The Escu via Callelongue and the Cirque des Walkyries

Beautiful loop in the Calanques starting from Callelongue.

Technical sheet
No. 4098329
A Marseille walk posted on 16/10/14 by MPrice. Update : 09/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h35[?]
Distance Distance : 11.91km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 758m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 752m
Highest point Highest point : 381m
Lowest point Lowest point : 6m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Calanques de Marseille et Cassis
Location Location : Marseille (13000)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.212676° / E 5.354175°
Download : -


Head to Callelongue in the south-west of Marseille. Park at the car park as you enter Callelongue if you arrive early; if not, there is parking beyond Goudes or on the side of the road between the car park and Callelongue.

(D/A) From the car park, head towards Callelongue port, go past Avenue des Pébrons on the left and take the road opposite which leads you between the houses. At the crossroads past the last house, ignore the path which heads off to the right and instead take the path opposite which goes up to the old semaphore tower.

(1) From there, take the Yellow path which climbs to the left. 200m further on, take the path on the right which goes towards Galinette Pass along the Mounine Valley.

(2) On reaching the pass, continue on to the left in order to climb to the head of the Mounine. From this point, go back downhill on the path to the right towards Grand Malvallon.

(3) In the crook of the valley, climb up to the left for several metres until you reach the crossroads of the 3 Arches. Take the path to the right which climbs to the peaks of Malvallon. Admire the view - it makes the detour well worth it!
This is the 'Homme Mort' ('Dead Man') plateau. Continue following the ridge until you are above a cirque - the Cirque des Walkyries.

(4) Go around the cirque by following the path to the right, still on the ridge, which then reaches the Cortious Pass, (you will recognise it quite easily from the smell of the wastewater treatment plant).

(5) Take the GR98 on the right for about 200 metres and begin the descent back down towards the sea via the small path which heads off to the left (Green waymarking).
Be careful, some sections require you to use your hands for help.
No significant difficulty on this section, except perhaps just before arriving at the Escu calanque where wires have been installed in two places to help you cross a wall of rock.

(6) It is possible to get to the calanque via a Green dotted route, but you would need to go back to the section with wires to continue onwards. Once past the calanque, there is another small rock to climb before meeting up with the GR51 - GR98 again which goes a bit higher up.

(7) Continue the hike by following the GR51 - GR98 which goes along the seashore back to Callelongue (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 9m
1 : km 0.42 - alt. 84m - Old semaphore
2 : km 1.83 - alt. 135m - Galinette Pass
3 : km 1.95 - alt. 149m - Col de la Galinette (149m)
4 : km 3.63 - alt. 131m - Creux du Grand Malvallon
5 : km 4.97 - alt. 375m - Cirque des Walkyries
6 : km 6.16 - alt. 243m - Cortiou Pass - Col de Cortiou (244m)
7 : km 7.53 - alt. 53m - Variation to Calanque de l'Escu
8 : km 8.11 - alt. 48m - GR51 - GR98
D/A : km 11.91 - alt. 8m

Useful Information

You need to be physically for this hike given the significant changes in altitude and the climbing involved. Allow around 5 - 7 hours of walking, depending on your own pace and allowing times for breaks.
Make sure you take a lot of water during the summer and a hiking rope for those people who might be hesitant to cross the 2 tricky sections equipped with wires.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

There is so much to see on this route. In certain situations, words are superfluous and this is one of those cases!

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.