Around and about Marseille

Information about places to visit outside the city of Marseille. Allauch and Plan de Cuques - Cassis and calanques - L'Estaque and côte bleue - Château d'If and Isles

When the city gets to be too much try taking a bus, metro, train or boat to escape to a village or an island.

Villages outside Marseille

Allauch and Plan de Cuques are communes on the outskirts of Marseille, both blessed with beautiful countryside. You can take the metro (Line 1) to La Rose and then a bus 142, 144. Take a picnic, be sure to include plenty of water, and go for a walk in the hills, the views of Marseille and the Mediterranean are stunning. If you are visiting during the summer months check the Prefecture site for information of where you can go (see walking, on the sport and leisure page).

The Allauch tourist office in the Place des Moulins sells walking guides and routes are generally well marked. The Place des Moulins boasts a magnificent view of Marseille and, if you have the energy, walk up the the chapel Notre Dame du Chateau. It's peaceful and beautiful. On Sunday afternoons the chapel is open and you can see a unique collection of ex votos (devotional pictures and plaques) dating back to the 18th century.

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Cassis and the Calanques

Cassis is a beautiful fishing and tourist port that is easily accessible by bus from Marseille (coach M8 from outside Castellane Metro station; buy tickets on the bus). You can take boat trips around the calanques from the port. Go to the siteseeing page for more details.

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L'Estaque and Côte Bleue

L'Estaque is a fishing port that is starting to exploit its tourist potential and its connections to Cezanne. You can get there on the number 35 bus from La Joliette (to get to La Joliette take metro Line 2).

You can take a TER train along the côte bleue from Gare Saint Charles. It's the train to Miramas and most of the stops along the way are in villages along the coast, such as Niolon (where you can go diving) or La Couronne or Carry le Rouet with its portside restaurants. Alternatively you could just stay on the train and admire the views.

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Château d'If and Isles

Take the boat from the Vieux Port to explore the prison island of Château d'If - made famous by Dumas in the Count of Monte Cristo. Go from there to the Iles de Frioul to explore the port and beaches. Take a hat, there is very little shade. There is more information on ferry prices and the entrance fee for the Château d'If on the siteseeing page.

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