Discovering The Natural Beauty Of Parc National Des Calanques


Are you looking for an amazing escape in nature, a place so beautiful it will take your breath away? Look no further than the Parc National Des Calanques. This stunning national park is located in the South of France and boasts an unbelievable mix of majestic sea cliffs and sun-drenched crystal clear beaches, picturesque coves, lagoons and stunning mountain views. In this guide, you will discover all the natural beauty the park has to offer, from the mesmerizing flora and fauna to the thrilling activities like hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming, and bird watching. If you're ready for an unforgettable nature experience, let's get started!

Parc National des Calanques main

Things to Do

With dramatic limestone cliffs and pristine coves, Parc National des Calanques is one of Europe’s most beautiful and distinct national parks. Located on the Mediterranean coast just southeast of Marseille, this park offers a variety of recreational activities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re up for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, Parc National des Calanques has something for everyone.


The Parc National des Calanques offers a variety of incredible hikes to explore the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, these hikes range from short and simple to more intense excursions. No matter your level of experience, you are sure to find hikes that are suitable for your individual needs.

The Sentier du Littoral is a popular hike for its spectacular views of the coastline. It starts at the small port of Figuerolles and follows the rocky path along the coast for about six kilometers. This easy hike is suitable for all ages and skill levels, and it is known for its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Calanques.

For a more difficult and challenging experience, the Sentier des Douaniers is a great option. The hike starts at the Calanques National Park Visitor Center and stretches for nine kilometers. This rugged and steep path follows the coast and takes you through stunning landscapes. As you make your way through the hike, you can witness amazing rock formations, turquoise waters, and beautiful flora and fauna.

If you are looking for something a bit longer and more strenuous, the Grande Randonnée (GR) is a great option. This eleven-kilometer long trail takes you through the National Park and can take up to seven hours to complete. Along the route, you will witness some of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Calanques. This challenging hike is suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels, and it is definitely worth the effort.

Overall, the Parc National des Calanques offers a variety of incredible hikes to explore the natural beauty of the area. Whether you are looking for a short and easy walk or a more challenging excursion, you are sure to find a hike that fits your individual needs and desires. So grab your hiking shoes and get ready to explore all that this stunning region has to offer.


Located within Parc National Des Calanques, there is plenty of space for camping. In an effort to keep the area pristine, the park only allows camping in designated places. Most sites are concentrated along the shoreline, with some being located inland.

Parc National des Calanques camping

Campers can choose from a variety of options, including traditional tent camping, trailer camping, and camping cabins. All sites come with a fireplace, picnic table, firewood, running water, and a composting toilet. Some sites also have access to electricity.

Camping is not allowed on the beaches of Parc National Des Calanques, and campers should be prepared to adhere to all park regulations. All visitors must clean up and dispose of any garbage properly. Campfires are only allowed in designated areas, and smoking is strictly prohibited.

Most campsites can be reserved online or by calling a park ranger. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, as sites can fill up quickly. Fees vary depending on the type of site and length of stay.

With its breathtaking vistas, picturesque shorelines, and abundant wildlife, Parc National Des Calanques is the perfect place to experience nature and reconnect with the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or an adventurous camping trip, this park has something for everyone.


is an excellent way to discover the stunning natural beauty of Parc National Des Calanques. This national park, located on the Mediterranean Coast near Marseille, features a unique combination of steep limestone cliffs, crystal-clear coves, and an abundance of marine wildlife.

Parc National des Calanques kayaking

There are a variety of kayaking routes that offer different views and experiences, depending on the season and the weather. In general, the summer months are best for kayaking, as the water is warmer, the winds are lighter, and the sun is shining.

For those looking to explore the more hidden coves, kayaking can provide the perfect platform. The clear, shallow waters near the shoreline provide excellent opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife, including cormorants, seagulls, and even dolphins. The sheer cliffs and the narrow coves offer plenty of places to explore and get lost without worry.

For those looking for a more challenging experience, the open waters of Parc National Des Calanques offer plenty of opportunities for more adventurous kayakers. The strong winds and choppy waters attract a variety of marine life, from large schools of fish to the gentle giant that is the monk seal. This can be an amazing sight to behold and a truly unforgettable experience.

Whatever route you choose to take, kayaking is a great way to explore the stunning beauty of Parc National Des Calanques. Enjoy a peaceful paddle around the shoreline or challenge yourself to the more rugged open waters, the choice is yours. Whatever you do, make sure to take plenty of photographs and marvel at the incredible beauty of this unique national park.


Swimming is a favorite activity for visitors to Parc National Des Calanques, and it's no surprise why. With its crystal-clear aquamarine waters, golden sand beaches, and abundance of coral and sea life, this park is the perfect destination for a refreshing dip. There are several places to swim, including two designated areas with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. The beaches are typically very calm and shallow, making them ideal for swimmers of all ages and abilities.

