600 meters away from the Bec de l’Aigle, 1,5 km from the port of la Ciotat, Ile Verte (Green island) is part of the national park of the calanques, but it is not similar to the islands in Marseille at all. The stone is the « Poundingue », made of the same shingles that we find on the Bec de l’Aigle and in Mugel park.
The vegetation, mainly Alep pine trees, makes it the only wooded island in the department. Originally, there were probably mainly lobed-leaved trees, like green oaks, but the pastoral fires in the Middle Ages, and the big wildfires upset the balance. The viewpoint indicator, set up near the culminating point (49 meters high), gives a beautiful view on the bec de l'Aigle, la Ciotat and the massif de la Ste Baume. The path is easy and has a lot of information signs. It takes about one hour to walk around the island, discovering the animals, the fauna and flora, and the island’s history. Because of the strategic location of the Ile Verte, many fortifications have been built after 1695. First, Saint Pierre and Saint Louis forts, reinforced after the repeated English attacks in 1808 and 1812. During the second world war, the German built blockhouses, but on the August 12th 1944, the American bombing left nothing but ruins. Today, the Ile Verte still protects la Ciotat, only from the bad south south-east weather.
In the calanque St Pierre, there is a landing stage where the boats and the shuttle come alongside. There is a shingle beach, a petanque strip, and the restaurant « Chez Louisette ». If you follow the hiking trail, you can get quickly to the small sand beach in the Seynerolles calanques, and to the small calanque of la Plageolle. This one is very sheltered and the crystal-clear water along with the small depth make it heavenly.
From the bec the l’Aigle to the shipyards
Canonnier du Sud
(scuba diving spot)
How to get there
- Starting point: Vieux Port of la Ciotat (Old Port of la Ciotat)
- Route: Take the shuttle to l’Ile Verte (Green Island) from the Vieux port de la Ciotat (Old port of la Ciotat). The trip is 15 minutes long.
- Cost for a round trip: Adult: 13 euros and children: 8 euros (under 10)
- Timetable: In July and August, the shuttle comes every hour from 9am to 6pm. In April, May, June and September, it is from 10am to 5pm. (See the timetable).
- You can also get to the Ile Verte with personalized boat excursions, more info here