Calanques, the Jewels of the South of France

Not every French beach town is a glamorous wallet-destroyer filled with five star hotels and Michelin star restaurants. But for some in the South of France, that’s the way they prefer it.

In the tiny shore town of Cassis, the living is rustic, to be euphemistic. The accommodations are frequently free from running water and internet service, but it’s well worth the price you pay for the stunning natural beauty on display. The coast is lined with the town’s famous calanques, or sheltered inlets, where the water is pure turquoise and the pools are shadowed by enormous limestone cliffs. It’s the kind of place you could go to get away from everything — and that’s not an exaggeration, according to anyone who’s been out on a boat in one of the calanques. With no cell bars to be found, this is one experience you won’t be able to share with your thousands of Instagram followers. It’s just for you.

This is a magical place, filled with sailors in actual Breton shirts and containing a small separate commune with its own arbitrary time zone. So if you’re looking for a summer beach getaway and you don’t mind the “in the muck” appeal, it might be time to consider Cassis.