A lot of people rate CASSIS the best resort this side of St-Tropez - its inhabitants most of all. Hemmed in by high white cliffs, its modern development has been limited to a model toytown on the steep inclines above the port. Portside posing and drinking aside, there's not much to do except sunbathe and look up at the ruins of the town's medieval castle , built in 1381 and refurbished by Monsieur Michelin, the authoritarian boss of the family tyres and guides firm.
The favoured lazy pastime, though, is to take a boat trip to the calanques - long, narrow, deep fjord-like inlets that have cut into the limestone cliffs. Several companies operate from the port, but check if they let you off or just tour in and out, and be prepared for rough seas. If you're feeling energetic, you can take the well-marked footpath from the route des Calanques behind the western beach; it's about ninety minutes' walk to the furthest and best calanque , En Vau , where you can climb down rocks to the shore. Intrepid pine trees find root-holds, and sunbathers find ledges on the chaotic white cliffs. The water is deep blue and swimming between the vertical cliffs is an experience not to be missed.