If Marseille can be visited all year round, the beautiful days magnify the discovery of the city and its irresistible seaside. We then like to linger in the evening on the terrace or escape by boat in the creeks. The beginning of summer is also the season of major cultural events (Marseille Festival, Marseille Jazz des cinq continents...). In this month of June, the event not to be missed takes place on the Old Port, at the Théâtre national de la Criée. Robin Renucci has been at its helm for the past year and will perform, from 15 to 17 June, L'Enfance à l'oeuvre, a creation that triumphed in Avignon in 2017. In this piece, it is a question of childhood, artistic desire, awakening to vocation through the magnificent words of Paul Valéry, Romain Gary, Arthur Rimbaud and Marcel Proust.
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"I practice the theater of the void, my role is to develop the imagination of the spectators," says the artist who plays alone on stage, accompanied by pianist Nicolas Stavy. These musical interludes are all suspended moments where the text resonates in the minds of the audience and summons personal memories. The play will soon tour in the small towns around Marseille. A roaming in the image of the 2023-2024 season designed by Robin Renucci which is based on transmission, sharing, with the desire to meet audiences and engage in dialogue. On the program of this tour: the creation of À la paix, after Aristophanes. "La Criée must weigh anchor," sums up its director. It is, in Marseille, safe...
What to do and see in Marseille?
THE SEASIDE BY ELECTRIC BIKE
The Vallon des Auffes. Odin Daniel
From the shade of the Old Port designed by Norman Foster, you get on a two-wheeler for a walk with iodized accents to the first creeks, in the South. On this route, which is largely equipped with a cycle path, the sea leaves us little. Quai de Rive-Neuve, float old wooden rigging and colored sharps...
Further on, the beach of the Catalans, and its seaside atmosphere, announces the beginning of the Corniche, this long balcony on the sea that dots the sumptuous views of the turquoise water and the Frioul archipelago in the distance. The old fishing districts, with their picturesque scenery, are worth a stopover. The sheds and houses of the valley of Auffes huddled around a small port spanned by a pictorial bridge; Malmousque, mazes of alleys and stairs that descend to the rocks or pebble handles. The beaches of the Prophet, the Prado and the Red Point punctuate the route to the Madrague. There, at the foot of the hill of Marseilleveyre embroidered with scrubland, the Route des Goudes propels to paradise, a landscape of white rocks chiseled with azure blue coves. After the port of Les Goudes, the Calanque de Callelongue marks the end of the world of Marseille. In this wonderful cul-de-sac, a few boats languish between the dry stones.
Self-service electric bikes: Levélo. With the Levélo-la métropole-mobilité app. Guided tours with Fada Bike. From 76 € the 4-hour tour Vieux-Port-Callelongue with return via Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. Phone : 07 82 00 73 47. fada.bike
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FROM THE OLD PORT TO LA JOLIETTE
On the quay of the port, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (which we will visit for its view of the harbor and the city, its mosaic decorations, its ex-votos and its place in the heart of the people of Marseille) can be admired before entering the Panier district. This historic district, now full of ice cream parlors, shops and casual canteens, illustrates Marseille's tourist success but retains its popular side. In its narrow streets sometimes vegetated, laundry continues to hang from windows with colorful shutters while works of street art abound on the walls.
Some historical monuments punctuate the walk: the imposing Hôtel-Dieu (converted into a luxury hotel) or the Vieille Charité whose architecture scalloped arcades houses two museums. You have to go down the rue du Panier to the west to see appear in the distance, framed by the tall houses, a piece of ship leaving. Also appears the grandiose façade of the Cathedral of the Major rebuilt in the nineteenth century in a Romano-Byzantine style. Nearby: the Mucem and the replica of the Cosquer cave, promises of cultural discoveries. On the esplanade of the cathedral pulsates the maritime soul of the Phocaean City facing the seawall and the old port cranes, which stand out against the big blue that sparkles.
Guided tours offered by the Marseille Tourist Office. 11, La Canebière. marseille-tourisme.com
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MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART OF MARSEILLE (MAC)
Le Pouce, by César, to see at the MAC. City of Marseille
After four years of work, the Mac has just reopened its doors in the district of Bonneveine, near the roundabout where stands the large bronze thumb of Caesar. The local artist is in the museum's collection, which presents at least one work by the great names of contemporary art: Basquiat, Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Buren, Sophie Calle, Jean Tinguely...
Well seen, the permanent course seeks to decipher the artistic movements that have appeared over the last six decades. Guided and thematic tours are also offered. Until August 6, the temporary exhibition "It's not my job, it's your job" honors the Italian artist Paola Pivi, with iconic works such as her bears. Now equipped with a roof terrace conducive to events, the museum also wishes to open up to the performing arts. To follow, therefore, specific programming, such as those related to festivals or the collective (La)Horde at the head of the National Ballet of Marseille.
From Tue to Sun, from 9 a.m. to 18 p.m. Guided tours Wed. and Sat. at 15 p.m. Themes on Sat. at 11 a.m. 69, Haifa Avenue (8th). Phone : 04 13 94 83 50. musees.marseille.fr
WASTELAND LA BELLE DE MAI
Exhibitions, performances, concerts, festivals, artists' studios... There is always something going on in this art and culture factory located in the old factories of the Seita, near the Saint-Charles station. "La Friche" hosts 70 resident structures, mainly cultural, offers five theaters and concerts, a restaurant, Les Grandes Tables, pioneer in the way of linking art and cuisine ...
