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Côte Bleue: La Vesse/Niolon

43°20'33.51"N 5°15'32.85"E
Published: April 2010
last updated: March 2011
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++++The visit

These calanques belonging to the village of Le Rove are true jewels of La Vesse the blue coast of Provence. We suggest you not to go directly to calanques, but rather leave your car on one of the parkings outside and climb to the top of the cliff between La Vesse and Niolon. Prepare yourself for a breathtaking view: on your left you’ll see La Vesse – white houses with orange roofs, white fisher-boats and an aqueduct of the rail-line Marseille-Miramas. On your right - a tiny peninsula of Niolon with its turquoise fishing-bay. In front of you - amazing panorama of Marseille. You can also take the old smugglers-path between la Vesse and Niolon (you’ll find it just before the entry to Niolon) to enjoy more breathtaking views and an unforgetable walk on the cliff-edge. If you don’t feel fit for such adventure, take a car and drive to the village of Niolon, park your car next to the small railway station and take a walk to its tiny port. La Vesse and Niolon have famous diving stations. You can also explore these calanques and the rest of Côte Bleue (blue coast) on board of the train of Côte Bleue.

TER de la Côte Bleue – in the summer you can enjoy one of the most beautiful railways in Europe – the train will take you from the Gare St. Charles in Marseille through the beautiful calanques of L’Estaque, Niolon and La Vesse, fisher villages Carry-Le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins, the beaches of La Couronne to the station of Miramas. You can make a stop in Carry-le-Rouet to enjoy a one-hour sea-tour on board of the ship l’Albatrose.


The rail of Côte Bleue was built in the beginning of XX century to complement the famous line Paris-Lyon-Marseille in case of problems. The rail follows rocky coastline and consist of 18 viaducts and 23 tunnels.

++++Practical information

To reach La Vesse and Niolon take direction Le Rove (take D568 from Marseille or A55 then D568 from Martigues), from Le Rove follow the signs Niolon/La Vesse.
Considering the size of calanques, you will be really lucky to find accomodation there. Consider nearby villages Le Rove and Ensuès-la-Redonne.

TER de la Côte Bleue circulates every Sunday in the summer (first Sunday of July to last Sunday of September). The ticket costing 17€ (11€ for children under 12) includes unlimited use of train during one day and the boat tour. The tickets should be booked by phone 0 891 70 3000 (0,23€ per minute) or through the Tourist Information Office. You can find complete information on the web-site.

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