With its deep and narrow shape, Calanque d’En Vau is one of the the most famous (and busiest) 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.
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.
A buoy line sets the limit to the swimmable area. Enter the water wherever you like from the pebbles beach.
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 (bream, sargo…) 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.
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.
This reference identification guide includes all the 860 marine fish species that may be encountered while snorkeling in coastal Western Europe and the Mediterranean.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky beds and rock drop off
Shallow rocky and grassy seabed
Small cove with rocky drop offs and caves
Rocky seabed with fish and starfish
Shallow rocky beds and seagrass meadows
Marine reserve with rocky beds and snorkel trail
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