The resort is called the most cosmopolitan center of France, and at the same time is the oldest city in the country. It’s considered to be the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. What city are we talking about?
If someone plans to visit France, and would like to spend holidays perfectly, he should consider a trip to Marseille. The Mediterranean climate guarantees the temperature between 10-14 ° C in winter, and up to 30 ° C in summer.
Along with the favorable aura, the resort also tempts with a wealth of tourist attractions. After all, it’s the oldest city in France, and in terms of the number of people inhabiting it, it takes the second place. However, those are not all the advantages of Marseille – it’s the largest commercial port in the country and one of the most important on the continent. Tourists come here from all over the world, attracted by the rich culture and over 2,5 thousand years of history. The uniqueness of the city is emphasized by the fact that it was chosen the European Capital of Culture in 2013.
The diversity of Marseille
In the architecture of Marseille you can see clear cultural influences from Africa and southern Europe. A significant part of the population are immigrants, including Italians, Moroccans, Algerians, but also newcomers from Turkey and Tunisia. The city is inhabited by the followers of Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism and Buddhism. In short, a melting pot of cultures.
The biggest attractions of Marseille include the Old Port, called Port Vieux, used as a marina for small and fishing boats. Here you can buy fresh fish, as well as take the advantage of the free ferry ride. Thanks to this, tourists can get to the island Château d'If, where shots the movie "The Count of Monte Cristo" was shot.
Near the port is located La Criee, the national theater, in which the French interpretations of Shakespeare's plays are performed. After passing a few streets, you will encounter a familiar monument of sacred art - the church of St. Victor. Beautiful both from the outside and from the inside, has a rich collection of holy relics. Visitors to the city can watch concerts organized in the church at the end of the year.
The city is exceptionally green. In more than a half is made up of parks and gardens, including the very old ones, such as Jardin de la Colline Puget or Jardin des Vestiges. Those, who like romantic walks in the moonlight, should visit Parc Longchamp. At this time, the garden looks very beautiful, while fountains make it even more amazing.
The beauty of the nature and work of human hands
Basilica of Notre Dame stands on a hill with a height of over 160 meters. Residents also refer to it as La Bonne Mere ("good mother"), so when someone happen to look for it, he can ask someone for directions using exactly this name. The tower of the basilica is decorated with a statue of the Madonna and Child (11 meters), while the interiors of the building are covered with marble and mosaic. There, we’ll find a rich collection of coins and photographs. On the occasion of visiting the temple, you can admire the magnificent panorama of the city extending from the hill.
A short distance from Marseille, there’s one absolutely unique place. It’s Calanques, fancy geological formations found only in this region. Beautiful, picturesque valleys formed by cracks in the limestone rocks. Because of its beauty, they’re called Mediterranean fjords. Some of them are inaccessible from the land, but that doesn’t deter tourists at all.
Where to stay?
Those, who travel around France by car, have a selection of campsites. About 20 kilometers southwest of the center of Marseille is located Camping - Caravaning Les Cigales, situated approximately 15 minutes of walk from Cassis. Place for the motorhome costs 5.30 euro/day, while the accommodation 7.70 euro. Within the area of the campsite you can use the wireless Internet.
On the occasion of vacation on the French coast, it’s necessary to try simple, but delicious Marseille cuisine. While sitting in a restaurant overlooking the sea, you can enjoy the fish soup or pesto. After all, the beauty lies in simplicity.