Where to go on vacation in June? Head for Marseille!

You’re thinking of taking a summer vacation in June? There’s no doubt about the destination! Marseille welcomes you with open arms for a weekend, a few days or more than a week. Whether as a family, a couple or a group of friends, your stay will be all about sun, beach, sea and nature. The Phocaean city is undoubtedly one of the must-see destinations on the Mediterranean landscape.

Discovering Marseille in June: cultural visits

Must-see places between history, culture and heritage

When visiting Marseille in June, you won’t be able to miss the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, commonly known as the Bonne Mère by the city’s inhabitants. Perched 150 meters above sea level, this Roman-Byzantine-style church welcomes nearly 2 million visitors annually, positioning it as the Phocaean city’s most-visited monument. According to legend, it watches over fishermen, sailors and the entire population of Marseilles. Those wishing to visit it can get there on foot (about 20min from the Vieux-Port), by bus (n°60), by car (note that parking is limited), or by taking the small tourist train from the Vieux-Port.

Another unmissable cultural visit: the Mucem! This is the first major national museum dedicated to the Mediterranean. Throughout the year, visitors can discover permanent and temporary exhibitions on a variety of themes (history, anthropology, archaeology, art history and contemporary art). Its original architecture is the work of Rudy Ricciotti, a French architect of Italian origin. A cheerful dédale, the fort Saint-Jean – an integral part of the museum – allows visitors to lose themselves in its gardens, discovering mysterious secrets. Nearby you can also discover the replica of the famous grotte Cosquer, a prehistoric gem sunk 35m deep.

On the Ile d’If, one of the islands of Frioul, lies the château d’If, a former state prison that attracts thousands of tourists every year wishing to discover the beauty of this historic monument. Alexandre Dumas made this feudal building famous by mentioning it in his novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, a work in which the hero is imprisoned in the said fortress.

To combine culture, heritage and history, head for the Palais Longchamp in Marseille’s 4th arrondissement. A true ode to water, this palace was originally built to accommodate the waters of the Durance into the city. Today, this majestic-looking water tower comprises 4 main entities: the Fine-Arts Museum of Marseille (left wing), the Natural History Museum of Marseille (right wing), a public garden and a park with observatory (at the rear).

Bustling, authentic neighborhoods

If you’re looking to head to Marseille in June, you’ll be obliged to discover the city’s atypical neighborhoods that make its reputation. After observing the stalls of fish merchants on the Vieux-Port, you head for the Panier district, Marseille’s oldest district. Thanks to its colored and vegetated alleys, its artisanal shops and its friendly bistros, this district attracts many visitors in search of an authentic Marseille.
Bonus: the fictional Mistral district – the iconic location of the TV series Plus belle la vie – draws its inspiration from Le Panier!”

For an artistic Marseille, the Notre-Dame-du-Mont district is the place to go. With its famous cours Julien, this neighborhood advocates street art, as evidenced by the many graffiti by urban artists present on the walls and staircases. For a stroll through the streets to meet local craftsmen, booksellers, street musicians or vintage record shops, the cours Ju’ will undoubtedly seduce you. Don’t hesitate to have a drink in one of the various bars and restaurants in the area, which most of the time offer evening entertainment.

For fans of football, you’ll have no choice but to head to the Orange Vélodrome stadium to watch a Match of Olympique de Marseille with its biggest supporters. Outside match days, you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium via the OM Stadium tour, which immerses you in the club’s universe, from the changing rooms to the press conference room to the trophies won by the team.

The Phocaean city, between land and sea

Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Marseille is brimming with exceptional natural sites combining land and sea. Spanning three communes (Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat), the Calanques National Parks offers several marked trails for addicts of walking and hiking in nature. It’s a sumptuous place to discover fauna and flora rich in biodiversity. Within the park, you can access various criques to bathe in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea and soak up the sun’s rays to perfect your summer tan.

A little further north of Marseille, towards the Estaque, the Côte Bleue offers little coins of paradise thanks to its small ports for yachting, its beaches and its criques. With its breathtaking scenery, it’s the ideal place to take some souvenir photos of your seaside vacation.

What if you followed in the footsteps of Marcel Pagnol by climbing the hills of the Garlaban massif? Literature fans won’t want to miss out on discovering this place where the author spent his childhood. The landscape is well worth the detour!

Why go to Marseille in June?

Events organized in June

If you decide to go to Marseille in June, you’ll have the chance to attend several events organized during this summer period. For example, the Festival of Music takes place on June 21. On this occasion, the city organizes concerts and entertainment in many boroughs to celebrate the start of summer.

Another event in June: the Marsatac festival, combining rap, pop and electronic music that will have you dancing all weekend long! This festival takes place every year in the city of Marseille and has become an incontrovertible for all music lovers.

The Midsummer Festival – dedicated to the summer solstice – invites people to dance around bonfires and tambourines. Every year, this tradition attracts many curious onlookers to the heart of Marseille and the surrounding area. Over a weekend at the end of June, the St. John’s Day bonfires bring together street entertainment, popular dances and fireworks. The atmosphere is guaranteed!

On the program: sun, swimming and cultural visits

With summer temperatures reaching 30°C, the month of June remains an ideal period to go to Marseille. Sunshine, high mercury and clear skies will make for a pleasant stay in the Phocaean city as in high summer – in July and August – but with one considerable advantage: much fewer people! On one of Marseille’s many beaches , you can relax and bathe in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. But Marseille isn’t just about sunny weather and beautiful beaches! It also seduces for its historic monuments, its museums, its exceptional landscapes and its culinary specialties.
What’s more, when you travel in June, you’ll benefit from discounted prices on your accommodation (hotel, B&B, studio, campsite…) and transportation (plane/train). In fact, many accommodation establishments and airline and rail companies offer discounts for stays outside school vacation periods. Start planning your June trip today with the Marseille Tourist Office, Leisure and Convention Bureau!