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Discover the essential places
near our hotel in downtown Marseille

All the Marseille atmosphere
The Old Port of Marseille

Taste the Marseille atmosphere! At any time of the day, the Old Port will seduce you! Starting point towards the Frioul islands and the Château d'If, it stretches from the Palais de Pharo to Fort Saint Jean and takes you to the MuCEM. Wide choice of restaurants, enchanting and authentic landscape, it has everything to please! Take the time to stroll along the quays while observing the various monuments that you will come across on your way and on the horizon. Admire the change of colors of the Old Port at dusk. A magical spectacle! The ideal partner for your visit to Marseille, the Carré Vieux Port Hotel is located in the heart of this historic district.

The good mother Our Lady of the Guard

Marseille's flagship monument, the Good Mother has been watching over the Phocaean city for 800 years at an altitude of 150m. When you explore the interior, you will see many sailors' offerings, dedicated to the Virgin. Visible from the Old Port, the golden statue of the Virgin and Child overlooks Marseille from the top of the Hill of the Guard. At dusk, come and admire Marseille lit up. The Hôtel Carré Vieux Port is a 30-minute walk or 10 minutes by bus from the basilica.

Wild Marseille The Frioul Islands and the Chateau d’If

The Château d'If is accessible by shuttle from the Old Port. This prison, made famous thanks to the novel of Monte Cristo, offers a magnificent view of Marseille. The Ile du Frioul is wild, but you will find a small port and a few restaurants there. Stroll along the trails to discover splendid coves!  

Idea for a walk On the Old Port

The Old Port is located at the bottom of the Canebière, it is the oldest port in the city (6th century BC) . It also represents a historical and cultural center. During your journey, you will feel the gentle breeze of the wind and you will see a traditional fish market as well as boats like the famous Ferry Boat. You will have a breathtaking view of Notre-Dame de la Garde. Take the opportunity to take a cruise to admire the Calanques.

Idea for a walk My program in 1 day

Marseille was not built in 1 day, so it is difficult to visit it in less than 24 hours ...

However, here is what I suggest you do first, at a leisurely pace.

Wake up 8 hours after an excellent night at the Hotel Carré Vieux Port ... I get strength at breakfast and I gather my things to be ready at 9 am at the reception. Don't forget the sunscreens and hats.

What to do ... Calanques or If / Frioul? In summer, I will opt for the circuit with 6 creeks and swimming, but if it is a little cool, the 12 creeks circuit also seems very interesting to me. In the event of a moderate mistral, a visit to Chateau d'If and Frioul seems more suitable to me. Total time approximately 3h30.

Back to the Old Port of Marseille, it's time to eat. Cours Estienne d'Orves with the Bistrot de l'Horloge or Vieux Port with the Brasserie de OM or MuCEM with the Halles de la Major.

2pm, we're off again! Visit of the MuCEM esplanade. I don't have enough time to do the exhibition, but the inside walk in the "belly" of MuCEM is to be done! I go up via Fort Saint Jean and take a short photo break to admire the Pharo, the entrance to the Old Port, Notre Dame de la Garde, the Cathedral of the Major ... in short, the souvenir spot not to be missed.

Then, I continue my way returning to the center of the Old Port. I decided to take the little train to visit Notre Dame de la Garde via the Corniche ... Obviously, I could have done it on foot or by bus but I make the most of our beautiful city of Marseille.

After visiting Notre Dame, I go back on foot to discover the small alleys of Marseille and take a little tour of the shops in the city center: rue Saint Féréol, rue Paradis, rue Sainte ... foot.

Finally back to the Carré Vieux Port hotel! A busy day ...

If I still have a little strength left, I'll have a drink at the Bar de la Marine or on the Cours d'Estienne d'Orves. And for the restaurant, I reserve Chez Michel to eat the best bouillabaisse in Marseille! reservation strongly recommended.

