Weekend in the sun: heading for Marseille

Would you like to spend a weekend in sunny Marseille? Whatever the season, the city of Marseille is full of places to discover on your own, as a couple, with family or friends. As one of the most emblematic destinations in the south of France, it welcomes you for an unforgettable stay to the rhythms of the sea, nature and culture.

Marseille, a sunny destination for all seasons

With 170 days of sunshine every year, Marseille can be visited in all seasons to take advantage of a beautiful climate. Whether you’re heading off for a weekend in autumn, winter, spring or summer, this city in the southern region offers a veritable havre of discovery for off-season break lovers or families looking for a weekend in the sun during the school vacations.

In summer, temperatures climb to around 30°C. Tourists then enjoy sunbathing on one of Marseille’s many beaches and swimming in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. In winter, the mercury drops to around 10°C, but the climate remains relatively mild and sunny thanks to little rainfall during this period.

Beyond the exceptional sunshine rate throughout the year, Marseille is an attractive city thanks to its historic monuments, its cultural wealth, its culinary specialties and its incredible landscapes combining sea, mountains and nature.

Urban strolls under the Phocaean blue sky

During your weekend in sunny Marseilles, we suggest a stroll through the heart of the Phocaean city, starting with the cours Julien within the Notre-Dame-du-Mont district, a place showcasing street art on walls and staircases. Within this artistic district, you’ll also discover street musicians sharing their musical compositions.

After strolling through the alleyways of the cours Ju, join the Vieux-Port by descending la Canebière, Marseille’s most famous pedestrian avenue, which boasts countless store signs (HEMA, C&A, La Cure Gourmande, Eram, Monoprix…). Every morning, you can watch the stalls of freshly caught fish merchants in the port, before taking a seat for a moment under the mirror-like shade designed by British architect Norman Foster.

Now head for the Panier district , the city’s oldest district, in the 2nd arrondissement. Take a stroll through its narrow, colorful, leafy streets. Numerous shopkeepers will be delighted to welcome you to their artisanal boutiques. This atypical location inspired the producers of the TV series Plus belle la vie to build the fictional Mistral district.

To round off your stroll in the Phocaean city in style, head for the alleys of parc Borély, in the 8th arrondissement. Spread over 18 hectares in the Bonneveine district, Parc Borély is home to an 18th-century bastide, a French garden and a 19th-century landscaped park. Overlooking the park, the Château Borély – a testament to typical 18th-century architecture in Provence – today houses the Museum of Decorative Arts, Earthenware and Fashion.

Swimming and lounging on Marseille’s beaches

How can you talk about Marseille without mentioning its beaches and its Mediterranean? The city boasts several spots ideal for swimming with the family, as a couple, alone or with friends.

Close to the Vieux-Port, the Catalans beach is the most accessible for visitors staying in the city center. It’s the perfect place to take a dip after a day’s strolling, or to cool off before embarking on the rest of your holiday program. Generally very busy, you’ll need to get there early in the morning to enjoy a little peace and quiet. Equipped with a first-aid post and sanitary facilities, this beach is ideal for families.

Located below the Corniche Kennedy, the Prophète beach is an iconic Marseille beach. Famous with locals and tourists alike, it attracts young and old from all walks of life. With its shallow waters, it’s ideal for children who can walk a long way. A beach volleyball court is available for sports enthusiasts. The beach has a first-aid post, showers and a refreshment bar for aperitifs.


An unmissable swimming spot, the Prado beach stretches for 3.5 kilometers – from the David, the famous statue on the Prado, to the Vieille Chapelle near the Pointe-Rouge – positioning it as Marseille’s largest beach. One of the city’s busiest beaches, it is surrounded by large expanses of grass, offering soccer fans a vast playing field. It also offers water sports activities, children’s play areas, sanitary facilities, first-aid posts…

The Pointe Rouge beach, Marseille’s largest sandy beach, is located just a few minutes from the Prado seaside park. Very popular because it’s sheltered from the wind, it’s possible to pedal-boat, kite-surf, paddle or simply rent a deckchair on one of the private beaches. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and playgrounds to keep you entertained. Sanitary facilities and first-aid posts are also available.

A walk on the sea, between islands and creeks

During your weekend in the sun in Marseille, we recommend visiting the islands and calanques by boat. Several excursions departing from the Vieux-Port or Pointe Rouge are available with different shipping companies. You can leave in a group or hire a private boat.

You’ll discover exceptional local flora and fauna on Frioul islands – including the islands of Pomègues, Ratonneau, Tiboulen and If. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, you’ll enjoy a moment of escape that allows you to sample the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, appreciate the seabed and explore the relics found on this archipelago that bear witness to the history of the Phocaean city.

Extending to the south, the calanques are among Marseille’s natural treasures. The beauty of the scenery between sea and mountains is well worth the detour. You can opt for a cruise with a stopover to discover the calanques. You’ll have the opportunity to stop off in a cove for a swim and a picnic before setting off again for the rest of the visit to one of the most beautiful spots in the southern region.

Scuba diving on the Côte Bleue and in the Calanques

Why not opt for a baptism of diving in a sumptuous setting during your weekend in the sun in Marseille? If you want to discover the seabed and new sensations, this is the perfect activity! You can enjoy your first dive to the north of the city, on the Côte Bleue or to the south, in the calanques of Marseille. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy an extraordinary experience swimming in calm turquoise water, surrounded by fish. It’s an intense moment during which you’ll be surprised to discover the wealth of little-known life beneath the Earth’s surface.

A weekend in the sun, accessible from all over France

No matter where you start from, Marseille is an extremely well-served city by road, public transport and air. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting there on your weekend in the sun.

By car, you can reach the city by taking the A7 freeway, known as the “autoroute du soleil”, which runs from the Perrache district of Lyon to Marseille. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can also take the A50 freeway, which links Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône) to Toulon (Var).

The Marseille Saint-Charles station connects to many other stations in France, by TGV, TER or Intercités. From Paris, you can reach Marseille in just three hours.

The city center of the Phocaean city is 20 minutes from the Marseille-Provence International Airport, located in the commune of Marignane. Some 30 airlines operate there regularly.

On-site during your trip, you’ll benefit from a wide range of public transport (tramway, metro and bus) to get you around Marseille’s neighborhoods. Self-service bicycle stations and electric vehicle rental are also available.