Cassis Tourist Office (ot-cassis.com).

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