Drive to Cassis, a lovely seaside town eighteen miles east of Marseille (and about a forty-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence). Having miraculously resisted the cutesy-cum-chic gentrification of Provençal villages, Cassis has remained a friendly, unspoiled spot with crystalline coves, pebble beaches and windswept umbrella pines. The miniature port, a curve of pink, yellow-ochre and eggshell-blue houses and wooden fishing boats once attracted the likes of artists Matisse, Dufy, Derain and Vlaminck, and later Winston Churchill, who began to paint in Cassis.

Start the visit by having a dip at the Plage du Bestouan, a pretty cove with a pebble beach, or hop aboard one of the glass-bottomed boats at the port for a tour. No snooty private beaches with lounge chairs here—just flat smooth rocks for sunbathing, and the deafening thrum of cicadas in the pines overhead. Don’t miss a stroll down to the port, where fishermen haul in their fresh catches of the day—spiny crabs, baby squid, clams, prawns and sea urchins, sold on the quay. If you’re in the mood for a longer walk, Cassis is a hiker’s paradise thanks to its dazzling white coastal limestone cliffs (locally known as les calanques). Grab a map that details trails at the Tourist Office on Quai des Moulins. Contact the Indagare Bookings Team for a guided tour.

Written by Lanie Goodman

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Indagare employees walking up stiars

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