This time of the year is perfect to visit Marseille and the south of France in general. The weather is still great and there are fewer tourists than during the summer. I love Marseille because it is the perfect combination of a big city and a natural spot. There’s a lot of cultural options, a beautiful sea and it is surrounded by nature. I lived in Marseille for a while during college and I must say I had a lot of fun there. The second biggest city of France has always nice surprises to offer. Every time I go there I discover a new spot and a new facet of the city. This time we stayed six days exploring the city and relaxing in our favorite places. We traveled in our little blue truck (the third member of our little family). Our dog and kitten stayed at my parents where they could enjoy their beautiful garden. Also traveling with animals can be a little complicated when the weather is too hot or when you stay in a city because they just don’t have enough space. Here is what we saw. There is so much more things to see there… You could visit plenty of times and never have the same trip.
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations opened in 2013. It is divided into two parts. One is located in Fort Saint-Jean, a historic monument that dates back to the 12th century. There, you can stroll in the new Mediterranean garden and marvel at the riches of the MuCEM’ collections of popular and folk art. You can join the second part via a suspended footbridge, cast over the sea, and enjoy spectacular panoramas. Built on the former J4 pier by the architect Rudy Ricciotti, the second part is dedicated to the discovery of the major stages of Mediterranean civilisations. The two parts are perfectly integrated in the landscape and despite two completely different styles they look perfect together.
After visiting the MuCEM we went to Marseille Old town also called « Le Panier ». I love this neighborhood with its many places surrounded by cafés and bars. On a casual stroll through the streets we discovered the work of local designers and artists. We stopped for a delightful coffee break at the Vieille Charité. Then we kept walking along the streets, admiring the Diamond house and it’s diamond shaped façade, the Place de Lenche and the Accoules Church’s bell tower which dates from the 14th century (the original church itself was destroyed for housing political meetings during the French Revolution). Le Panier is a concentrate of history and creation from the local fashion designers and artists.
At the east of Marseille is a rocky stretch of coast with deep inlets, this is what we call « The calanques ». This particular landscape offer panoramic views on the Mediterranean sea and the rocky hills. There are several calanques you can visit although some of them are pretty difficult to access. During summer vehicles are not allowed in this particularly arid area due to the fire risks. The only way to enjoy these natural spots is by walking. This day our friend Pauline joined us down on the beach. This was a nice surprise, living far from each other we can’t spend as much time together as we would like. We spent the day together, had a picnic on the beach, enjoyed the view while catching up with our lives… At the end of the day we were more relaxed than ever, ready to go back to the civilisation.
After this little getaway in the calanques it’s time for me to let you. I hope you enjoy this trip as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you all. There is still a lot to discover about Marseille so I’ll be back for another article.
See you soon !