After a short flight and a comfortable transfer we were in Marseille, France’s second largest city and situated on the south coast, it has a distinctly Mediterranean feel. We arrived in time to have dinner in one of the numerous restaurants located right in the old harbour area with views of the lovely waterfront and imposing Basilique Notre de la Garde lighting up the night sky. It was a great start to what turned out to be a fantastic stay.
We explored the old town with its narrow winding streets and pastel coloured houses while enjoying all the area had to offer with its artisan stores and art galleries, and we indulged in some delicious food from the gourmet food shops.
We took the ferry to Chateau d’If, a fortress made famous by the legendary tale of The Count of Monte Cristo, it had a fascinating history and offered beautiful views of the city.
We walked the stunning corniche, a boulevard that runs along the coast with magnificent views, coves with lovely beaches and opportunities to relax in a nice bar with your choice of refreshments. We also took the train to the beautiful town of Cassis, with its origins dating back to 600 BC, this picturesque portside town still bears some of the evidence of when Roman settlers conducted maritime trade with North Africa and the Middle East. Known for it’s fine wines, we happily sampled the local signature dish of Bouillabaisse, a delicious seafood stew which we enjoyed in a lovely restaurant right next to the town’s beautiful beach.
Marseille is also the gateway to cultural Avignon, historical Arles and the stunning Aix en Provence. Clanques National Park, on Marseille’s doorstep, also has opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, snorkelling and diving.