Set between the hills and the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille offers the better of two distinct worlds. The sea, lined with 14 marinas and more than 20 beaches, attracts divers, sea kayakers and sailors all year round whilst the mountain area entices nature lovers of all ages. You can see them admiring the over 12 mile long Calanques massif’s amazing white limestone cliffs that plunge into the clear Mediterranean Sea. Divers prefer to appreciate the Calanques from underwater.
The interesting mixture of people and cultures creates a cosmopolitan and multicultural feel to Marseille. Its previous reputation for crime resulted in fewer tourists over a period, but things have changed and the city is now a sought-after location on Provence’s gorgeous coastline. Marseille is divided into sixteen arrondissements twirling out from the Vieux Port, the central spot of the city. La Canebire, the broad avenue leading from the Vieux Port, is in central Marseille and bordered by Quartier Belsunce’s small streets to the north and shopping streets to the south.
Buy a City Pass valid for one or two days to get as much as possible of your visit. I recommend the site of the original Greek settlement in the old town Le Panier, Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde on the hill of La Garde, the Chateau d’If situated on the ancient prison island If and the big Borely Park. Sport interested? Do check out the events at Marseille’s stadium seating 60,000 people.
When in Marseille, don’t forget to savor the regions delicious specialties. Apparently the city has the planets best bouillabaisse, but as a vegetarian I wouldn’t know. If you rather eat seafood, order the local “Cassis” blanc-de-blanc from the Cassis region and don’t miss the navettes — a biscuit flavored with orange blossom — for dessert.
How to get there:
Marseille is accessible from motorways A7, A50, A52 or A55. TGV high-speed train from Paris to the Marseille St-Charles station takes 3 hours. Marignane MRS, France’s second largest airport, serves daily flights from French and international destination. Tourists can also enter the city from cruise ships since Marseille has France’s biggest commercial port.
Featured Image by WillyWilly13