Altitude 16m a.s.l
Pitch 5 © kevin stephens
Heading east from Les Goudes, Sormiou is the first of the proper calanques to be reached; a deep, flooded valley with steep rocky sides. The approach to the area is through one of Marseilles' less salubrious neighbourhoods, which makes the contrast between city and wilderness all the more marked.
The small cliffs of the Sormiou area are rapid drying and don't suffer from seepage to any extent. Most of the cliffs face more-or-less west, so get morning shade and afternoon sun. They are generally exposed to the Mistral, except for the central section of the Colline de Lune which offers some shelter.
Head for the southern suburbs of Marseilles (Marzagues) and signs for 'Sormiou' will lead you to the correct valley. L'Arenas and Colline de Lune are the first crags passed on the left. Above that you drive over the Col de Sormiou and two more crags before dropping down into the Calanque de Sormiou and the final crag of La Pinèda.
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