Jewel of Marseille Provence 2013 The MuCEM

The MuCEM has many assets: original architecture, a place between land and sea and of course unique exhibitions. Admire the Old Port from a new angle by walking along the J4 esplanade and crossing the footbridge linking the MuCEM to the Fort Saint-Jean. An exceptional view awaits you there! Located on the Old Port, our 3-star hotel in Marseille is 15 minutes away on foot from MuCEM.

Historic heart of Marseille The Panier District

Discover the charm of the Quartier de Panier, located 500m from the hotel. Le Panier will offer you an authentic experience along picturesque streets in the colors of a Mediterranean village. Discover the boutiques, artists or craftsmen, offering products from the city: Marseille soap or the famous shuttles. Don’t forget to visit the Vielle Charité, a key monument of the city.

We love shopping ! The Port Terraces

“Les Terrasses du Port” is a huge shopping center with more than 190 businesses! You will find a wide variety of brands and you can stroll on the huge balcony which runs alongside the building with a magnificent view of the sea and the cruise ships. A catering area and hall are located on the ground floor and top floor.

Our emblem The Velodrome stadium (Orange Velodrome)

Coming to Marseille without making a detour to the stadium is like visiting the Louvre without stopping in front of the Mona Lisa...

In addition, you can visit it. Information available from the Tourist Office located a few meters from the Carré Vieux Port hotel.

Unmissable for its size and history The Cathedral of the Major

This cathedral, sober, majestic, intriguing, in a Roman-Byzantine style, will seduce you. His style is totally out of place in this changing environment! Departing from the Hôtel Carré Vieux Port, you can walk along the port quay, arrive at the MuCEM then continue along the quays to discover the Major Cathedral. From the renovated esplanade, you can observe a magnificent panorama of the Marseille harbor.

A true haven of peace The Longchamp Palace

The Palais Longchamp is distinguished by its sumptuous architecture, its gardens, fountains and waterfalls. You can visit the Natural History Museum, the Fine Arts, as well as the Observatory. Take a break in Longchamp Park and, at dusk, stroll through its gardens where the water and light displays will enchant you. The Hotel is a 30-minute walk or 15 minutes by metro.

The closest to your hotel and the Blue Flag beaches Catalan Beach

Access is very easy, you have to walk along the port to the Pharo and then go down to the Catalans. Right next to it, you will find the Cercle des Nageurs where the greatest Marseille athletes train. A professional beach volleyball court is installed there. The beach is supervised. To eat, an excellent pizzeria is on the beach and you will have a wide choice by going up a little on the Corniche.

The Blue Flag was created by the French Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe in 1985.

The Blue Flag is a benchmark in the tourism, environment and sustainable development sector. The aim is to promote municipalities and marinas that conduct a policy of sustainable tourism development. The Blue Flag gives a positive image to residents and visitors. 

Thus everything is ensured to avoid the sometimes harmful impacts of tourist visits. Waste is recycled using sorting bins and sanitary facilities are available to ensure that the bathing water remains of good quality. Labeled places make it a point of honor to protect the fauna and flora, the aim being also to support an awareness to develop a more respectful behavior towards nature.

Several beaches around the Hôtel Carré Vieux-Port have been awarded the label:

- The Corniche beach in Sausset les Pins

- Bestouan beach and Grande Mer beach in Cassis

- Grand Vallat beach, Casino beach, Centrale beach and Renécros beach in Bandol

As far as the labeled marinas are concerned, we have in the area: 

- The CNTL of Marseille

- The Nautical Society of Marseille

- The Calanques of Port Miou 

- The Departmental Port of Cassis

Nature discovery in Marseille Creeks

The Old Port is the starting point for visiting the creeks. A calanque is a projection of the sea inland, revealing cliffs and wild vegetation. The water is clear and crystal clear! Diving, climbing or swimming are allowed. Sormiou, Sugiton, Port-Miou and many others are accessible by sea and by footpaths. The whole team of the Hotel will certify the quality of your expedition in the creeks!

