MARSEILLE, France’s third city



Local area



MARSEILLE, France’s third city, is going to reveal itself to you and offer up its wonders, whether architectural, scenic, or cultural. This city has 1,039,739 inhabitants, and was established around the 6th century BC by Greek sailors from Asia Minor, who were descended from the Phoceans, hence the Phocean name of the city.

MARSEILLE holds numerous attractions, due to its position on the Mediterranean coast. Everything combines to ensure you spend a marvellous holiday here, with the sun, nature, culture, the sea, and discovery of its history:

  • The world-renowned ‘Calanques’ [rocky inlets], which are classed as a UNESCO world heritage site;
  • the old port with its fishing boats, the fish auctions and the boat trips, such as to the Château d’If, made famous by Edmond Rostand; (i)
  • ‘Notre Dame de la Garde’ [Our Lady of the Vigil], more commonly known as, the ‘bonne mere’ [the Good Mother], which overlooks Marseille, will please you with its location and 360° panorama of the Phocean site.

The welcome received from the people of Marseille is known all over the world for its warmth and politeness.

A tourist stopover at the very heart of the Mediterranean MARSEILLE holiday

Getting around in Marseille is easy, with public transport networks, the metro and taxis. Crowds of international tourists converge in Marseille, and this cosmopolitan city is rich in tradition and happenings of all kinds. The city is classed as one of art and history because within its walls and in its architecture, its ancestors have left their imprint.

TGV [express] train links, the airport of MARSEILLE PROVENCE, and the port, enable thousands of passengers to get to the capital of the Mediterranean.

Marseille is a key venue for organising conventions and seminars of all kinds, with over 300 events per year, and over 80,000 participants.

That is not to mention cruises, with over 800,000 passengers, just for the year 2011.


These are numerous: the Greco-Roman ruins, the botanical gardens, the palaces and castles… Culture is a priority in Marseille, because with 12 cinemas, 1 opera house, 42 theatres and 17 museums, it stands out in this domain.

In 1998, the City of Marseille Bureau of Congress implemented everything possible so as to be able to offer a key destination in the tourism sector, just like Marseille Vacances [Marseille Holidays].

The Palais du Pharo

The Palais du Pharo, with its exceptional panoramic view looking out onto the bay; the ports; the cathedral, and Fort Saint-Jean are all stops which must not be missed. A 900-seat auditorium opens its doors to the public for presentations, as well as providing conference rooms for all kinds of functions.

Borély Park

This serene floral site invites you to come and relax and so take the opportunity to go cycling, or else organise your picnic on tranquil, sunny days spent meandering around the area. You will find wild spinneys there, paths lined with plane trees, lawns and tarns where ducks paddle.


Apart from the Phocean site, to add the finishing touches to your holiday, you will be able to take the coast road in the direction of the seaside villages. Right along the length of your route, beneath the sun, you will discover L’Estaque and Niolon, nestled behind the mountains, with a little port, the Tamaris and its large beach, at the end of a cove.

Next, the road will lead you to Carry le Rouet, Sausset-les-Pins, finishing up in the pretty little fishing village of Carro, where ‘Seinche’ fishing (ii) was invented. Just nearby, the ‘Venice of Provence’, Martigues, with its central Island, will also bring you a sense of peace, because the spot is perfect for lovers.

If you choose to leave from the side of the Cassis Calanques, a spectacular sight awaits you, and you will easily be able to take a boat and look at the view directly from the sea and even dine on board. The road you are on will bring you to Toulon, and if you continue further, to Italy.

Spending one’s holidays in this beautiful region of Provence-Côte d’Azur is a wise choice, because few places will offer as many leisure opportunities, whether cultural or scenic. The range is limitless, because absolutely everyone will be able, over the course of their visit and leisure time, to talk about the most wonderful memories of a region as beautiful as it is enjoyable, in a Mediterranean climate which is both warm and mild, and which will make you, in most cases, want to return and once again benefit from dream holidays in magical places, loaded with history.

(i) Edmond Rostand, a native of Marseille and author of Cyrano de Bergerac, 1897.
(ii) Type of squid fishing.

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