Tourism PACA / South

Marseille and Bouches-du-Rhône: a part of the world bathed in nature and sea to discover absolutely

Marseille is a part of the world. Many people have arrived from elsewhere when they landed in its port. It is also a part of the history of the world since the city was founded by the Greeks. Beyond the famous accent, the truculent Provence and the divine bouillabaisse, Marseille is a journey to be made at least once...


The Bouches-du-rhône, my goodness! What a department !


La Provence et le Garlaban Photo par Jef Wodniack/

Provence and Sainte Victoire Mountain Photo par Jef Wodniack/

The bouches du Rhône, it's a hell of a department. We are in the south of course. We are in Provence. Inland, Aix-en-Provence offers itself to aesthetes at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain, the beacon of the genius Paul Cézanne. Arles revolves around its arena, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, you can treat yourself to culinary delights between the good wines soaked in the warm sun and the legendary bouillabaisse, which is never better than when eaten by several people with lots to say. 2 000 000 inhabitants, and even a little more, and yet Nature remains present. It gilds itself in the sun and doesn't hesitate to make a hell of a climb, especially on the side of Garlaban, or in the Alpilles, in Les Baux de Provence, before coming out onto the sea.

The sea starts here


Calanques de Cassis Photo par Gaspar Janos/​​​​Calanques de Cassis Photo par Gaspar Janos/

At the edge of the sea, the nature of the Bouches-du-Rhône offers to the curious and to the amateurs of bathing beaches and creeks. Calanques of Cassis, shores of La Ciotat, offer all shades of blue from the most turquoise to the darkest when you sail out to sea, well beyond the amazing castle of iff. On its side, the Camargue spares land and sea, as one spares the goat and the cabbage, with the pride in more. The mouths of the Rhone, it is a concentrate of Provence. And then the sea, here, is also, perhaps especially: Marseille. 

Marseille : a world of its own 


Marseille : le vieux port et la Bonne Mère Photo par Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock.frMarseille : le vieux port et la Bonne Mère Photo par Sergii Figurnyi/

First French port. 2nd port of the Mediterranean. Lively in the creeks, shining on the horizon, the sea is never far away and the people of Marseilles always have a look at it. Some have come from it, others cannot resist its call. Marseille would not exist without the sea, and even if you will find me a little Marseillais when I say that the sea would not exist if bathing Marseille did not give it the best reason to exist. The city is surrounded by massive hills and mountains that encircle it in their arms. A little further on, "crowned with goats" as Pagnol used to say, the Garlaban seems to watch over the Phocaean city. Phocaean because it was the Greeks, who are said to have come from Phocaea, who founded it 6 centuries before the birth of Christ. This is how old Marseille is. 

Centuries of history for a city that is always looking towards the sea and towards tomorrow. 

From the past it keeps the most beautiful traces, the antiquity left the Roman docks. The Middle Ages marked its passage through the churches of Saint-Laurent, Notre dame des Accoules, the King René tower and the great Saint-Victor abbey. Later on, we left the diamond house, the Boreli castle and of course over there, at the top, 150 meters away, the famous good mother: Notre-Dame de la Garde. Her golden statue watches over the canebière and the old neighborhoods where you can still hear that accent that makes life sing even in hard times. 


Marseille : Notre dame de la Garde Photo par saiko3p/Shutterstock.frMarseille : Notre dame de la Garde Photo par saiko3p/

The old port, the MUCEM, and discover a city that has a spirit all its own. 

Once you have tasted the legendary bouillabaisse with a few croutons of bread spread with "rust", you can head for the Pouillon buildings not far from the town hall, the Cité Radieuse of Le Corbusier or you may decide that what you really want is a good walk amidst the sounds and colors of the old port or a visit to the extraordinary MUCEM, this building of stone, wind and water that houses the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. A place that reminds us of the unique link between Marseille and the mother of civilizations that have enlightened the world. 


Marseille : MUCEM et cathédrale par saiko3p/Shutterstock.frMarseille : MUCEM et cathédrale par saiko3p/

Marseille has bordered the sea for centuries, and continues to look at it and welcome sailors from all over the world. At the port of Marseille have docked so many destinies that we are no longer surprised by anything. Perhaps it is because we have already seen so much that we add a little more to continue to be surprised.


TOP 5 things to see in Marseille

1 The creeks 

Magnificent, they can be found all around the city. You can find some magnificent ones a little further than Marseille, in Cassis for example. 


Marseille : calanques MUCEM et cathédrale par Gaspar Janos/

Marseille : calanques par Gaspar Janos/


2 Notre dame de la Garde 

The view is breathtaking and the place is very moving. A must do. On foot it's difficult from the old port but it's worth it. 


Marseille : "la bonne mère" Notre Dame de la Garde par Zyankarlo/

Marseille : "la bonne mère" Notre Dame de la Garde par Zyankarlo/


3 The old port and the Panier district 

The old port is the foundation of Marseille, on the side there is the Panier district with old streets. 


Marseille : le vieux port Stroujko/

Marseille : le vieux port Stroujko/



A must see just for the building. 

Le MUCEM Image par 🌼Christel🌼 de Pixabay

The Mucem Image by 🌼Christel🌼 from Pixabay 


5 The Saint Victor Abbey

It is inseparable from the history of Marseille. It owned a large part of the city.


Marseille : abbaye Saint Victor Henryk Sadura/

Marseille : abbaye Saint Victor Henryk Sadura/


But also : 

The islands of Frioul, amazing, the Cité Radieuse of Le Corbusier, the great architect of the 20th century, the Longchamps Palace, the Boreli Park, dear to Marcel Pagnol and of course... The Orange Velodrome Stadium. 


Infos / Geo / Websites 

Marseille is populated by 861 000 people. It is the sub-prefecture of the Bouches du Rhône. It is equipped with a subway. 

By road : 

Marseille Paris via the A7 7H10. Marseille Lyon 3H


By train :

3H Paris Marseille. Up to 16 departures per day. 


By plane : 

1H30 from Paris. Marseille Provence airport.


The websites : 

Tourism in Marseille is here 

Tourism in the Bouches-du-Rhône is here. 

Please excuse the small accent and the small translation errors of our translator. He sympathized with the Marseilles people and he has a hard time speaking English again... 

city tourism city break


Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site. 

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.