If I were to ask you to name the most beautiful beach in the world what would you say? Somewhere exotic in Thailand, a secluded island in the Caribbean, or maybe you’re tempted by the crystal clear waters of Mexico? Perhaps a beach in the south of France would not be a natural choice but I recently found somewhere I consider to be amongst the most beautiful beaches in the world!

The calanques around Cassis and Marseille are a collection of rock inlets with hidden beaches and bays where the only access is by boat or a more gruelling hike in +30 degree heat. Normally, the further you walk, the more beautiful and more deserted the calanque. The calanques are one of France’s great natural beauties and in the next few years they are going to become a protected national park.

We hiked from a little village called Goudes (just outside Marseille) to reach a calanque called Callelongue. The path is well marked so there is no real need for a map but it might be a good idea to check out where you’re going before you set off. There is a good website here giving information about all the calanques in the Marseille region. You also need to wear a pair of good trainers or walking boots as the paths can be steep and slippery in places. Needless to say that hanging out in Callelongue was quite definitely an amazing way to spend an afternoon away from the crowds found on more popular neighbouring Marseille beaches. There were rocks to jump off into the ocean, beautiful shells to collect and even a little hut selling cold beer and freshly caught fish. However next time I’d prefer to avoid the 3 hour hike and arrive on the deck of my super yacht … but who am I kidding, I get seasick!