MARSEILLE, Cassis & calanques
«The Oldest city of France, eternal and unique »
Since its foundation by the Greeks that came from Phocaea 26 centuries ago, Marseille the ‘Phocaean city’, has never ceased to attract visitors with its strong identity and its exceptional geographic location.
The City has many things to offer : The Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde which dominates the old harbor, le Vieux-Port so emblematic, the city neighborhood of the Panier, the creeks and beaches close from center town, Marseille is a city of contrasts and known for the famous cheeky humor of its inhabitants.
To discover Marseille’s multifaceted beauty and immerse yourself in its excess, do not hesitate to leave the town center ; each cityneighborhood is a small Provencal village with its church, plane-trees and its typical Pétanque bowling pitch.
You can also discover Marseille by sea coming alongside the Frioul islands and the chateau d’If, setting of the legendary The Count of Monte Cristo. Each place offers a fantastic view of Marseille.
A few kilometers from the town center, Cassis and its charming small fishing port seems like a sleeping beauty but is also a location if first choice. Nestled at the bottom of the lofty cliff of Cap Canaille surrounded by vineyards, this village worth the trip and is the ideal point of departure for the famous Calanques, true gem of the Mediterranean sea.
Marseille tours : your route
Marseille, then Cassis and its calanques
9:00 am – You will be welcome at the place you’ll stay by your English speaking driver-guide there the last details of your route will be set according to your wishes.
After a stop at the old harbor le Vieux Port and its must-see fish market, our day we begin with a visit of the cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille’s emblem, overlooking the entire city.
Then we will set off for a tour of what Marseilles has to offer : The Palais Longchamp, built as a tribute to water, arts and sciences. Then the famous Avenue de la Canebière spreading to the city neighborhood of the Panier, after we will go on the Kennedy cliff road leading to the Pointe Rouge southern end of town with a fantastic vista over the shoreline.
From there you will go to the village of Cassis by way of La Gineste pass for a light lunch in front of the sea on one of the terrace of the small fishing port.
Then if weather conditions are good we will embark for a little cruise to discover of the Calanques of Cassis the most famous and awesome limestone cliffs. Back to the harbor, then we will be expected in a vineyard producing great white wine labeled AOC genuine regional quality wine. This one is fruity and dry made from the vineyards overlooking the bay.
After this we will drive you on the road on the crest to enjoy the breathtaking vista over the off Marseilles and the surrounding islands.
Around 6:00 pm – Back to your accommodation.
Bon appetit ! Our favorite restaurants in Marseille
Stuck on the rocky mountain of the Auffes, this genuine fishing port set in the town center this restaurant gives an overlooking view over the Frioul islands and the Chateau d’If, it offers a creative and original cuisine based on sea products, famous for its Mediterranean fish soup ‘bouillabaisse’.
Chez Toinou (Marseille)
Located on the Canebiere avenue next to the “Vieux Port”, famous for its first choice shellfishes, to be tasted on a pleasant sunny terrace.
This renowned restaurant on the port of Cassis with an overview over the castle of Cassis offers a traditional cuisine and specialties of fresh sea products.
Fleurs de thym (Cassis)
A Provencal quality family cuisine is served , cooked according to the season and the Chef ’s inspiration. Nice terrace and very good service.
The Cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde
Built in 1864 where a 13h chapel used to be, the cathedral de la « Bonne Mère » standing on its rocky promontory, dominates the city.
Marseille’s inhabitants consider it the protector and guardian of the city. It has a great inside decoration, paintings and ex-votos dedicated to. The site offers a fantastic vista over the entire city. A must !
The Frioul islands and the Chateau d’If
it’s a three-island archipelago; the Chateau d’If sits on one. This old fortress later on, early 16th century became on king Francois 1st’s order a royal prison. It reached fame in Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo. The two other islands Ratonneau and Pommeques used to be quarantine harbors nowadays linked up by a seawall they are a destination for a one day journey to remote creeks.
The Old Harbor « Vieux Port » and its surroundings…
According to Marseille’s inhabitants the most beautiful port in the world ! The place has two forts guarding its entrance where thousand of yachts and pleasure boats cast anchor, to many it is the true heart of the city. It is the point of departure to every visit of the city.
The morning fish market is colorfull and picturesque !