The port city Marseille is located on a plain at the mouth of the river and surrounded by hills. Mediterranean climate is hot and sunny most of the year but remains moderate due to maritime influence.
Marseille is the oldest city in France, founded by the Phoenicians in 600 years BC then developed by the Romans as a trading port. The most populated city in France after Paris, Marseille has prospered over the centuries. Today it is a wonderful place to visit. As a port city Marseille has a trading history going back over 2500 years. The local population is peculiar for generosity, talkativeness, and good-nature.
The great Mediterranean port city Marseille stays alive due to a constant stirring of the population. The city is founded on continuing migratory exchange, which gives it its charm and identity.
Marseille is wide open to the bay, the islands and the sea itself, its most important heritage.
The main street of Marseille is La Canabiere, where a lot of cafes, hotels and the homes of a large Algerian / North African community are situated. The seafront is known as Vieux Port, with the forts of St. John and St. Nicholas.
Among cultural heritage are:
Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, located to the south of Vieux Port, modern church built in a Romanesque style. When being here one can contemplate excellent views of the sunset.
Jardin du Pharo and Parc du Pharo - an amazing view of the Vieux Port at its entrance makes this place very popular for locals. The Chateau du Pharo, built by Napoleon, is locates here.
Musee de la Faience has the collection of porcelain from prehistoric examples to refined wares used in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Chateau d'If is a fortress on an island off from the shore of the coast; it was a state prison and was made famous by Alexandre Dumas' book "Count of Monte Cristo".
Accoules Bell Tower. Construction of this tower was first started in the 12th Century, and it has been used for the summoning of the town council.
How to get to the port city Marseille? Marseille is linked to the fast and efficient French railway system; its airport offers international and domestic flights; road connections lead to the national motorway network.
If you travel by train TGVs (Train de Grand Vitesse) you can make the journey from Paris in more or less three hours. Standard main line trains also connect to Geneva, Nice, Arles, Avignon and many provincial towns.
As for sea transportation, Marseilles handles more passengers and freight than any other port in France. Cruise ships often call and there is a ferry connection to North Africa.
Marseille flights are carried out by airlines serving Marseille Provence Airport: Air France, Alitalia, Delta and SAS Scandinavian Airlines. Marseille has the second-largest airport in France: Marignane (MRS). Regular Marseille flights come in daily from Paris and London.
Located 20 km north of the city, the airport is linked to the city center by road. Local authorities estimate a journey time of about 30 minutes. A shuttle bus connects the airport to Marseille's SNCF railway station.