Marseille was our starting point for our visit to road trip through Provence. Being early May we would miss the crowds and the heat (great!) but also the famous lavender fields that Provence which start to bloom from mid-June. That would be for another time …
We stayed within walking distance of the Vieux-Port (Old Port) which is the Marseille’s cultural heart and main focal point. It’s a great place to stroll along the markets and restaurants and bars. On the north side stands the modern and hugely impressive Museum which houses exhibitions considered world-class.
The city’s most striking landmark is the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, which is visible from all over the Marseille. If you’re fit you can walk there. We purchased a hop-on hop off day bus pass which included a stop at the basilica with breath-taking views. We then spent the several hours just slowly walking back down and through the interesting neighbourhoods back to the Port. Lunch was had at one of many well-priced seafood restaurants surrounding the port.
Island hopping half day cruises are also a popular activity but we decided to leave that for our next visit when we had more time.
Unfortunately we were somewhat limited in our options during our short stay as it was May 1st (Labour Day) and virtually everything (including all public transport) shuts down in the city. This also coincided with the very noisy yellow vest protest which we stayed well away from.
The next day we picked up our rental car from the airport (which is 24km from the city) to start our main road trip to Provence and Lyon. If you would like more information about this destination please do not hesitate to contact me.