"Marseille: sea, sun and wind ... and diversity!" Top 5 Page for this destination Marseille by ptitetoile

Marseille Travel Guide: 883 reviews and 2,334 photos

Marseille was for me famous for the football, the strong southern accent, the films of Marcel Pagnol and Fernandel (and recently Taxi)...but what attracted and finally brought me to this city was the marvellous "Calanques" ...I was so curious to see this wonderful cliffs bording the blue and turquoise sea that made me dream when I was a regular climber ten year ago...Besides, a recent nice sea emission with various documentaries about the different faces of the city convinced me for good to go and see it for real : a city with some charming harbours, an old town, a great mediterranean coast...And I get more than what I wanted!! It is a modest town, like its inhabitants, without high and rich pretentions but with a special mediterranean atmosphere marked by the presence of the harbours and the sea, ;-)

We discovered Marseille by foot through different itineraries :

- the red walk : this itinerary guides your through the old town of Marseille called : le Panier starting from the Tourist office at the old harbour (le vieux port). This itinerary is described in a map of the Tourist office and painted on the pavement...you cannot miss it! This neighborhood is quite picturesque with a lot of multicolor old houses with clothes hanging under the windows.

-the coastal walk : this is an itinerary we choosed ourself along the coast and then climbing up and town to the highest point of Marseille : Notre Dame de la Garde. We followed mainly "la corniche" with its nice parks and little balnear houses.

-the painter's walk : this itineray is described on the map of the Tourist Office and is situated in the neighborhood "l'Estaque". A really nice neighborhood with old houses, a nice church and great views on the sea and the little harbour that inspired the painter Cézanne and its students...

- the downtown walk : some interesting sights discovered between the St Charles Station and the sea !

These differents walks showed me the diversity of Marseille : old town, modern neighborhoods, sunny coast, nice mansions and palaces, hugly HLM-building (unfortunately!), large avenues, small narrow streets...

Next to these walks in the town, there are of course the wonderful hike in the Calanques : it is possible to walk from Marseille to Cassis but it takes 11 hours...so we divided the hike in two :

-the Calanque hike from Luminy to Marseille : this is the nicest thing to see in Marseille : the wonderfull cliffs and rocky hills with marvelous little inlets to bath in the sea. We walk from the University of Luminy (halfway from Cassis to Marseille) to Marseille...3 wonderful "blue lagoon" and many "belvederes" on the top of the hills to see...

-the Calanque hike from Cassis We started the hike from Cassis and walked till the Calanque d'En vaut...Again wonderful points of views and nice inlet...

For more infos about the Calanques, see the website : virtuallgallery (http://www.virtuall-gallery.com/calanques/indexsom.html)

Other destinations Iwent to during my Marseille trip :
Saint Tropez, Aix en Provence, Cassis

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diversity
  • Cons:Diversity (quote of Nathalie Simon who is a windsurf champion living in Marseille)
  • Last visit to Marseille: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (46)

Comments (10)

  • etfromnc's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Sarah, Could you tell me the English translation of "callanque," please? I read somewhere that I must not miss them when I visit Marseille this spring but so far I am not certain what I am to be seeking. Thanks!!

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2006 at 8:58 AM

    We just returned from Marseille and loved it! It seems that we did quite a few of the same things - isn't Marseille great?

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2006 at 8:27 AM

    I love this city. Great page. You have some excellent photos.

  • Christianne's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2005 at 9:44 PM

    Amazing pictures and great info! Thanks!

  • grovier's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2005 at 10:02 AM

    Alors là,ptitetoile, vous me sechez...Et bien que Marseillais je me demande si je sais autant de choses sur ma ville et surtout si je le decrirais aussi bien...Je vais revoir ma copie... Merci.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2005 at 9:53 AM

    Nice page!

  • Muya's Profile Photo
    Jul 27, 2005 at 3:40 AM

    I enjoyed the virtual Red Walk around Marseille with you Sarah :-)

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2005 at 7:55 AM

    Your pages are fantastic, it shows me many places in Marseille that I am mad to see. France is one of my goals in life and thanks for so much great information!

  • rickyvilla81's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2005 at 4:55 PM

    Nice! Marseille is great, you did a lot of walking! It's a great place for discovery. I never knew Cezanne was a cubist.

  • Bigjones's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2005 at 12:01 AM

    Hé hé, toujours en quête de rochers ;-)) J'ai pensé à toi en Namibie, y en avait plein !! Bon début sur Marseille, j'ai hâte de voir les photos des Calanques.


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