If your concept of vacation is glorious coastline, world-class cuisine and a perfect weather, Marseille is the place in France that you must visit. This less-visited port city of France is a history, culture and style. With its picturesque setting across the coastline, Marseille is home to many historical sites and colourful markets. This port city is densely populated and therefore, it is a place where different cultures have merged with each other.
Notre Dame de la Garde
This is the highest point of the city and offers an amazing panoramic view of the entire city. The Byzantine interior and the beautiful setting make this cathedral an important attraction point. This cathedral offers a stunning view of the Frioul Islands and the Mediterranean Sea. Though it is often considered as a pilgrimage, it is also a part-fortress and part-lighthouse. Since its inception years in 1853-1864, local fishermen came to this chapel to have their boats blessed.
Vieux Port (Old harbour)
This ancient harbour that was established in the year 600 B.C. is the heart of the city. It is a very lively place with local fishermen selling and local people buying fresh catch from the sea. This high-spirited port is a place to fall in love with, with the restaurants, cafés and crystal clear waters. It is also the place, where boats to Calanques and Château d’If leave from. Simply stroll down the roads and enjoy the beauty of this old port and the high-spirited conjugation of tourists and locals.
If you have ever read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, then you must be acquainted with this small island, off the coast of Marseille. Though constructed as a defence territory and later converted into an island-fortress-prison, Château d’If offers a stunning view of the Mediterranean setting. The island is a part of the Frioul Islands archipelago and is isolated. Strong sea currents, pristine sandy beaches and turquoise blue water make this a must visit tourist attraction point.
Calanques National Park
Stretching right up to the village of Cassis, the steep rocky cliffs of Calanques National Park is famous for the mountain range, the wildlife and the pristine beaches. Tourists take boat rides and enjoy hiking here, in the crystal blue water.
Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée
MuCEM is an amalgamation of Fort Saint-Jean and the unique modern architecture of the museum. Along with the breath-taking views, the museum acts as a jewel to the cultural crown of Marseille. Visitors can be a part of some of the best lectures, exhibitions and movie screenings that take place here at any of the three stages of this museum.
Best time to visit Marseille
The best time to visit Marseille is during the months of May and June when the weather is pleasant and ideal.
Marseille in a Nutshell
Depending on your personal preferences, you can pick and choose the highlights. If you like architecture, do not miss out Saint Victor Abbey and Cathédrale de la Major. On the other hand, art lovers should plan their trip to Marseille during June and July as the International Documentary Film Festival and Dance and performance Arts Festivals take place in this city during this period. The colourful Cours Julien Street Art is also a must watch. If you simply want to experience the regular life, stroll down the cobbled streets of the old town of Le Panier.