France's second city, Marseille is situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, on the Mediterranean coast. A lively and cosmopolitan city, Marseille is the oldest town in France, founded around 600BC. Marseille has an intense cultural life with its opera house, seventeen museums and forty-two theatres. The Old Port is the emblematic centre of the town. The city's communicative energy was summed up by Van Gogh: "I’m painting with the gusto of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse...". It is exactly around this pleasant port where you will find cafés and restaurants offering excellent gastronomic specialities from Marseille, including its famous fish soup la bouillabaisse. Every morning, on the quays of the port, the market is in full swing. Above, the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, of Romano-Byzantin style, nicknamed "The Good Mother", watches over the city and offers a superb panoramic view across it along with the sea and the neighbouring islands. Upon entering the port, on the right side shore, stands Fort Saint-Jean, dating back to the 12th Century and the times of King René - an image which is completed by the imposing Fort Saint-Nicolas on the left bank. In the middle of the bay the Château d’If can be seen, a fortress built by François the first in the 16th Century which was later converted into a prison, famous for those who it detained, including the Marquis de Sade and Edmond Dantès. These characters are known throughout the world thanks to the pen of Alexandre Dumas, writing about him in his Count of Monte-Cristo. Finally, Marseille has been elected European Capital of Culture of 2013. PARISCityVISION suggests that you visit the town in total freedom with the excursion 'A Day in Marseille' in TGV train, including a tour of the city with 'Marseille - The Grand Tour' in an open top tour bus.
Discover the highlights of Provence during a full-day tour from Marseille
A scenic drive to the so picturesque Luberon region
Discover the beautiful Mediterranean city of Marseille and the charming fishermen port of Cassis