What is it?

The creeks are large rocky creeks made up of limestone rocks that form a narrow recess entering the land. The Massif des Calanques is a protected national park extending from Marseille to Cassis over approximately 20km. We have 25 creeks in the municipality of Marseille and 1 in the municipality of Cassis. This unique natural space is a place not to be missed if you want to discover Marseille and its surroundings! The Calanques are therefore a jewel of nature which conceals treasures in its fauna and flora. These unique landscapes are to be protected, to preserve them in their integrity. This is the aim of the creation of the Calanques National Park.

Fauna / Flora

Nine hundred different species are present, i.e. 1/5 of the species known in France. During the day, reptiles take shelter under rocks or in the ground to avoid the sun's scorch and protect themselves from the overwhelming heat. On the other hand, if you go for a walk there, you will not fail to notice the presence of many insects, spiders, and birds of all kinds. There are, in the fauna to observe, a host of Mediterranean representatives including cicadas, butterflies and other small animals. The Calanques massif is a special ecosystem. The soil is made up of limestone, and there is little earth. The plants let their roots grow in the faults and fissures of the rock. The climate is arid, with recurrent periods of drought.

How to get there

If you come by public transport, you will have to plan to walk down to the Calanque you want. The most appropriate is to inquire using this link: to find out the most practical route depending on the creek you want to visit .

Please note, during the summer, you must reserve your time slot to access certain creeks to limit the number of visitors.

Attitudes to adopt

1. Be an actor of your safety: bring plenty of water, protect yourself from the sun and wear good shoes.

2. To protect against the risk of fire, any use of fire is prohibited (cigarette, barbecue, shisha, campfire...). This prohibition also applies when you are near water. The majority of fire starts are accidents, NEVER think you have the situation under control.

3. Bring your trash. You will not find a trash can in the Calanques. And don't dispose of your trash in the first trash can you find if it's overflowing. Throw in a full trash can = throw on the ground. And to go further, challenge yourself with a zero waste picnic!

4. Stay discreet. The broadcasting of music, on land as well as at sea, is prohibited. Animals need peace of mind and other visitors don't necessarily want to listen to your sound. Your connected speaker doesn't make you cool or badass, just annoying.

5. Stay on marked trails to avoid soil erosion. Also respect the vegetation regeneration areas marked by small posts.

6. Prepare well for your outing. Find out about access and travel times. Walking in the Calanques is often more difficult than you think. Do not rely on Google Maps which tells a lot of nonsense. Download the Mes Calanques app or explore our website.

7. Prefer public transport. It's better for the planet and not necessarily longer.

New place to live The Joliette Docks

Five words to define this newly opened place: fashion, design, food, leisure and market. This 19th centurybuilding has been completely renovated in recent years with offices on the upper floors and an innovative living space on the ground floor. You will find atypical and designer boutiques as well as restaurants. The village is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. for restaurants.

Idea for a walk Heading towards Fort Saint-Jean

The Fort Saint-Jean is known for its constructions which lasted from the 12th to the 17th century. This building is made up of 3 mounds, including those of Saint-Laurent, the mills as well as the Carmes. During your journey, you can cross a footbridge to visit the museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations and its various exhibitions. This place also houses a walkway decorated with emblematic Mediterranean plantations. 

to Miramas The domain of Cabasse

We leave Marseille to go to Miramas, a little known but very accessible little town. This village in the Bouches-du-Rhônes is home to the Domaine de Cabasse, an ideal place to escape the big city and discover wide open spaces perfect for family outings!

What is it?

