The first thing to know about this little fishing village in the south of France is that "Cassis" is pronounced "Cah-see." I kept saying it phonetically as "Cassis" before we left for our trip. 🙈
The second thing is that it's seen by many locals as a best-kept secret along the French Riviera, especially when compared to some of the glitzier, busier and more famous towns along the coast (Vogue.com says Cassis is better than St.-Tropez any day). Known for the pastel houses that dot the harbor, fresh seafood, local rosé and calanques (rocky coves and inlets along the coastline)—if you're looking to get away to a seaside town with a low-key vibe, Cassis is it. We were there in the beginning of April, so it was still cool and more the "off-season" time of year, but Tom and I had the best time relaxing, eating delicious food (we had our first taste of crème brûlée there) and walking around the marina.
How we got there We took an SNCF train from Paris to Cassis (we transferred at Toulon on the way there and Marseille on the way back). The trip there was under five hours and the way back was about six, so traveling definitely took up a good chunk of time. (Plus, there was a strike going on in France at the time that affected some trains and flights, so we were worried our tickets might get cancelled.) But it all worked out: It was really peaceful sitting on the train and watching the French countryside speed by the window. When we got to Cassis late the first night, we caught a bus that took us into town (otherwise you might need to call a taxi or Uber). Our friends in Paris were kind enough to let us stay at their apartment in Cassis (Airbnb also works). As soon as we dropped off our bags, all we (or I) could think about was food! So we went to La Fringale, a pizza spot a few blocks away. We sat outside at a tiny wooden table and split two amazing pies and a bottle of rosé (heaven!).
The food! Finding a late breakfast the next morning wasn't easy. I forgot to mention in last week's Paris post that my go-to for breakfast throughout the trip was an omelet. Oh my gosh, French omelets! They're like nothing I've had before. Fluffy, soft, never dry. They were consistently delicious, wherever we had them: throughout Paris or in Cassis. For dinner, we really liked Le Grand Bleu, which is right on the harbor and great for sitting outside and watching the sunset, and Le Poisson Rouge, which has a friendly vibe and a fresh daily menu.
What to do (and wear) We had a few chilly and rainy days, and having this Grana jacket was key, especially when we went on a boat tour of the calanques. You can also hike the calanques, which I believe is where you'll find some of the best views. Since it was early in the season (and because of the rain), we didn't do a wine tour (next time!), but the people at the visitor center down by the harbor were super helpful and answered any questions (in English) that we had about the boat tours. Throughout our trip (including Paris) I made every attempt to make the most of my now very rusty French (hard to believe I studied it for five years, eek!). And everywhere people were so patient with me. I think attempting to speak the language whenever you travel (at the bare minimum: hello and thank you) is essential and a sign of respect.
This day was super warm, no jacket necessary—perfect time for a photo shoot! ;) The dress is from Lulus.
Au revoir! Until next time, my friends. Wishing you a peaceful weekend.
Photographs by Tom Schelling