On July 6, artists in residence open their studios to the public (some by appointment, Monday to Friday). On weekends from June to September, the 8,000 m2 rooftop terrace becomes a floating stage above the city with, in the evening, a dense program of festivals, concerts, DJ sets.
41, rue Jobin (3rd). Phone : 04 95 04 95. 95. lafriche.org
Where to go on an excursion? Direction the Calanques and Sainte-Baume
THE CALANQUES BY BOAT, IN EXCLUSIVE MODE
The sumptuous spectacle of the creeks. Press photo
Embark with Nicolas, Julie or Brice, all experienced skippers, to discover the deserted islands and the sculptural coast cut with cliffs and coves between Marseille and Cassis. Aboard comfortable small motor boats, privatized or for a group limited to twelve participants, the sailors of Bleu Évasion reveal the secrets of the Calanques National Park: its geological curiosities, its maritime history, its precious biodiversity.
Escorted by sneering gulls, we enter the creeks of En-Vau, Port-Pin or Sormiou, to discover hidden coves with grandiose architecture and marvel by swimming in the blue cave of Morgiou illuminated by an azure light. Our favorite swimming spots? The crystal clear waters of the island of Riou or the cove of Oule, under the leaning pines clinging to the stone pinnacles. Unforgettable.
From 89 € per pers. and 570 € for a privatized boat, 8 seats, with skipper, for the morning. Formulas: afternoon, day, sunset ... Blue Escape. West dike, port of the red tip (8th). Departures possible from the Old Port. Phone : 04 91 06 18 87. bleuevasion.fr
LA SAINTE-BAUME, SACRED MOUNTAIN
The Dominican convent of St. Mary Magdalene. Vladimir Drozdin
Less than an hour's drive east of Marseille, the Sainte-Baume massif is a mesmerizing hiking destination. The rocky bar of 13 km that sweeps the sky shelters the cave which, according to Provençal tradition, would have served as a hermitage to Mary Magdalene for thirty years. The steep cliff, facing north, also shades a forest of large trees with fresh breath, atypical in Provence.
From the Plan-d'Aups plateau, at an altitude of 700 m, the walk is under beeches, lime trees and white oaks to reach the perched sanctuary sheltering a troglodyte church. Its guardians, the Dominican friars, celebrate a daily mass at 11 a.m. Higher up, the limestone ridges swept by the wind, are speckled with a vegetation in pads. On the ridge, an intoxicating 360 ° panorama opens, to the north, on the Sainte-Victoire mountain with the air of a petrified wave, and to the south, on the Mediterranean scrubland, with its procession of thyme, rosemary and juniper.
Allow 2 h 30 for a loop. Espace Tourisme et découverte de la Sainte-Baume, 83 640 Plan-d'Aups. Tel.: 04 42 72 35 22. pnr-saintebaume.fr
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Where to have a drink?
A prominent address installed in a former diving club in Les Goudes, Tuba has eight rooms, a restaurant and a bar, Bikini's, recently. We go there for a drink on an idyllic seaside of the city, above the rocks, facing the jagged silhouette of Maïre Island and the setting sun. On the menu, short, cocktails not shaken but impeccable (such as Sormioule, vodka with notes of rosemary) and very good tapas to share (pan con tomato, tempura zucchini flowers ...).
Menu: tapas from 8 to 20 €. Cocktails: €14 to €16. From the sea. to Sun. Evening. 4, boulevard Alexandre-Delabre (8th). Phone : 04 91 25 13 16. tuba-club.com
THE PIANIST'S GROUPIE
This piano bar is located right next to the Old Port. EATLS Marseille
Rue Sainte, above the Old Port, we love this piano bar that shakes up the codes of Marseille night bars with live music, a cozy Art Deco style and a demanding menu of spirits. From the 1960s to today, all musical aesthetics are revisited on the piano (with a dominant French variety) in a relaxed cabaret spirit. On Sunday evenings in summer, La Groupie du pianiste settles outside the walls with his instrument in seaside addresses.
Cocktails from 13 €. Possibility to dine with casseroles simmered by the chef of La Poule Noire. Of the game. to Sun. until Sept. 1st 61, rue Sainte (1st). Phone : 06 02 04 07 59. lagroupie.fr
Where to sleep?
THE CHAMBERS OF SUCCESSION
Between Saint-Victor and Endoume, the bar-restaurant of friends La Relève has just opened four guest rooms above what has become an institution of the neighborhood, from morning coffee to pre-evening drink. It is Honoré Decoration who has instilled in the rooms a vintage Mediterranean spirit, in line with the beautiful retro room of the bar. Curved shapes, tiles and enamelled tiles, bold colors, wood and ceramic decorations, antique pieces, evoke with talent these hotels of the Riviera of the 1960s with old-fashioned charm. A very central address close to the Old Port.
From 150 € the double room with breakfast. 41, rue d'Endoume (7th). Phone : 04 95 09 87 81.
A bubble of greenery and freshness. Press photo
Lush garden and vegetable garden, sovereign plane tree lit by lanterns, pleasant small swimming pool ... Far from the rumour of the city center, near Mazargues, the Hotel 96 offers a bubble of greenery at the gates of the creeks. With now 18 rooms, all spacious, this 3-star family address remains a safe bet.
We love the private terraces in 12 rooms, a successful contemporary decoration, a high-flying homemade buffet breakfast and a simple and considerate welcome. Bicycles for rent to reach the creeks of Sormiou and Morgiou.
From 113 € the double room with breakfast. 96, avenue de la Soude (9th). Phone : 04 91 71 90 22. hotel96.com