Capelan is a lovely half sunken cave, located near the bec de Sormiou. In order to go there, you have to take the black-marked path to the bec de Sormiou, then reach the last creek with the fallen rocks. This cave has three entrances. One of them requires safety gears. Climbers know it well because it is on the climbing route accessible through adventure courses around the bec. There is also a ground entrance, easier to reach with a little swim (70 meters) from the creek with fallen rocks. Finally, divers and swimmers with masks and fins can take the underwater entrance, a bit further at the bottom of the fault behind the large underwater arch. Until 1pm, the sunlight enters through the upper entrance and gives a beautiful orange glare to the walls.
The capelan is a small pelagic fish. It is 20-30 centimeters long, and can be white or beige-bronze. It is similar to the pout fish and the codfish. It has the same diet as whales, seals and squids. In Marseille it used to be a cheap fish, but now they’re unlikely to be spotted near the coast. In regional slang, we also use the word « capelan » as a negative name for vicars.
Overview of the ground entrance
Beginning of the cave
To the lighted part of the cave
How to get there
- Location: On the east side of the bec de Sormiou, about 70 meters after the creek of the fallen rocks.
- Walking route (25 minutes): From Sormiou beach, take the black-marked path going up on the right to the bec de Sormiou. The path starts to go up then flat. After going along the calanque to cap Redon, you have to go down a more abrupt section, with an inclined slab to get to the creek of the fallen rocks.
- Recommendations: The underwater entrance is not very deep. When it is sunny, you can swim to the cave, with a mask, fins and a snorkel. Be careful not to bang yourself on the walls. For the ground entrance and inside the cave, be careful, the soil is clay and the rocks are very slippery because of the humidity.
- See more: You liked Capelan cave, then you will probably enjoy the "grotte de la porte de Rome" located at the other side of the calanque.