Friday, 5 June 2009

The Calanques

Between Marseille and Cassis on the mediterranean coast of France is a strip of land which has mercifully escaped the development that lines most of the Cote D'Azur. The terrain is a series of rias, submerged river valleys, cut into pure white limestone cliffs by the gushing rivers that followed the melting of the great sheets of ice which covered europe during the last ice age. It's hard to imagine all that water now in an area notable for its aridity, with only the most tenacious of plants clinging to life in the cracks; this scrub vegetation is known as maquis. The two ways to explore this dramatic piece of country are on foot, a network of marked trails and sections of Grand Randonee criss-cross the plateau and wind down to the little beaches and coves (calanque). The less energetic opt for a boat trip, taking in a half dozen calanques or perhaps dropping off for a day at the beach.

To see stock photos of the Calanques CLICK

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