Nestled among the rugged inlets on the Provençal coast, France’s oldest city is a thriving, cosmopolitan mingling of multicultural sounds and smells. Previously populated by Ancient Greeks, Marseille’s significant emigrant North African community – the upshot of France’s trading and colonial past – have left their indelible mark.
Known by locals as the stomach of Marseille, the city’s Noailles Quarter abutting the grand boulevard of La Canabière is a feast for the eyes as colorful Mediterranean produce is hastily bought and sold at the daily food markets, reminiscent of the exuberant hustle and bustle of Moroccan souks.
Continuing the market ambience, fervent fishermen proffer the passerby with their latest catch at the Old Port of Marseille. At the sea’s edge, the historical heart of the city reverberates with the thrum of boats and cars – or footsteps heading to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Inaugurated in 2013, when Marseille was designated as the European Capital of Culture, the modernist glass façade belies a cultural treasure trove of art, crafts or visiting personalities.
A short ferry-boat ride from the port to the island of If, brings travelers to the notorious Château d'If, housing a former prison. The prison’s most famous inmate never actually existed, as the fictional protagonist of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.
Marseille is also one of our many port destinations. If you plan to come to your guided tour(s) by cruise ship, we would be more than happy to arrange for your transfer and arrival!