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Marseille Tours

 Marseille Tours photo marseille-panier0430b.jpg

These Tours of Marseille include ways to see the town and excursions to nearby areas.

Little Train

The "Petits Trains Touristiques" makes a circuit of the center of Marseille, with commentary. It starts from the end of the Old Port (Quai des Belges, where the Office de Tourisme is located)

  • Train 1 - Notre-Dame de la Garde via Vieux Port and Abbaye de St-Victor
  •   - 50 min trip; Jan-Nov, from 10h; every 30 min during the summer
  • Train 2- Vieux Marseille, via Cathedrale, La Vieille Charite, Quartier du Panier
  •   - 40 min trip; Easter-Oct, from 10h15; every hour during the summer
  • From 12h-14h the trains only run if there are at least 10 passengers.
  • Cost: 1 circuit 30 F; children 15 F. 2 circuits 45 F; children 20 F
  • Tel: 04 91 40 17 75

Tour of the Port

The outer breakwater (Digue du Large) is open on Sunday afternoons and holidays for visitors. Entrance is through gate 2 (Arenc). Guided tours of the port are available on the normal open days, but you must reserve at least two weeks in advance:

  • Direction du Port Autonome, Service des Relations Publique
  • 23 Place de la Joliette, 13002, Marseille
  • Tel: (33) 491 39 47 24
  • Cost: free

Walking-Bus Tours

"Marseille en 31 Circuits" - Thematic tours of Marseille are arranged by the Office de Tourisme. Reserve ahead of time to join groups of at least 12 people. Most are walking tours, and take about two hours. Some are bus tours, and can be from two hours to all day.

  • Tel: (33) 491 54 91 11; Fax: (33) 491 33 05 03
  • Tours: 1 June - 30 Sept
  • Departure: 10h00 and 14h30

A "red-line" tour of Marseilles begins at the Office de Tourisme, following a painted red line around the city.

The Calanques

The calanques are Provencal fiords in the rocky cliffs between Cassis and Marseilles. For the Calanques de Sormiou and Sugiton, the steep rocky bays on the peninsula south of the city (about 15 km) are only open to road traffic from 1 Oct to 15 June. The Calanques de En-Vau, Port-Pin and Port-Miou (4 km further east) are accessible only by hiking trails.

Boat tours to the Calanques are available from the Vieux Port in Marseille (see Boat Tours, below)

Chàteau d'If

The Chàteau d'If is on the little Island of If (barely larger than the castle), 3 km off the Old Port and in front of the Frioul Islands. The Chàteau d'If was built in 1524-28 to protect the port of Marseilles, and was the first line of defense for the southern coast of France. By the end of the 16th century, the chàteau was no longer needed for external defense, and it became a state prison, mainly for political prisoners and the losers of the Wars of Religion, the Huguenots. One famous prisoner was the Man in the Iron Mask, who was also emprisoned on the Iles de Lérins. The Chàteau d'If became widely known because of two fictional prisoners, The Count of Monte Cristo and Abbé Faria, from Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.

Boat trip to the island with tour of the chàteau.

  • Leaves from the Quai des Belges, at the end of the Old Port.
  • Tel: (33) 491 59 02 30
  • Departures: Summer - on the hour; Winter - variable
  • Cost: 35 F, boat and chàteau

Chàteau Visit

  • Open: Apr-Sept 9h-19h; Oct-Mar 9h30-13h, 14h-17
  • Groupement des Armateurs Côtiers Marseillais
  • 1 Quai des Belges; 13001 Marseille
  • Tel: (33) 491 55 50 09

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