The best, not to be missed places in Marseille
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Marseille is an absolute must in the south of France. A perfect holiday destination, it combines all the best things together: sunny climate, cosmopolitan mood, Mediterranean atmosphere, magnificent beaches, fantastic nature, good food and a wide variety of activities. Among the best, not to be missed places in Marseille, you absolutely must visit its Old Port, its Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral, Le Panier, its district markets, its MuCEM and its Calanques.
The Old Port of Marseille
When it’s time for a getaway in the south of France, what better than to make a luxury trip to Marseille. The journey begins in the Old Port, the nerve centre of the city. A historic site, it has long witnessed the history of the city. When it’s time for a stroll, walk around the fort Saint Jean at the port entrance. Otherwise, take the ferry for the famous crossing from the City Hall to Place aux Huiles. If it’s atmosphere you’re looking for, enjoy yourself in the restaurants, ice cream parlours or on the terraces of corner cafes on the northern bank of the port.
The cathedral Notre Dame de la Garde
When staying in Marseille, you must visit Notre Dame de la Garde cathedral, or the Bonne Mère as it is known to the people of Marseille. The southern route is undoubtedly the most interesting. From the Canebière, your route, on foot, will take you through an area of scrub and pine trees for half an hour. However, it is still possible to take the bus or the train if you do not like walking. Once at the top of the hill, the cathedral reveals its beauty to you, with its Romanesque-Byzantine style adorned with cupolas, gold and mosaics. The view from there over the Old Port and the sea is also stunning.
Perched on the hill just above the port, the district of Le Panier evokes more than ever its designation as “the oldest town in France”. You will undoubtedly be fascinated by its steep and narrow little streets on its abrupt slopes. The houses are packed in next to each other and have four or five floors. You will also see bistros, antique shops, artists’ workshops, craft shops and restaurants where you can taste bouillabaisse, a typical dish made of fish soup.
The markets of the district
For a change of scene, tour the numerous markets of the city. Apart from the market at the Old Port, where you will find many surprises, next to the Porte d’Aix in the centre of avenue Camille Pelletan, you can buy Oriental products such as clothing, decorations, incense and spices. You will feel as though you are in a souk in North Africa. If you are visiting Marseille on a Friday morning, explore the Prado flower market. You will see many florists and horticulturists from the area selling various plant species.
Visiting the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations during a trip to Marseille is a must. It is located on the site of the fort Saint Jean. It would still be worth a visit for its particular architectural style alone. It is dedicated to the preservation, study, presentation and mediation of a European and Mediterranean anthropological heritage. From its terrace, you can relax or enjoy the view over the Mediterranean.
The Calanques National Park
To complete your getaway, it is important to explore the creeks of the park that extends along about 20 kilometres of coastline. It is a remarkable site where you can make a hike of any level of difficulty. Climbing is also available. The ecosystem is rich, consisting of limestone cliffs and abundant flora. You can be sure of experiencing an adventure there surrounded by exceptional nature.