Marseille : Calanques & bouillabaisse

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

One can’t go to Marseille & not to visit the Calanques National Park.

Or not to eat a bouillabaisse… but we’ll talk about it later 😉

Let’s start at the beginning, between Marseille & Cassis the coast is full of coves & little creeks & the water has an incredible color : that’s the Calanques National Park.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

Happy to have our driving boat license, we first rented a boat to explore the park on our own.

But the wind was particularly strong when we were there, so the owner of the boat canceled our reservation.

We then booked a snorkeling trip in the park, that was equally canceled because of the wind.

So we eventually resumed to take a big touristy boat, which was the only one option still available to see the Calanques.

We left the old port,

Exploring Marseille by boat

passed the Chateau d’If,

Boat day around Marseille

rode along the coast,

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

& arrived in the Calanques National Park.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

The little creeks were just more beautiful the one than the other.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

Just look at the water’s color!!

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

The different shades of blue depend on what it’s underwater, sand, rocks or seaweed.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

I could have stared at it like forever.

So forgive the amount of pictures… but the place was just too incredible!

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

Plenty of people were sunbathing, jumping from the rocks, & swimming in the turquoise sea.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

I was a bit jealous standing on this big boat, not being able to go down…

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

…although I was standing there with the best companion ever! 🙂

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

My cute Surf in Paris sweat is from French brand Cuisse de Grenouille.

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

I also found our dream house, directly overlooking the sea. Imagine waking up every morning in front of this view! 🙂

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

We kept on hopping from creek to creek a little longer,

Visiting the Calanques National Park in Marseille

before heading back to Marseille.

View of Marseille from the boat

It was now our time to enjoy the sea!

There’s a little beach right in Marseille, not far from the Old Port, but it was really too crowded, so we hopped on a Uber to go a bit further away to La Plage du Prado.

Where first thing, we discovered one can surf in Marseille!!!

Surf at the Plage du Prado in Marseille, France

Surf at the Plage du Prado in Marseille, France

Although there’s no place to rent a board…

Surf at the Plage du Prado in Marseille, France

So we jealously passed our way.

The wind was blowing hard on the beach, so that they had taken away all the sunbeds, we therefore sat in a Mexican bar for some fresh fruit juices & tapas.

Not the most French thing, but a very enjoyable one!!

Fruit smoothies on the Prado beach in Marseille, France

The beach itself, didn’t feel like France neither. With the dry vegetation, the mountains in the background & the roller coaster, it felt more like California 😉

The Prado beach in Marseille, France

The Prado beach in Marseille, France

Despite the wind, we chilled a bit ON the beach,

Chilling at Prado beach in Marseille

before going to visit Notre Dame de la Garde, the beautiful Basilica sitting on the top of a hill overlooking Marseille.

A visit to the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

The interior is richly decorated,

The interior of the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

with gold ceilings,

Golden ceilings at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

while the vessels & anchors paintings remind we’re in a sea-oriented city.

Visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

The outside is equally beautiful & imposing,

Visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille

& the 360° view over the city & the bay is not bad either! 😉

View of Marseille from the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

View of Marseille from the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

View of Marseille from the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde

We strolled down from the top of the hill to our hotel in the Old Port, to get ready for dinner.

Marseille most famous dish is undoubtedly the Bouillabaisse, a fish soup eaten with garlic croutons. Once a poor dish made by fishermen with the fishes that wasn’t enough good to be sold, it has become today a delicious, gourmet treat!

We chose Peron restaurant to taste Marseille’s specialty in front of the sea & a magical sunset.

Sunset view from the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

Sunset view from the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

Friends suggested this place & they were right indeed, we had a lovely, yummy dinner!

Romantic dinner at Restaurant Peron, Marseille

Floral jumpsuit from Italian brand Motivi. I really love it as it’s super summery & super flattering!! 🙂

Sunset view from the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

We had the bouillabaisse menu obviously 😉

Starting with some gazpacho,

Gazpacho at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

followed by seafood ceviche for me,

Fish ceviche at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

& oysters for my Mr.

Oysters at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

As the sun set down,

Sunset view from the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

the main course arrived, bouillabaisse for both of us!

