As the oldest city in France, it's no surprise that Marseille is rich in history, but a holiday to these parts is about much more than brushing up on Provence's past. Marseille's rugged coastline is home to a number of beautiful beaches that offer some of the most breathtaking views in the world, making it definitely worth spending some time in before boarding your cruise.
But where exactly will you find these gems of Provence?
Plages Escale Borely
Just two miles south of the centre of Marseille is the popular hotspot of Plages Escale Borely. Don't let its popularity put you off as there are private areas that can be reserved if you're looking to find a Marseille beach to escape the hustle and bustle or if you’re just looking to relax after taking a city tour excursion. But why not immerses yourself in the local culture too? With a variety of boutiques, restaurants and bars, Escale Borely is about as close as you'll get to the charming British seaside this side of the Channel and is perfect for those who want the beauty and serenity of the coast but can't sit still for too long.
Calanques National Park
The Parc National des Calanques or Calanques National Park has some of the most pristine Marseille beaches. Here steep cliffs rise out of the crystal clear waters, making for incredible photos. Alternatively, you can always get a boat directly from Marseille and take a trip around the Calanques without having to get wet. This is a fabulous way to explore this beautiful area for those who are less mobile or just want to save their energy for partying at any of Marseille's lively bars.
If it's truly breathtaking views you're looking for, you can't go far wrong with Cote Blue or 'Blue Coast'. As the name suggests, you'll find rich blue waters speckled with coves and inlets, making it a fantastic spot for snorkelling. However, if you prefer to stay nice and dry, the coast is also a great place to plan a walking trip. Alternatively, the famous Blue Coast railway runs between Cote Blue and Marseille, allowing you to explore much more of this incredible part of the world. Sausset-les-Pins is a perfect little harbour town scattered with beaches and creeks, while Sainte Croix is perhaps the most picturesque thanks to the rows of pine trees that line the beaches.
Calanque Port Pin
Okay, so this one is slightly out of Marseille but it is well worth the trip. About an hour's walk away from the town of Cassis, Calanque Port Pin is the smallest of the three Calanques and, as such, can be difficult to find. However, once you find this hidden gem you'll praise yourself for making the effort. Untouched, unspoilt, and unforgettable, Port Pin should absolutely be on your next Marseille itinerary. However, be aware that this will be a long walk away from the centre and you would need to keep track of time so you can return promptly for embarkation.