Visit Marseille and its surroundings without a car: our itineraries available on foot, by bike or by boat

Go to the beach in Marseille without a car

From Corbières to Pointe Rouge, Marseille has no less than 21 beaches along its 57 kilometer coastline. Whether natural or artificial, most of these beaches are accessible without a car, on foot, by bicycle or by bus.

Good to know: bike rental terminals are located throughout the city – “one station every 300 meters or so” according to the organization responsible – and allow you to easily get around by bike. Nevertheless, there are few cycle paths in the city, the latter are also concentrated quite south.

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Plage des Catalans is the first beach accessible on foot from the city center, as you only have to walk about twenty minutes from the old port to get there. Then comes the beach of Pointe d’Endoume, the pebble beach of Maldormé, on the Malmousque peninsula, the beach of the Prophet and the beaches of the Prado, all accessible at least by bus from several places in Marseille.

Don’t feel like going? To go a little further, take the maritime shuttle, which leaves the old port every hour for Estaque or Pointe Rouge, for 5 euros each way.

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Access Marseille’s canals without a car

If driving in Marseille at normal times means accepting to spend many minutes in traffic jams, the situation is even worse in summer. So much so that the city officially advises Marseillaises and Marseillais as well as visitors to prefer public transport, scooters or even bicycles to get around in high season, especially in the Calanques. In short, leaving your car in the garage to make the most of the bays of turquoise water. Be careful though: if you come by public transport, you have to go down to the stream of your choice.

How to do? First, buses depart regularly from the Prado roundabout and/or from Place Castellane to the Calanques of Callelongue, Sormiou, Morgiou and Sugiton.

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Otherwise, it is possible to go to Marseille’s creeks via hiking trails, or via the sea by boat. It is actually possible to visit the creeks by boat by boarding from the old port or Pointe Rouge: several companies with a permit issued by the Calanques National Park offer sea tours.

The more sporty may prefer to explore the creeks on foot by taking the hiking trails. Please note: some are steeper and more complicated than others, therefore it is necessary to be well informed before starting.

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Walk the Great Blue Coast Walking Trail

If you like to walk, you will love this 62 kilometer long GR, inaugurated in 2018, which includes a total of no less than 17 hiking loops, from 2 to 12 kilometers with different heights, accessible to all audiences.

In particular, it allows you to discover the Côte Bleue, the magnificent maritime facade of the Estaque chain – or Nerthe chain – this white limestone massif of 28 kilometers which stretches from Marseille to Martigues.

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Biggest advantage of this GR? Its availability. Each stage can actually be done from a station by taking the TER between Marseille and Miramas, which itself runs by the sea.

Possible boat trips from Marseille

It would be a shame to visit Marseille without sailing at least once on the Mediterranean. Good news for lovers of sea trips: you don’t have to spend a fortune to treat yourself to this pleasure in Marseille.

Let’s start with an escape by sea that takes you back in time: the “Frioul If” bus provides a regular maritime connection 7 days a week to the Frioul archipelago from the old port. It’s up to you to discover the islands of Frioul and Château d’If! Facing Marseille, the Frioul archipelago consists of four islands that offer just as many opportunities for pleasant walks: Pomègues, Ratonneau, Tiboulen and If.

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To go a little further, two companies, “Croisières Marseille Calanques” and “Icard maritime”, offer circuits departing from the old port, including the port of Marseille and its islands, Goudes, Callelongue and Sormiou creeks. , Morgiou, Sugiton, Devenson, En Vau, Port-Pin and Port-Miou.

Finally, be aware that it is possible to make the smallest maritime crossing in the world (283 meters) in Marseille, between Quai d’Honneur and Quai de Rive Neuve around the old port! In ten minutes round trip at peak time, the ferry joins the two quays and can transport up to 3,000 passengers a day, who must pay a ticket for 50 øre to live this unusual experience.

Skiing from Marseille in winter? Is it possible

When the end of summer comes and tanned travelers hurry to return home from Saint-Charles station, the question of winter activities already arises. If it is rare to see snow covering the Phocaean city, however, it is possible to ski from the city center, thanks to the establishment of the “snow train” at the southern region!

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During the winter, on Saturdays or Sundays (outside of school holidays), the resorts of the Southern Alps become available for a day – 25 resorts are served from Marseille, Aix-en-Provence or Manosque. Specifically, shuttle connections are organized every weekend to a different resort – Ceillac, Les Orres 1650 & 1800, Pelvoux-Vallouise, Risoul or even Serre Chevalier Vallée.

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Price for the ticket, exclusively for sale on SNCF’s website? 20 euros for adults and 7.5 euros for children.

The corners to discover around Marseille, accessible by TER

Regardless of the season, many TER trains departing from Marseille Saint-Charles station allow you to reach other parts of the region in a few minutes, such as Martigues, nicknamed the “Venice of Provence”.

Also, don’t miss Carry-le-Rouet, the town of Fernandel, where the “saltwater bay” is located, a wild natural beach which requires descending rather steep stairs to access it, but also the Fernandel bay, as charming as it is less confidential.

Only 25 minutes from Marseille by TER, also discover the landscapes of La Ciotat, especially the gorge Trou Souffleur. Do you want to explore the seabed? Direction Sausset-les-Pins, approx. 35 minutes from Marseille by TER. If the Côte-Bleue is home to several diving sites, Sausset-les-Pins concentrates several of those accessible from the coast and for beginners.

⋙ 10 places to do your first dive

Do you want to travel differently this summer? Geo.fr invites you to discover several regions of France during the weeks without a car, using modes of transport such as walking, cycling or even sailing!

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