Once an important port founded by the ancient Greeks (who named it Massalia), Marseille has never shaken its reputation as a multicultural city, drawing visitors from all over the world. France’s second-largest city, Marseille is a unique blend of gorgeous architecture and national parks, making it a diverse destination for travelers to the French coast. With a hotel in the heart of Marseille you can spend time exploring the Old Port and exciting weekend markets alongside Province’s many other charming sights.
Hotels in Marseille: Our Picks for the Best Hotels along the Southern French Coast
Marseille: Diversity, History and Natural Wonders
Follow the coast from Nice to Montpellier and you’ll hit the attractive city of Marseille – home to a long-standing maritime history, a gorgeous national park and unique multicultural charm. A hotel in Marseille provides the perfect base for a summer break in the city. Begin your exploration of Marseille at the Vieux Port (Old Port), which was once the most important part of the city. Today the dock is still in use, packed with the masts of tourist yachts and fishing boats. The harbor quay is a wonderful spot to spend at afternoon, dotted with bars and cafes to frequent while you stroll between the two 13th century forts that guard its entrance – Fort St-Nicolas and Fort St-Jean. A hotel near Marseille’s colorful Le Panier quarter offers a traditional, laid-back atmosphere with winding streets and quaint French cafes and stores. The district is a melting pot of cultures, and on weekend’s you’ll find markets selling fresh French baguettes next to stalls of North African fabrics and exotic fruits. At the end of the district is the grand Byzantine Marseille Cathedral which looks out over both the new and old ports. Hotels in Marseille are also popular for their access to the city’s museums and galleries, including the dramatic glass Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. While the city is a great place to spend hours meandering through the pretty streets that span off the central La Canebière, hotels in Marseille have access to several exceptional outdoor excursions too. Natural wonders abound at the Calanques National Park, only 30-minutes from the city center. A lush landscape of chalk-white cliffs and turquoise Mediterranean coastline greet those who sail or kayak from Marseille’s harbors. The area offers a plethora of activities including rock climbing, hiking and cycling, and the rich coast is punctuated with delightful coves and hidden beaches to discover. Another exciting boat trip to do from your Marseille hotel is out to the beguiling Château d’If. An island fortress and prison located off Marseille’s west coast, d’If is best known as the setting of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’ Tours of the chateau are advised for literary fans, and offer wonderful views of the city as you make your way across the Mediterranean.
Province: The Beauty of the South of France
From the French Riviera to the medieval cities of Montpellier and Avignon, hotels in Province offer access to some of France’s most exciting beauty spots. Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation or a foray into nature, Province’s swanky seaside resorts and hilltop market towns will inspire the perfect getaway. Marseille hotels are located on the central southern coastline, so it’s convenient to make this city your base when exploring Provence. Having said this, beach hotels on the French Riviera offer gorgeous views over the Mediterranean, and are ideal if you’re planning on an extended stay in the region. Party with the world’s rich and famous in St. Tropez, or unwind on Nice’s glorious beaches. Famous for its annual film festival, Cannes is a glamourous destination that oozes the style and ambiance the Cote d’Azur is loved for. Further west along the coast is Montpellier, an underrated gem that’s worth a daytrip from your hotel in Marseille. Its large boulevards, elegant buildings and stunning beaches will capture your imagination, and even warrant an overnight stay. 5 star hotels in Marseille put Province on your doorstep, as well as a charming port city that will keep you busy on a city break.