The Pretty Provence Town of Cassis

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When you think of Cassis, the French blackcurrant liqueur is probably the first thing that springs to mind but Cassis is also the name of a pretty town in the Provence region.

The famous drink isn't actually from the town, which is better known for its wines than its liqueurs. Located on the coast, Cassis is a favourite destination among French and foreign tourists, known for its excellent seafood and stunning beach. The beach at Cassis is not to be missed. It gets busy in summer but its beautiful golden sands and crystal clear water makes it worth braving the crowds. At quieter times of year, it's a peaceful haven and is one of the best beaches in this part of France.

If you're staying in one of the numerous villas in Provence and fancy enjoying some watersports during your holiday, you could do a lot worse than head to Cassis. It's a popular departure point for diving tours and scuba excursions with many trips heading for the Calanques with their spectacular geological features. Cassis also offers days out at sea for the less active, with plenty of boat trips departing the harbour for a lazy few hours, or even a whole day, at sea.

Many boat trips head straight for the Calanques, the series of high-walled inlets that stretch along the coast from Marseille to Cassis. The series of little bays and picturesque coves attract visitors from all over the world. Be sure to take your camera so you can record your trip to this area of outstanding natural beauty. If you fancy a bit of culture during your visit to Cassis, the town has a small but impressive museum. The Cassis Museum features paintings by artists such as Victor Coste, Rene Seysand, Felix Ziem and Raphael Ponson.

Open into the early evenings, it's a great way to spend an hour or two before dinner. Eating out in Cassis is a treat, with some of the best seafood in France caught in the local waters. Cassis is a goldmine of fine restaurants, charming bistros and laid-back pavement cafes, meaning there is something for every budget and taste. There are lots of independent food shops and stalls, too, ranging from traditional bakeries and greengrocers to specialist delis.

If you're staying in one of the rustic gites in Provence, take the opportunity of a trip into Cassis to stock up on local seafood and delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables to take back and enjoy at leisure in your accommodation.