SUBLIME SETTING AND LAND AND SEA LANDSCAPES OF PROVENCE, THE CALALNQUES ARE KNOWN WORLDWIDE FOR THEIR UNIQUE LANDSCAPES, REMARQUABLE BIODIVERSITY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE.
Close to the second biggest town in France, Marseille, this natural gem has been preserved and protected by the local people.
The term National Parc was mentioned over 40 years ago. However, it wasn't until the 90's until an organisation was put in place to protect and preserve this unique heritage. Indeed in 1999, the Groupement d’Intérêt Public (GIP) of the Calanques, initiated and chaired by M. Guy Teissier was founded créé and the law of the 14th of April 2006 reforming all national parcs were decisive factors in the materialisation of the national parc project.
Natural land and and sea, the parc of the calanques exapnds acrossa seashore made of cliffs, limestone, caves and coves which make up the relatively preserved ecosystem where a nulber of living beings reside.This vast mediterranean space includes the Calanques massif, Archipel du Riou islands, Saint-Cyr massif and a part of the cap Canaille., which also includes the Soubeyranes cliffs, the tallest marine cliffs in Europe.
The seashore of the Calanques is also famous for its diving spots particularily known for the great Cosquer cave (now forbidden to access). The entrance, now submerged, was located 100 meters above sea level. On the walls were paintings and engravings of land and sea species dating from 27 000 to 19 000 B.-C.
THE HISTORY OF THE CALANQUES
Carved in tough and robust limestone, the calalnques make up most of the mediterranean landscapes. They can each be identified by their shapes, sizes, abers and fjords.
The calanques hold freshwater sources which come from underground flows. These sources of freshwaters collect mountain and conteninental shelf runoffs (Marseilleveyre and Carpiagne).
Also, a fast flowing river (from 5 to 7 m³/sec) ends up in the calanque of Port-Miou; it seems to directly come from the Sainte-Beaume and would be sustained by an acquifer of 1000 km² below Provence. This source has been known since antiquity.
This source could provide enough drinkable water for the major part of Basse Provence, providing that the contamination problem from a currently inaccessible area has been solved.
List of Calanques:
Île Verte- Calanque du Mugel- Calanque de Figuerolles – Calanque du Cannier- Plage L’Arène – Plage du Corton- La Presqu’ile – Calanque de Port-Miou – Calanque de Port Pin – Calanque d’En-Vau -Calanque de L’Oule – Calanque de Devenson – Calanque de Sugiton – Calanque de Morgiou – Calanque de Sormiou - Calanque de Cortiou - Calanque de l'Escu- Calanque de Podestat- Calanque de Marseilleveyre - Archipel de Riou - Cap Croisette - Calanques des Trous- Calanque du Mauvais Pas- Calanque de Saména