A few days in Marseille
- From: Paul Aubrin <chu8i443@xxxxxxx>
- Date: 03 Jun 2012 13:19:49 GMT
I had promised a visit to some relatives who settled in Marseille some
time ago. I many times passed through or around the town, but never took
the time to really visit it. More exactly, up to now, I only had the
opportunity to visit the old harbor (vieux port) and the Frioul islands.
Marseille is not a fancy Riviera town like Nice, Menton, Cannes or
Monaco. It is an industrial town and a busy harbor. A lot of people
transit there to take the ferry to Algeria or Tunisia. There is a ferry
line to Corsica too. For those reasons, the people who live in Marseille
mostly do not consider it are not focused on tourism. Nevertheless,
Marseille has a character of its own and is well worth a visit. Marseille
is interesting for its natural scenery and its Mediterranean atmosphere.
As I didn't need an hotel, I will not be able to give an advice on this
subject. If I had had to choose one, I would probably have elected one
around the Prado avenue because it is a neat place with short metro or
bus connections to the main places of interest including the Prado beach
and Vieux port. Bonneveine, near the Prado beach, could be an alternative
but less accessible with public transport.
There is an heavy traffic in Marseille, automobile drivers are not very
careful, some places are jammed, surface car park is difficult. Don't
visit the town with a car. A car is useful only for outside of Marseille
excursions like Cassis, Les Beaux de Provence. The public transport
system is very useful for visiting with its two metro lines and his many
easy to use bus lines. During the weekdays, the last metro is around
10:30pm. I used a 10 fare ticket (12.60 EUR). A ticket can be use aboard
every metro of bus for an hour ( i.e. you can board a new bus with the
same ticket within an hour of its first use).
I visited again the Frioul Island (chateau d'If), strolled around the old
harbor, lunched in some of the many restaurants there and dined in the
nearby and calmer Place aux Huiles where you can find every possible kind
and class of restaurant.
A reference which shows the location of the place next to the old harbor.
I didn't visit again the calanques by boat (boats at Vieux Port). The
calanques are a dozen of coves in a natural park between Marseille and
Cassis. This time I visited them walking. The two nearest calanques are
Sormiou and Morgiou. Both shelter some small houses (cabanons). To go
there you take bus 22 until its last stop (Baumettes). From there you need
a 20-30 minute walk to reach (Morgiou or Sormiou). Sugiton is an easy to
reach Calaque too. You take bus 21 (from Rond Point du Prado) to the
university of Luminy. From there a foot path leads you to the sea (a 30
I bought a sandwich and a bottle of water at Luminy and spent the
afternoon walking in the Calanques natural park.
Next day we visited the Faro garden (nice view on old harbor and Saint-
Jean castle and Frioul Island) and from there climbed to Notre Dame de la
Garde (extended view), we would have been less tired using bus 60 from
Fort Saint Jean et Saint Nicolas
Some more curious places or interesting places:
Auffres Dale (vallon des Auffres) a small cove east of Vieux Port.
Quiet place to lunch.
Pointe Rouge beach, the Goudes village (and harbor):
Pointe Rouge cove
L'Estaque is a lively beach, we spent a nice afternoon there
Although not as rich as Paris, Marseilles has some Museums:
Museum d'histoire naturelle
For centuries, soap, made from olive oil, was a typical industrial
product of Marseille, you can visit an old soap factory (savonnerie
marseillaise de la licorne, 34 cours Julien)
There a still a lot of places left for the next time a go there:
Chateau de la Buzine, Saint Victor Abbaye, Musée du terroir Marseillais,
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