Parc National des Calanques swimming

For visitors looking for more adventure, there are plenty of coves and small inlets where one can explore by swimming. The rock cliffs and narrow passes of the park offer plenty of opportunity to take in the breathtaking views while still enjoying a safe swim. Some of the more popular routes to explore include a swim along the coastline to Pointe Rousse, Calanque d'En Vau, or the Beauduc Gulf.

Real thrill seekers can also take advantage of the park's many dive sites. The region is full of spectacular underwater scenery, including shipwrecks, coral reefs, and historic ruins. There are several dive centers in the area offering certification courses, allowing new or experienced divers to explore the depths of Parc National Des Calanques safely and with confidence.

Whether you're looking for a refreshing dip or an underwater adventure, Parc National Des Calanques is the perfect place for your next swimming experience.

Bird Watching

The Parc National Des Calanques is home to a range of bird species, making it a great destination for bird watching. In the park, you can spot a variety of sea birds, including seagulls, terns, and cormorants, as well as species such as robins and warblers. The park also hosts a variety of raptors, including eagles, hawks, and falcons. There are also a variety of migratory species that can be spotted in the park during certain times of the year.

Parc National des Calanques bird

For those interested in bird watching while visiting the park, there are several spots where bird watching is especially rewarding. The rocky coastline of the park provides excellent vantage points for spotting sea birds, with cormorants often seen fishing in the surf. The salt flats offer the perfect environment for terns and gulls to nest, with plenty of feeding opportunities for these species. The rocky outcroppings and cliffs are also great spots to view migratory species, where you can spot hawks, eagles, and falcons.

There are also a number of well-maintained trails throughout the park, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems. The trails offer the perfect opportunity to observe the park’s avian population, as the trails wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands. With the right spot, it’s possible to catch sight of woodpeckers, warblers, flycatchers, and other species in the park.

The Parc National Des Calanques is a paradise for bird watchers of all levels. Whether you’re looking for a casual stroll through the park’s trails or a more intensive bird watching experience, the park provides plenty of opportunities to observe and appreciate the beauty of its avian population.

Flora and Fauna of Parc National Des Calanques

The Parc National Des Calanques is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The vegetation of the area is predominately evergreen, with a variety of low shrubs and grasses. The region is also home to a rich mixture of wildflowers, including mimosa, wild poppies, daisies, and many others. On the rocky cliffs of the calanques, visitors can find a wide range of lichens, mosses, ferns, and other low-growing plants.


With regards to fauna, the park is home to a variety of species, including badgers, wild boars, foxes, weasels, hares, and rabbits. Birdwatchers can also be delighted by some of the 140 species of birds that have been cataloged in the park, including goldfinches, hoopoes, and flycatchers. The area is also home to a variety of lizards, frogs, and insects, as well as some marine wildlife including seahorses, crabs, and seals.

The park is also a popular destination for hiking, and visitors can explore the many paths, trails, and footpaths that traverse the area. Wildlife viewing can be a great activity in this area, as the calanques offer some of the best opportunities for spotting wildlife in Europe. For those looking to explore the natural beauty of Parc National Des Calanques, the park provides many opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors.

Tips for Visiting Parc National Des Calanques

Located just south of Marseille, France, Parc National Des Calanques is set amidst landscapes of breathtaking beauty. This national park provides visitors with the opportunity to explore its wild and rugged terrain, and experience its many natural wonders. To make the most of your visit to Parc National Des Calanques, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

First, it is essential to plan ahead before visiting this park. Many areas in the park require permits and there is limited access in certain areas. It is also important to check park regulations in advance, such as hours of operation, restrictions on camping, and what activities are permitted. Additionally, you should strongly consider investing in a good map of the park to help you get around and identify points of interest.

When visiting Parc National Des Calanques, it is important to be aware of the weather conditions. This park is especially beautiful in the spring and fall, but conditions can vary greatly depending on the time of year. Be sure to check the forecast ahead of time and bring appropriate clothing and shoes for the conditions. Since much of the terrain is rugged, having the proper footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Given its remote location, it is important to be self-sufficient and prepared for your visit. It is suggested that you bring any food and water you may need. If you are planning to camp, be sure to bring a tent, sleeping bag, and other camping essentials. Additionally, be sure to bring a first aid kit and any medications you may need in case of an emergency.

Finally, it is important to be respectful of the environment during your visit. Parc National Des Calanques is a protected area, so it is important to stick to marked trails, refrain from damaging plants and ecosystems, and avoid leaving any traces of your visit. This helps to ensure that the beauty of the park remains intact for future visitors to enjoy.

By keeping these tips in mind, visitors can ensure that their experience in Parc National Des Calanques is both safe and enjoyable.

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