Spot

Calanque d'En Vau


With its deep and narrow shape, Calanque d’En Vau is one of the the most famous (and busy) creeks in the Eastern Marseille region. Its turquoise waters framed by white cliffs and pine trees are picture perfect. It is also a pleasant place to snorkel, even if it is far from being one of the very best in the region. Most importantly, plan your trip on a calm day (when visitors are not too numerous) if you really want to enjoy snorkeling here.
How to get there

Calanque d’En Vau is close to Cassis. From this small town, follow the “presqu’île” direction until you arrive in Port Miou creek. The path leading to Calanque d’En Vau starts here. The starting point is not indicated and may be difficult to find, don’t hesitate to use a GPS application to find it (the exact GPS position can be found here). You will have to walk for about 2 hours to get to the spot. Parking around Port Miou creek can be extremely difficult. If you’re driving, we advise you to stop at the Gorguettes parking. It is located a little further from the path but it is free. During summer and weekends, you can also take the shuttle to reach the path and avoid parking trouble (1.6€/person round trip, one trip every 20 minutes until 8pm).

Walking to Calanque d’En Vau requires good physic condition. The last part is particularly steep and rough. Wear good shoes and bring lots of water.

Your visit has to be prepared: access to the creek is only authorized from 6am to 11pm, and can sometimes be totally forbidden if fire hazard is high. Check the Calanques National Park website for live information.

Water entrance

A buoy line sets the limit to the swimmable area. Enter the water wherever you like from the pebbles beach.

Aerial view

Exploration

The snorkeling area encompasses the whole swimming area. Don’t go beyond the buoy line: numerous boats usually moor and sail on the creek entrance.

Right after entering the water, the seabed drops quickly over the first dozen meters before steadying around 4-6 m. It is first covered with coarse sand and pebbles, then progressively with posidonia (4-8m). Fish species (saupes, sars…) are generally wild here and you will have trouble getting close to them because of the water depth. Keeping close to the cliffs closing the creek will allow you to spot also juvenile fishes. Photographers will love these special hours when a part of the creek is sheltered from sunlight, casting underwater shadows amongst rays of light.

The small beach is overcrowded during weekends and summer months. Too many swimmers in the water can alter visibility on the shallow areas. Move further from the shore to enjoy clearer waters, but be very careful: kayaks, swimmers and people jumping from the sea cliffs into the water can still disturb your experience at any time.

Restaurants and accommodation

Calanque d’En Vau is a wild area: you will find no restaurant nor accommodation options on site. Bring lots of water and something to eat: you will need it to get back up to the parking lot after your time spent in the water.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    20 ft
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    No
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Calanque d'En Vau

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Thicklip grey mullet
Chelon labrosus
Common two-banded seabream
Diplodus vulgaris
Saddled seabream
Oblada melanura
Salema porgy
Sarpa salpa
Snakelocks anemone
Anemonia sulcata
Neptune grass
Posidonia oceanica
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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