ANY PLACE IN PROVENCE CAN BE VISITED DURING A DAY TRIP FROM MARSEILLE
Really. Any place. Gorges du Verdon is approximately two hours of driving from Marseille. You can start exploring it either from Castellane or from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and spend a wonderful day enjoying stunning views of the greatest canyon in Europe.
Cassis and the Calanques National Park is almost in Marseille. Some calanques like beautiful Sormiou and Morgiou are very close – you can get there by bus (#23 to Sormiou and #22 to Morgiou) from the Rond Point du Prado metro station (you will need to walk for 1-1.5 hours from the bus station to the sea). And some are much closer to Cassis, located about 30 km from Marseille (about 20 min of highway or 30-40 min of coastal road driving). You will need a car to get to Cassis. Once you are there, you are rewarded with nice time you can spend in this charming ancient village, delicious famous Cassis white wine you can taste in one of domains or restaurants, great highest coastal peak Cap Canaille view and wonderful Port Miou, Port Pin and especially d’En-Vau calanques. There is one more option to see the Calanques – you can take a boat tour and enjoy their views from sea. You can find plenty of such tours offers in the Marseille Old Port. But keep in mind that this option is more expensive. The average price is approximately €20 per person for the shortest tour. You can check the prices here.
Aix-en-Provence is another great destination near Marseille. You can get there by bus leaving from the Gare Saint Charles. Get to Saint Charles by metro/bus/tramway (check Marseille transport network website for details). And take a bus to Aix-en-Provence (€6 for a one-way ticket). The bus arrives to the Aix city center, so you are good to start exploring the cultural, art, and academic capital of Provence. Considering the convenient possibility to use a bus, going to Aix by train is an exotic option, but still a valid one. TER to the Aix center costs €8 and goes longer than the bus. If you prefer going by car (about half an hour of driving from Marseille), I recommend you to use the Krypton parking, which is outside the city, but costs only €2.2 per day with up to three city transport tickets included in price. You can use these tickets right away to get to the city center by bus (about 15 min). This parking is a very cool thing, as any parking in the city center is much more expensive and all free parking slots around the center are usually occupied.
The heart of Provence – Luberon valley is located about 1.5 hours of driving from Marseille. You can get to Gordes via the highway approximately in an hour. After visiting this picturesque village, you can choose from a ton of options Luberon valley can offer you. I recommend visiting the Senanque Abbey (especially if you visit the place during lavender blooming season) – it is amazingly beautiful. You will get great emotions and even more great photos. Next, you can go to Roussillon – a wonderful Ochre village and Lourmarin with its charming medieval chateau and gastronomic restaurants. Please check our tours to the Luberon valley for more details.
Valensole lavender fields. 1.5 hours of driving from Marseille. Just look at the photos. You should see it and feel it by yourself. Lavender season in Provence is usually between mid-June and the beginning of August (may vary depending on the weather conditions).
Sainte-Baume ridge is the Bible place located also within an hour of driving from Marseille. The Grotto where Mary Magdalene lived for 30 years is located there. And it is a very beautiful place – you walk to the Grotto via the Road of Kings via the fairy forest. On top of the plateau you can enjoy wonderful valley views. Montagne Sainte-Victoire, from the one side of the valley, and the Mediterranean sea, from the other side – you can spend a lot of time watching this panorama.
Avignon is about an hour of driving from Marseille. Optionally, you can take a train or bus. TGV (fast French train) can get you from Marseille to Avignon in a bit more than half an hour (costs about €20, the cheapest ticket I saw was €10 for OUIGO – the “budget TGV”, which goes as fast as a regular TGV). Please check the fares here. Avignon is a place, which can take you to the Medieval Age right away. The city was the Popes residency at that time. Avignon historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is really amazing.
MARSEILLE HAS A LARGE AND CONVENIENT TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE
Marseille has a large and convenient transport infrastructure. There are a bunch of choices of how to get to Marseille from any other country or how to travel between cities within France.
There is a large international Marseille Provence Airport near Marseille. You can easily get from the airport to the city by shuttle bus, by taxi, or by an individually arranged transfer by car. Shuttle bus is obviously the cheapest option. It costs only €8.30, arrives to the Marseille central train station, where you can use metro. You can check the shuttle buses schedule here. Please note, that while you can take shuttle bus during the day or at night, Marseille metro is closed at night.
Taxi will cost you at least €50, depending on your destination address in Marseille.
At Around Provence, we arrange individual transfers from the airport to the hotel for our clients. Usually, it costs €30, as majority of our clients stop at some hotel near the city center.
Marseille central train station Gare Saint Charles accepts trains from majority of the European cities. Travelling by train in France is fast and very comfortable). From Saint Charles you can easily get to any place in Marseille, due to the city vast transport network. Please check its website for details.
Marseille is a popular cruise ships destination. Marseille port is one of the 15 world largest cruise ports. If you arrive to Marseille by a cruise ship, please note that it is quite a long walk from the terminal to the shuttle bus station. It is much more convenient to take a taxi or to arrange a transfer from the port to your hotel with us. Please note that at Around Provence we have special tours composed for the cruise ships travellers. Please check them here.
MARSEILLE IS A 2600-OLD CITY VISITED BY 2.5 MLN TOURISTS ANNUALLY
Marseille is a very interesting place to visit by itself. The city has more than 2600 – years long history, rich with various events. Its inhabitants have always been very freedom-loving people with strong trade management skills and adventurer mindsets. The only fact that Marseille gave its name to the France National Anthem can tell us a lot about the city significance in the country history and life.
Marseille major sights, such as the picturesque Old Port – the ancient heart of the city, the majestic La Major Cathedral, wonderful Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, where you can enjoy stunning views of Marseille, beautiful Palais Longchamps, interesting old quartier Le Panier, legendary Chateau d’If attract about 2 and a half million of tourists annually. Marseille is the second largest city of France. It is the home for people of more than 160 nationalities. The city is an exotic gem of the Mediterranean. Please check the Marseille destination page for the description of our tours to the major Marseille sights.