Shore Excursion Marseille : TOP 5
Marseille Cruise Port is a major port located in the city of Marseille, France. It is the largest commercial port in France and one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. The port serves as a gateway to the Provence region and is a popular destination for cruise ships.
The Marseille Cruise Port has several terminals that cater to different types of vessels and passengers. The terminals are equipped with modern facilities such as check-in counters, baggage handling, duty-free shops, restaurants, and cafes. The port also has a large parking area for cruise passengers and their vehicles.
The port offers a wide range of shore excursions and tours for cruise passengers to explore the city of Marseille and its surrounding areas. Some of the popular attractions in Marseille include the Old Port, the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, the Calanques National Park, and the Château d’If
There are many shore excursions available for visitors to Marseille, but here are our top 5 recommendations
Shore excursion Marseille : the best experiences !
Discover Marseille and the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica
Visit the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica: This beautiful basilica sits atop a hill overlooking the city and offers breathtaking views of Marseille and the surrounding coastline.
The If Castle and the Old Port : in the footsteps of Monte Christo
The If Castle (Château d’If) is a historic fortress located on a small island off the coast of Marseille, and it’s a popular attraction for visitors to the city. Here’s how to visit the If Castle:
- Take a ferry from the Old Port of Marseille to the island of If. There are several companies that operate regular ferry services to the island, and the journey takes about 20-30 minutes. You can buy tickets at the port or online in advance.
- Once you arrive on the island, follow the signs to the entrance of the castle. The castle is perched on a rocky outcrop and is surrounded by high walls and a moat. It’s an impressive sight to behold from afar.
- Take a guided tour of the castle to learn about its history and significance. The castle was originally built in the 16th century as a defensive fortress, and later served as a prison for political and religious dissidents. The most famous prisoner held in the castle was the fictional character of Edmond Dantès from Alexandre Dumas’ novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
- Explore the castle’s many rooms and courtyards, including the guardroom, the chapel, the prison cells, and the rooftop terrace. The views from the top of the castle are breathtaking, offering panoramic views of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Take a stroll around the island to admire its natural beauty and the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. You can also visit the small museum on the island that showcases the history and ecology of the island and its surroundings.
- Take the ferry back to Marseille when you are ready to leave the island. Make sure to check the ferry schedule to avoid missing your ride back.
Note that the castle is closed on Mondays, and opening hours may vary depending on the season. It’s always a good idea to check the official website or call ahead to confirm opening times and ticket prices.
Charming Arles : Roman ruins and Culture
Arles is a historic city located in the south of France, and it’s a popular destination for visitors interested in art, history, and culture. Here are some of the highlights of Arles that you should not miss:
The Roman Amphitheatre: The Amphitheatre in Arles is one of the most well-preserved Roman arenas in the world. It was built in the 1st century AD and could seat up to 20,000 spectators. Today, it’s a popular venue for concerts, plays, and other cultural events.
Saint-Trophime Church: Saint-Trophime Church is a beautiful Romanesque church located in the historic center of Arles. It was built in the 12th century and features intricate carvings and sculptures on its façade and interior. The cloister next to the church is also worth a visit.
Vincent van Gogh Foundation: The Vincent van Gogh Foundation is a museum dedicated to the famous Dutch painter who lived and worked in Arles for a year. The museum features many of Van Gogh’s works, as well as those of other contemporary artists. It’s a must-visit for art lovers.
Le Castellet : a charming hilltop village
Le Castellet is a charming hilltop village located about 50 kilometers from Marseille, and it’s a popular destination for a shore excursion from Marseille. Here’s a possible itinerary for a day trip to Le Castellet:
- Depart from the Marseille Cruise Port and head to Le Castellet by private transportation.
- Start your visit in the old town of Le Castellet, a charming village full of narrow streets, historic buildings, and local shops and cafes. One of the main attractions is the medieval castle, which offers great views of the surrounding countryside.
- Visit the Circuit Paul Ricard, a famous motorsports race track located near Le Castellet. The track hosts many international events and offers guided tours and driving experiences.
- Explore the nearby Bandol Wine Region, a beautiful area known for its high-quality wines. You can visit one of the many wineries for a tasting and learn about the local winemaking traditions.
- Enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants, where you can try the delicious regional dishes and wines.
Aix en Provence : Food market and Paul Cezanne
Aix-en-Provence is known for its vibrant and colorful food market, which is a must-visit for foodies and anyone interested in local cuisine. The market takes place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings in Place Richelme, in the center of Aix-en-Provence. It’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds and get the freshest produce.
Here’s what you can expect to find at the market:
Fresh Produce: The market is filled with stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, including locally grown specialties such as lavender honey, melons, and artichokes.
Bread and Pastries: There are many boulangeries and patisseries at the market, selling fresh bread, croissants, and other pastries. Don’t miss the chance to try the local specialty, calissons, a sweet almond paste candy.
Seafood: You’ll find plenty of fresh seafood at the market, including oysters, mussels, and shrimp. The market also has a selection of prepared seafood dishes, such as seafood paella.
Herbs and Spices: Provence is known for its fragrant herbs, and the market has many stalls selling herbs and spices such as lavender, thyme, and rosemary.