Tip: Make enough water and snacks

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Planning a day trip to hike to Calanque de Sugiton? Let’s dive in! 

If you’re planning a trip to France’s southern city of Marseille, then you’ve likely heard all about the beautiful nearby ‘calanques’. If not, you’re in for a treat! ‘Calanques’ are limestone coves that have eroded over time to create striking cliff-side and swimming coves.

We visited Calanque de Sugiton as part of a longer 10 day road trip through Provence.

Calanque de Sugiton in Calanques National Park
Calanque de Sugiton in Calanques National Park

There are a ton of different calanques you can visit, like the famous set of three, Calanque de Port Miou, Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d’en Vau, located closer to Cassis than Marseille. But my personal favorite is Calanque de Sugiton in Calanques National Park (Parc national des Calanques). So dive into everything you need to know about visiting and hiking to Calanque de Sugiton

This guide will cover everything you need to know about getting to the trailhead from Marseille or Cassis by car or public transportation, hike details, and what you should pack to be prepared for your adventure. 

The trail to Calanque de Sugiton

Hike Length: 4.5-5 miles (7-8 km) roundtrip

Hike Time: 1.5-2.5 hrs roundtrip, not including time spent relaxing on the beach

Trailhead: Luminy University

Difficulty level: Easy – the trail is relatively flat with a steep section down to (and back up from) the beach.

What to pack: water, snacks, proper footwear, swimsuit, towel, sunscreen

When to visit: I recommend hiking on warmer days in the spring and fall (we did the hike in mid-April). This is because the trail is often closed during the summer months due to wildfires. You can confirm that the calanque is open on this site.

Terrain: paved road combined with a rocky, dirt path with some exposed steep sections towards the bottom

Trail map from the Luminy trailhead
Trail map from the Luminy trailhead
A lot of the trail is nicely paved
A lot of the trail is nicely paved

Prepare for your trip to France:

How to get to the Calanque de Sugiton trailhead

The trailhead for Calanque de Sugiton is located at Avenue de Luminy, about a 30 minute drive from downtown Marseille and 25 minutes from Cassis. Marseille can be easily reached from other parts of France by train.

By car

In my opinion, having your own car is usually the best way to get around as it will give you the most freedom. The drive from Marseille to the trailhead is around 30 minutes from downtown Marseille, but keep in mind that traffic can be very bad in the city center, especially on the weekends.

Alternatively, you can drive to the trailhead from Cassis, which is only about a 25 minute drive. However, there are other calanques that you can visit by foot directly from Cassis to consider as well.

Once you arrive at the trailhead you will find both street park and two overflow parking lots. Parking is paid hourly.

By metro and bus

If you do not have a car, which you really don’t need in Marseille proper, then you can easily reach Calanque de Sugiton by metro and bus. There are a few different route options, depending on where in the city you are staying.

Regardless you’ll need to take the B1 bus to Luminy. Depending on where you start, you’ll hop on either the M1 or M2 metro, which connects to the B1 bus at the Castellane and Périer stops. The drop-off point is just steps from the trailhead, making it a super convenient and popular journey.

The full metro and bus journey to Calanque de Sugiton takes between 45 minutes to one hour.

Unfortunately reaching Calanque de Sugiton by public transportation is a bit trickier but still doable via the L078 bus, followed by the B1 bus to the trailhead,

First views of the sea from the trail
First views of the sea from the trail
Calanque de Sugiton, France
Calanque de Sugiton, France

What to pack for a visit to Calanque de Sugiton

Once you arrive at the trailhead to Calanque de Sugiton in Luminy, you won’t have any restaurants, cafes, or shops for purchasing water or snacks.There is a water fountain at the trailhead to fill up before or after the hike, but you’ll see what to be prepared. 

I recommend packing the following for your hike: 

  • 1-1.5 liters of water 
  • Snacks for a picnic by the water – a baguette, meats, and cheese are always my go-to but chips work too)
  • Proper footwear – sneakers or hiking boots
  • Sunscreen and/or a hat – the trail has a lot of sun exposure so you’ll want to make sure that you protect your skin
  • Swimsuit – whether you’re just planning to lay out in the sun or brave the cold water, a swimsuit is a must. It was actually warm enough for us to tan and go for a swim in mid-April when we visited. 
The perfect beach area to sunbathe near Marseille
The perfect beach area to sunbathe near Marseille

Visiting Calanque de Sugiton with a guided hike

While the trail to Calanque de Sugiton is relatively straightforward (I’ll dive into all of the hiking details below), sometimes it’s just more fun to join a group for a guided hike. Whether you’re a less experienced hiker, traveling solo, or just looking to make some new friends, you can consider booking a group hike to Calanque de Sugiton.

Do I need hiking boots to visit Calanque de Sugiton?

Although the hike itself is relatively short, I still recommend wearing proper, secure footwear. You won’t need full hiking boots, although they’d be a great option, but at least a sneaker with decent tread.

This is because the hiking trail to Calanque de Sugiton is rather steep in areas with loose rocks, worn down slippery rock, and patches of exposed area. 

I did see quite a few people hiking in sandals, but if you’re going to do this I recommend secure sandals like Tevas over flip flops.

What time of year can I visit Calanque de Sugiton?

I recommend hiking on warmer days in the spring and fall (we did the hike in mid-April). This is because the trail is often closed during the summer months due to wildfires. You can confirm that the calanque is open on this site.

Where to stay near the trail

If you’re planning a visit to Calanque de Sugiton, then I recommend staying in either nearby Marseille or Cassis. Both are within a 30 minute drive from the trailhead and have lots to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, and attractions.

Here are some top-rated hotels in Marseille:

Here are some top-rated hotels in Cassis:

  • HPC Suites – beautiful apartment featuring an outdoor pool, terrace and a view of the ocean
  • HôTEL LES VOLETS ROUGES – beautiful budget-friendly eco hotel just outside of Cassis

The trail to Calanque de Sugiton

Overall you’ll find that the trail to the beach is relatively easy and well-marked. It is also a popular trail so you’ll likely have company, especially if you’re hiking on a sunny weekend.

The trail starts from the parking area along a dirt path in a more forested area until you reach Col de Sugiton.

At this point you have the option to head up to the lookout at Belvedere for a view of the beaches below. We skipped it in favor of more time swimming and sunbathing.

Paved trail leading to the beach
Paved trail leading to the beach
Rocky steep path towards the end of the trail
Rocky steep path towards the end of the trail

You’ll quickly start following a paved path that winds its way down towards the water. From here the trail just gets more and more beautiful, so you’re in luck! At some some point the path will open up to the most beautiful view overlooking the water. Seriously, unreal!

The crystal clear waters at Calanque de Sugiton
The crystal clear waters at Calanque de Sugiton
Sunbathing at Calanque de Sugiton
Sunbathing at Calanque de Sugiton

At this point you have the option of choosing between two paths to reach the water. One heads straight down, and is a bit steeper. The other (which we chose) is the panoramic route that wraps around before the quick descent. You’ll want to have your camera ready for these views.

There are a number of beach areas to access at the bottom, including a nude beach to the far left.

Like what you read about hiking to the Calanque de Sugiton in Southern France? Make sure to Pin it for later!

Calanque de Sugiton Hike in Southern France pin
Calanque de Sugiton Hike in Southern France pin

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