Les Camoins district

Les Camoins in Marseille is a neighborhood in the city’s 11th borough, close to the La Valentine district, La Treille, Les Accates, Eoures and not far from the communes of Allauch and Aubagne. To the east of the city of Marseille, the village of Les Camoins enjoys a pleasant setting, with the Garlaban massif, Ruissatel and Tête Ronde in the background. From its history, it retains its village charm. Now a residential district of Marseille, it’s sought-after for its tranquil setting and proximity to nature.

The ancient village of Les Camoins

An ancient village, the Camoins district in Marseille boasts a certain charm with its small streets lined with houses and the passage of the canal de Marseille where the water of the Durance flows, recalling its appearance of yesteryear. The history of Les Camoins dates back to the 15th century, when its founder, Jean Camoin, settled here with his wife and rebuilt some of the buildings. The land was subsequently divided between his heirs. In 1530, when the village numbered 150 parishioners, it was decided to build a church: the Sainte Agathe church, still standing today following restoration work. After passing through the hands of several lords, by the 17th century the village had over 600 inhabitants, but was hit hard by the plague. In 1811, Les Camoins water was defined as a source of calcic sulfurous water, and was declared to be of public utility in 1862.

Les Camoins today

Today, you can still see the entrance gate to the Pénitents Blancs chapel as a vestige of the past, demolished then rebuilt in 1987. The residential area is much appreciated for its calm and exceptional setting at the foot of the hills. It’s also worth discovering for its castles, such as La Buzine, now transformed into the Maison des Cinématographies de la Méditerranée. Between city and nature, the Camoins district is home to schools, colleges and small local shops, just a few steps from hiking trails. Thanks to its “out-of-town” location, the setting is also conducive to numerous medical establishments: nursing homes, convalescent clinics, specialized establishments for mentally handicapped children and adults…

Les thermes de Camoins-les-Bains (definitively closed)

In 1811, when King Charles IV of Spain, in exile in Marseille, came to treat his gout with the water from Les Camoins, the Bouches du Rhône department administration took an interest and defined it as a source of calcic sulfurous water. It was then used in Marseille hospitals to treat skin diseases and sold in pharmacies. In 1839, a nursing home was built, surrounded by a large wooded park. In 1862, Les Camoins water was analyzed and recognized as a public utility source. Over the years, the resort, at the foot of the Garlaban mountains, became increasingly well-known and equipped with top-of-the-range facilities. During the First World War, the resort was requisitioned as a military hospital. In 1932, the village of Les Camoins was officially renamed Camoins les Bains. It wasn’t until 1947, after the Second World War, that the spa really took off with curists: treatment rooms, rest rooms, park, shuttle bus to downtown Marseille… Unfortunately they are now permanently closed

5 things to do at Les Camoins

1/ Walk in the footsteps of Marcel Pagnol or follow a guided tour.

2/ Test your skills on the TrackMan Range golf simulator at Golf de la Salette. Go there dressed in casual sportswear with closed-toe flats while renting your clubs and balls.

3/ Follow the fitness trail at parc de la Denise.

4/ Walk along the chemin de la Salette to discover the ruined church of Notre Dame de la Salette.

5/ Visit the Château de la Buzine, maison des Cinématographies de la Méditerranée and its shady park.


Accessibility and location

The Camoins district is accessible via the autoroute A50 from Marseille Centre or Aubagne. You can also take the bus to get there from various arrondissements of Marseille and Aubagne. It enjoys close proximity to the Valentine shopping center, which is home to a wide range of retailers. On the one hand, you can reach the coast: Marseille, its beaches and Calanques National Parkhead inland: la Penne sur Huveaune, Aubagne, Gémenos, the Garlaban massif and the Sainte Baume Regional Nature Park.