Bouillabaisse at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

So yummy 🙂

Bouillabaisse at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

Having dinner in front of such a gorgeous view, listening to the sound of crashing waves, was really beautiful! 🙂

Sunset view from the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

We finished with chocolate pudding for me – really good!

Chocolate dessert at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

& a selection of cheese for him – I really don’t get this French thing of having cheese as a dessert!? 😉

Cheese platter at Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

Some more sweet treats came to put an end to this perfect dinner & perfect week-end in Marseille.

Dessert at the Restaurant Peron in Marseille, France

We actually stayed one more day in the Mediterranean city, but hubby worked, so did I. I chose one of the cafes with wifi in the Vieux Port & sat there with my laptop, facing the sea. So much better than sitting at my desk 😉

Another good option can be one of the cafes on the top floor of the new mall Les Terrasses du Port.

Although, if you go to Marseille I hope you’ll rather have the time to enjoy the city & the sea! 😉

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23 Comments

  1. First of all, I didn’t understand where this place was! Had to Google to find that!
    Like several little French towns, this is also so gorgeous! I prefer these places much more than Paris!
    Its absolute awesomeness with so many shades of blues and the castle in the middle of water!
    Notre Dame looks so different here!

    1. Ah I should have explained it was the south of France, I’m so used to it, I didn’t think about it 😉
      but it’s quite a big city not a little town 😉 and yep is’t kinda pretty!!!

  2. Can we just talk about how beautiful that water is? I think you should totally get a house like that, hanging out on a cliff, surrounded by beautiful water. I wouldn’t get tired of that view either! I’m sorry that the wind was too strong and you had to cancel your snorkeling and boating excursions! Not fun!

    1. Ahah I would love to have a house like that! But for now, we live in Paris so far from the sea :/ the water was too beautiful and despite the wind we still had a wonderful time 🙂

  3. This is probably my favourite part of France. The sea has just a surreal colour. And bouillabaisse is just mandatory when you visit the area around Marseille… now I am craving one 🙂

  4. You are very much correct that if we go to Marsielle and then not go to Calanque National park is a big miss. Sailing across Calanque that too by a self driven boat is so picturesque as shades of water are so beautiful. Different shades of blue, green and turqoise makes the place lovely. Also you yellow jumpsuit from Motivi is really flattering and perfect for summer holiday.

  5. I prefer these little cities to crazy big ones…they have so much more culture and richness. The church looks really opulent…I am sure it has a great history to it as well. The sea is stunning blue…I want a beach vacation now!

  6. It looks like you two had a fantastic day boating around Marseilles! I loved how blue the water is and your exploration of the Notre Dame de Marseilles! Did you end up staying there the night as well?

    1. Yes we spent two nights in Marseille and we could also have stayed a couple of nights more as there are many things to see in the surroundings! 🙂 We had a lovely time there! 🙂

  7. I know Marseille because I know France quite well, but Bushavali has a point, would be good to mention France in the beginning so others that don’t know can learn from the start! It’s our dream to go to Marseille, a journey like yours sounds lovely to discover it!

    1. You’re right, I’m so used to live in France, that I didn’t think people from other countries might not know where Marseille is! 😉 Hope you’ll have a chance to visit it then one day! 🙂

  8. Great contrast between rugged hills and luscious, bluish green water. The interiors of the basilica are unbelievably detailed!The food, especially with that kind of a view, must have been orgasmic!

  9. It’s so good to read something positive about Marseilles! Honestly it seems like many French people I speak to say ‘don’t go there’! Your photos of the creeks and the water are stunning, and no worries for sharing so many! Your food looks incredible, I do love a good Bouillabase! And your floral outfit is so nice and bright too.

    1. Hi Lisa, I think there are actually neighborhoods in Marseille where i’s better not to wander around. But as in many cities actually, I mean even in Paris there are places that is better to avoid… Otherwise I found Marseille was a pretty city for a week-end away 🙂

  10. Marseilles looks amazing. It’s def has that special Mediterranean feel that is so Southern France. Lovely pics and interesting dishes. Love your jumpsuit btw!

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