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Extending after Aix-en-Provence

Hi all,

We are taking the Best of Eastern France tour this fall. It ends in Aix-en-Provence, with suggested flying out of Marseille. We are considering extending a day or two. We have been to Aix-en-Provence a couple of times already so I would like to try something different.

I do not see a word about Marseille in the RS France book I have. Does anyone know much about it or have another suggestion?


Posted by
3060 posts

Since you’re flying out of Marseille then go. Do be careful on what neighborhood you sleep in I’ve heard. My understanding is that there is a rough side but I don’t know where that area is.
What I would do from Marseille is tour the Calanques (France’s fjords). If you check Rick Steves website, he does have recommendations on what to see in Marseille: then click on the + sign to the right of At a Glance.

Posted by
7067 posts

Marseille would be a very good choice. The rough areas mentioned above are the immediate vicinity of the station (Gare Saint Charles), areas north of the station (no hotels there anyway), and to a lesser extent the streets immediately around the Marché des Capucins (not that rough in itself, but filthy - definitely worth a visit in daytime regardless).
Best area to stay IMO is around the Vieux Port; I slightly prefer the southern side (where I lived for 2 years) but the northern side has the atmospheric "Panier" old town district.
Marseille is a vibrant, at times hectic city with a lot to see and do, definitely plenty to keep you busy for two full days.

Otherwise, does the tour cover Arles? If not, it would make for a more relaxing stay.

Posted by
27409 posts

Pre-pandemic, boat tours to the Calanques operated from Cassis as well as from Marseilles, so if you enjoy picturesque small coastal towns you could take the train to Cassis and get the Calanque tour there (assuming the tours are running). However, the Cassis train station is nearly 2 miles (trending uphill) from the port, so those with limited time or mobility challenges should check on bus service (which I think does exist) and be equipped with a taxi telephone number or two. I walked down and rode the bus back up to the station, but I wasn't pressed for time.

Posted by
34 posts

Thanks both of you for the tips, link and encouragement. I think we might stay an extra night in Marseille and try to do the fjords.