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What Marseille (MRS) has to offer

Your flight from London to Marseille

Enjoy the swift and comfortable flight from London to Marseille and welcome the oldest city of France. Greek settlers from Asia Minor found the natural harbour and the connection to inland Celtic tribes via the River Rhone irresistible and Massilia, as they called, was thriving for centuries. Especially wine was on the shopping list of the natives. Since these early times, Marseille is the most important harbour of southern France, even before it was France.

Boule and Bouillabaisse

During its long history the city was ruled by Romans, Goths, Visigoths, Franks and Burgundians before it became an independent republic, not unlike Venice or Genoa. In 1481, Marseille became part of France, but until today, the city has kept a rebellious and independent attitude towards the rest of the country. When the French Revolution was underway, Marseille sent a unit of revolutionaries to Paris. Their song, the Marseillaise, became the national anthem of France (even though it had been written in Strasbourg). If you take a walk around town, start at the highest point of the city, at the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. It stands on the highest point of Marseille, and on top of the neo-Romanesque-Byzantine church is a gigantic statue of Mary, watching over the city. This is why the locals call the church, and the hill it stands on, La Bonne Mère. Go down to the Old Harbour, which is used for private boats and yachts these days. Since the first steamships the harbour wasn’t deep enough anymore and a new one had to be constructed. The Old Harbour is one of the central tourist attractions, surrounded by bars and restaurants. It is a great opportunity to try two specialties of Marseille: Pastis, the aniseed liquor that was invented here, and Bouillabaisse, the famous fish stew. In the harbour, you can also marvel at the oldest church of Marseille, Saint Victor Abbeye, which had been here since the 5th century. The old harbour is also the starting point of the Boulevard Canebière, lined with great buildings, shops and cafés.

From city life to nature’s beauty

In the Old Town and in the Panier quarter you can feel the flair of the old harbour city. Small alleys and a maze of stairs between them will bring you along houses still standing on the foundations of Greek predecessors. Visit the fortress Chateau d’If on an Island in front of the city. The fortress was used as a prison and was considered a symbol of oppression. The most famous inmate is fictional, the Count of Monte Cristo. All around Marseille, you can find beautiful beaches for a day in the sun, but even more beautiful are the “Calanques”, small coves in the rocky coastline. Some are accessible only by water, so renting a boat and sailing along the coast is a wonderful way to explore the nature reserve Parc national de Calanques. If you take your trip the other way, you will soon stand in the nature reserve of Camargue, known for its wild beauty, wild horses, flamingos and black bulls. Whether you want a city trip or a Mediterranean dream holiday, in Marseille you can have both and then some.

Which airports are in London?

  • London Heathrow (LHR)
  • London Gatwick (LGW)
  • London City (LCY)

Information Airport Marseille

  • Name: Aéroport Marseille Provence
  • IATA Code: MRS
  • Distance to downtown Marseille: 20 km
  • Transportation: train, bus, shuttle, rented car, taxi

What else to see in Marseille

  • Cathedrale de la Major
  • Parc Borély, biggest park of Marseille
  • La Vieille Charité, 16th century hospital

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