From October to June the best way to see the calanques (including the 500 sq km of the rugged inland Massif des Calanques) is to hike the many lined trails through the maquis (scrub). Marseille’s tourist office leads guided walks (ages eight and over) and has information about trail and road closures. It also offers an excellent hiking map of the various calanques, as does Cassis’ tourist office.
From June to September trails may close due to fire danger.
The best way to reach the calanques is by sea – either by boat or by hiring a kayak from Marseille or Cassis. Operators such as Destination Calanques Kayak and Raskas Kayak organise sea-kayaking tours; local tourist offices have details of lots of other hire companies. Calanc’O also offers paddle boarding.
During July and August the only real option for accessing individual calanques is to take a boat tour with Croisières Marseille Calanques from Marseille or Cassis. Check in advance if you’re hoping to be able to stop for a swim, as only a few tours allow this, such as the one offered by Icard Maritime.