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Treasure hunt around Notre-Dame de la Garde

Today, I’m rediscovering the districts around Notre-Dame de la Garde during a fun treasure hunt. Riddles, treasures, word games… a great experience combining hiking and anecdotes!

Published on 20 July 2023
Pp Sophie CharvetPp Sophie Charvet
©Pp Sophie Charvet
Sophie Charvet
  • Marseille in 3 words

    Dynamic, sunny and captivating

  • My favourite neighbourhood

    Vauban district, the little town within the town.

Start of the adventure: arrival at Place Castellane

It’s a beautiful sunny morning when I meet up with my group at Place Castellane in Marseille. We’re all eager to begin this mysterious and exciting adventure in search of the neighbourhood’s hidden treasures. Our guide, Éric, gave us a warm welcome and handed out to each of us a little hiking notebook that would reveal the secrets of the districts as we went along. From the very first minutes, the atmosphere was light and friendly, with Éric talking passionately about the city of Marseille, arousing our curiosity and enthusiasm.

Heading into the unknown: the treasure hunt begins

Once the introductions were made, we set off, ready to take on the challenges that awaited us. In teams of two, we have to find the treasures hidden in the streets of Marseille and note down the names of the streets where we discover them. The steps and clues in the booklet are clear and easy to understand, but they also challenge us to think and use our imaginations to solve the riddles. Some of the clues make us smile with their clever use of wordplay to find the name of the next street. In all, there are 19 stages to discover all the little secrets of these districts.

Neighbourhood secrets revealed

An adventure full of discoveries

Along the way, Éric encourages us to look up to the sky and observe the details around us. We discover the iconic buildings, plants and fascinating history of each district, all in a relaxed and jovial atmosphere. The familiar streets of Marseille transform before our eyes, revealing little hidden treasures we’d never noticed before. Some of us, even those who have lived here for years, are surprised by the richness and magic hidden in the little-known corners of our own city!

An adventure for all ages

We were also lucky enough to experience this adventure with two lively children, aged around 8. Right from the start, they were excited and ready to take on any challenge. All along the way, they ran enthusiastically, captivated by the treasure hunt and attentive to their surroundings as they tried to find the treasures. Their infectious energy added a playful dimension to our adventure, and they were proud to take the lead and guide the group through the streets of Marseille.

The reward is worth the effort

An entertaining walk

This treasure hunt around Notre-Dame de la Garde is far from a simple walk. With over 750 steps to climb and descend, you’ll need to be prepared to flex your muscles and push yourself a little. The steep slopes require a certain amount of physical fitness, but the frequent breaks along the way to discover the secrets of the districts make the walk pleasant and enjoyable. Your thighs may burn, but the spectacular views at every turn will soon make you forget the effort. Walking for three hours may seem like a long time, but with such a captivating guide and constant discoveries, the time passes incredibly quickly.

A little surprise at Notre-Dame de la Garde

As we neared the end of our adventure, we found ourselves not far from Notre-Dame de la Garde. Éric has a little surprise in store for us, adding the perfect finishing touch to this unforgettable experience. Without giving too much away, we were in awe of the chosen location and savoured the moment as we contemplated the magnificent landscape before us.

An adventure not to be missed

The treasure hunt around Notre-Dame de la Garde is a real adventure, transporting us into a hidden world of treasures and secrets, and giving us a whole new perspective on Marseille. With a guide as passionate and enthusiastic as Éric, every step is an invitation to curiosity and discovery. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this experience promises unforgettable memories and a new appreciation of the beauty and richness of this city. So get your sneakers on, grab a bottle of water and get ready for a fascinating adventure in search of the hidden treasures of the Roucas-Blanc and Vauban districts.

Official website of the Tourist Office of Marseille