The second most populous city after Paris, Marseille has gone through some very impressive improvements lately.
The old port has always attracted lots of tourists (lots of shopping, fabulous restaurants serving what they are most famous for, the Bouillabaisse – a fish stew, made the right way is just to die for) but the West side now has a stunning new museum called the Mucem (displaying art from civilisations of Eruope and the Mediterranean) located just across from the more traditional arts museum; Regard en Provence.
The 7th arrondissement (East side of the old port) is where we started our walk. This side of Marseille is about a one-hour-and-twenty minutes’ drive away from Cotignac and well worth the ride. You can walk all along the side of the port to the old town where pretty old cafés and restaurants are in squares decorated with old fountains, and lots of space for kids to run around.
If you have the energy you can cut (walk) across to the West side and walk South to the Mucem and old forts at the mouth of the port. Go further South West and you’ll arrive at the impressive Neo-Roman style old cathedral dating back to 1893. The more famous Notre Dame de la Garde, perched on top of the hill, can be seen by taking a little tourist bus-train ride (I recommend this, it’s lovely) from the centre of the port. There are also plenty of bicycles for rent by the hour, parked just off the main roads here. It’s mostly flat so an easy ride!
For upscale shopping try the newly renovated DOCKS in the Joliette area. Less expensive and high street style-mall shopping can be done across the street the Les Terraces du Port (open every day even Sundays).
We started our culinary adventure at the Le David restaurant in the 8th arrondissement (I had a lovely octopus salad while my partner enjoyed a copious salade Niçoise with real grilled tuna, eggs, fresh steamed green beans…the works!!). We ended our day at the Casa de Pietra (Cartier La Joliette) having the most wonderful Corsican style tapas. The four of us ate a lovely supper, to our hearts content, and drank copious amounts of Corsican rosé for about 80 euros.