Les Calanques is one of those destinations that everyone has been dreaming to visit. This area offers picture-perfect bullet-proof sun-lit white limestone above the crystal blue waters of the French Mediterranean. Set between Cassis and Marseille, this 12-mile cliff band (with over 3000 routes) shoots shiny white buttresses through various inlets that offer a fantastic, albeit surreal, climbing adventure. This place is wild. Known for it’s long and committing traverses right above the vast sea, the calanques necessitate technical footwork and a calm mind, plus some route-finding skills on the longer routes.The limestone here is rough and compact with diverse features, including cracks, slabs, caves, dihedrals, arêtes, and pinnacles. Les Calanques offers lots of extreme routes up overhanging walls and caves but also lots of moderate-grade sport routes on short faces as well as long multi-pitch routes up big walls like the Grande Candelle.
As with most climbing areas in France, Les Calanques has a rich history that includes names like Gaston Rebuffat and Georges Livanos. The area was a playground for these motivated alpinists as they put up numerous classic lines throughout the 1940’s.
This Winter from December to March I will be offering climbing camps and multi-pitch courses t0 Les Callanques. Check our Climbing holidays for more info in Les Calanque or contact me by email for specific details.