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Trip Report

La Provence

Living in Marseille, I have the opportunity to regularly travel through the beautiful region of la Provence, south of France

célia zunino
by célia zuninoAtlasGuru Contributor

EuropeFrance5 days / May - June 2021

Highs & Lows

The city of Marseille

Avoid travelling in the high season, beaches are crowdy in summer

Itinerary Overview

Marseille, the oldest city of France, is well known for its good weather and warm people. The city is full of ups and downs, very noisy and some parts can smell fish sometimes, but it has many things to share ! The famous Old Harbour offers a bustling path from the city center to Le Panier, a beautiful neighborhood full of history where you can wander and take pictures of the street art. When you get thirsty, go to Cours Julien, a lively, colorful neighborhood,  in which you will enjoy free music while sipping a cheap beer, and maybe wander around all the cute shops (second-hand, homemade decoration etc.). Above all, don't forget to go up to Notre Dame de la Garde (or "La Bonne Mère" for the locals). Be prepared for a sporty walk, but when you get there, you will be amazed by the sunset from one of the most beautiful points of view of the city. 

Cassis, only 20 minutes from Marseille, is a small town on the coast which attracts many tourists and fishers. Its cute center can be very busy in summer, with its outoor market, and numerous bars and restaurants. It has a nice harbor and beautiful beaches, but if you want to discover the real soul of la Provence, you cannot miss hiking to les Calanques (Enveau, Porpaing or Port Miou). If you dare to do it in summer, you will walk under a heavy sun so don't forget to bring  water and sunscreen with you ! Be prepared for a little bit of climbing that offers many beautiful sights, but when you arrive at the amazing Calanque, you won't regret the path ! These little beaches in between rocks are very peaceful and you will enjoy fresh baths in  deep blue water.

Les Baux-de-Provence, built on a plateau, is one of the most beautiful French villages. It is famous for its ruined fort that overhangs the town, and for its old architecture from the Middle Age. You can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of old times while visiting the ruins and watching shows that tell you about the history of this old town. Most of all, this town attracts many people for its rock carriers. Indeed, if you want an uncommon way of discovering art, you are in the right place. A little bit away from the old town are the so-called "Carrières de lumières", stone carriers in which every year, a different artist is highlighted. Works of art are projected on the rocks walls while music is played. Enjoy this amazing experience : you are immersed in a Van Gogh, Dali or Cezanne painting !

  • 5 Nights: Marseille
    Sun all year-long, beautiful sights and different styles in all the neighbourghoods
  • Day trip: Cassis
    Pretty old town and great walks to "les Calanques"
  • Day trip: Les Baux-de-Provence
    Discover some of the most famous works of art in Les carrières de Lumières

Q & A

  • How was the food?

    The neighborhood Cours Julien in Marseille has a lot of little cheap restaurants from many different nationalities and cultures.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Marseille is a city full of frenzy, mind your stuff and be careful if you go out by night, but enjoy!

  • Packing tips?

    Don't forget your swimsuit!

  • Transportation Tips?

    Renting a car is the best option to be able to visit all the corners of la Provence

  • Booking details?

    If you want to stay in a cute calm neighborhood away from the noise, look for an Airbnb in Vauban or Saint-Victor.