Provence Guided Tours around Marseille
Visit Marseille, a cosmopolitan and welcoming metropolis
France's second city, Marseille is located 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 become in a few years a trendy tourist destination. The city is open to the sea. Its large port, one of the most prosperous and active in the Mediterranean Sea, hosts on its docks the cultures of the whole world. This miscegenation has shaped one of the oldest cities in France, whose cosmopolitan population knows how to be open and hospitable.
Visiting Marseille starts with a discovery of the Old Port, where pleasure boats dance with the winds. In the morning, its fish market attracts tourists in search of picturesque. Facing the Town Hall, the Ferry Boat offers one of the smallest cruises in the world. To reach it, you can go down the Canebière, emblematic avenue of the city, where the Tourist Office is facing the quays. Many neighborhoods also attract visitors who wish to visit Marseille in an authentic way. The Panier district, which inspired the Mistral district in the hit French series "Plus belle la vie", or the Cours Julien with its artists' cafés, embody the joie de vivre and exuberance of Marseille.
Cultural and historical tours
Since the city was European Capital of Culture in 2013, cultural tourism has developed strongly. The MuCEM, the latest of the major national museums inaugurated in 2012, reflects both the renewal of the city and the role it plays in the Mediterranean identity. This museum, built partly in the old Fort Saint-Jean, is as much a place of culture as of meetings: visitors and cruisers of passage, tourists, Marseillais like to stroll on the terraces and the sunny ramparts of the museum, enjoying an unobstructed view on the Friuli Islands, the If Castle and the city.
Your visit will also inevitably go through a visit up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, nickenamed the "Good Mother": a neo-Byzantine-style basilica, offering a 360-degree panorama of the entire city: tourists will be able to admire a unique view on the harbor, the islands and the hills surrounding the city. 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 ofAlexandre Dumas, writing about him in his Count of Monte-Cristo.
From its incredibly rich history, the Phocaean city being simply the oldest city in France, founded by the Greeks of Phocaea 2600 years ago, some testimonies remain. The Garden of the Vestiges, attached to the History Museum of Marseille, thus conceals some precious relic of the Greek epic. Overlooking the Quai de Rive Neuve, the medieval Basilica of Saint-Victor has an amazing crypt dating back to the early days of Christendom, which you can visit.
The Marseille culture is also on the plate. It is difficult to visit Marseille without experiencing the ritual of the aperitif, to enjoy the sun on the terrace a glass of pastis (to be consumed with moderation). Then you will be ready to have a tasty « bouillabaisse » fish soup.
Beachfront, beaches and seaside activities
Your visit to Marseille can also take you further south, on an excursion that will take you, via the road overlooking the Corniche, to the beaches of Prado, Escale Borely or Pointe Rouge . The beaches, with their restaurants close to the water, the secret coves of the Calanques with turquoise waters transform the second city of France into a welcoming and sunny seaside resort. If you visit Marseille, go on an excursion to the Calanques: old fishing villages, nestled in deep coves are waiting for you.
Around Marseille: tourism between land, sea and sun
You can take advantage of your visit of Marseille to explore the surroundings and discover the most beautiful tourist treasures of the region. Fashionable destination, the south of France multiplies surprises and superlatives.
PARISCityVISION has selected for you several ideas for guided tours around Marseille and day-trips. Discover the extraordinary creeks that range between Marseille and Cassis, now protected by a National Park, the only one in Europe located partly in urban areas. You can hike on the marked trails or, like hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, embark from Cassis or Marseille for a sea excursion.
Further afield, go on a sightseeing excursion in the Luberon, discover authentic villages and local markets that highlight a terroir of exceptional generosity. Also take a day trip around Marseille to visit must-see tourist sites: the elegant Aix-en-Provence, a cute bourgeois city, the ancient city of Arles and its arena, the city of Avignon and the Palais des Papes, the art galleries of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence...
Book your tour around Marseille: take part to one of the trip selected for you and gather plenty of good memories!