The Cabasse park is a place between pine and scrubland in a magnificent natural site. It is an old medieval farm managed by the abbey of Montmajour (Fontvieille) and inhabited by monks who manage themselves. The estate was sold and remained in oblivion until 1979 when the municipality then decided to buy the estate which became municipal heritage. The chateau and outbuildings were immediately restored and fitted out. Since then, the castle has become a leisure center where many sportsmen come to run, cycle or walk. In addition to the Cabasse area, a hike of a few hours takes you directly to the Fountain Mary-Rose, in Grans. This park will delight young and old alike, thanks to its history, its many activities, and its verdant flora. 

Fauna and flora

This escapade in the middle of nature will allow you to discover the Cannebière lake and its biodiversity. In addition to ducks, fish and frogs you will see different species of birds. A little less glamorous, but just as impressive, you will surely see the sphinx caterpillar, which can measure up to 15 cm in length, provided you open your eyes!

How to access it?

Miramas is about twenty minutes by train from Marseille, then take bus no. 13 from Miramas station to the Briand Avenir stop. 

Good practices:

• Promote public transport to get there, which is faster and more convenient than the car (few parking spaces in Cabasse) 

• Do not litter in nature

• To protect against the risk of fire, any use of fire is prohibited (cigarette, barbecue, chicha, campfire, etc.). The majority of fire starts are accidents, NEVER think you have the situation under control.

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close to Marseille Blue Coast Marine Park

Located to the east of Marseille, the Côte Bleu marine park is the little-known jewel of the Bouches-du-Rhône. It is surprising, but this exceptional natural park is often neglected by tourists who prefer the more famous creeks. The Hôtel Carré guarantees you, however, that the blue coast has nothing to envy to the other parks in the region! From Rove to Carro, via Niolon or Carry-le-Rouet, discover all that the blue coast has to offer.

What is it?

The Côte Bleue Marine Park has been a protected area since 1983 which has managed to preserve its rich underwater biodiversity by reconciling the environment and the economy and by working since its creation with all the stakeholders on the coast . This park covers 5 municipalities: 

• Le Rove

• Give it back

• Carry-le-Rouet

• Sausset-les-Pins

• Martigues (Carro-La Couronne)

It is an ideal space to relax by the sea, in the small ports of the south of France, or on the contrary, to venture into magnificent hikes, in search of beautiful isolated beaches. The coastline is essentially rocky and the Côte Bleue marks the limit of the rocky coasts of Provence before the low and sedimentary coastline of the Gulf of Lion which extends to the Spanish border. The relief is marked by numerous cliffs and the slopes soften from east to west, and approaching the coast. In addition to hiking and swimming you can also go diving or sailing. 

Fauna and Flora

Because of this particular geographical and ecological situation, the seabed is very rich and all the biocenoses of the North-Western Mediterranean are represented there: small rocky bottoms populated by algae and serving as a refuge for invertebrate and very rich vertebrate species, a few underwater caves, varied sedimentary beds, a remarkable Posidonia meadow occupying 1,049 hectares, and highly developed coralligenous populations.

The Blue Coast shows a very rich marine biodiversity and more than 246 species of fish have been identified, belonging to 92 families. Many of the species inventoried are of commercial interest for fishing. On the Blue Coast, there are about sixty marine species with status, protected or threatened, the exploitation of which is regulated. There are protected species such as the fin whale, the loggerhead turtle, the dusky grouper or the gannet. 

How to access it?

From the hotel, the easiest way is to take the blue coast train to Saint-Charles (5 minutes by metro or 25 minutes on foot) which serves the stations of Niolon, Ensuès-la-Redonne, Carry -le-Rouet, Sausset-les-Pins and the Crown. 

Good practices:

1. Exclude any physical contact during free diving with the underwater fauna and flora as well as with the substrate, and do not turn over the stones.

2. Avoid walking on the seabed, especially if it is colonized by a Posidonia seagrass.

3. Avoid walking on habitats sensitive to trampling in certain rocky sections of the seaside: Lithophyllum sidewalks and Cystoseire algae belts.

4. Do not feed the underwater fauna, do not disturb it and do not use attractants.

5. Report to the Côte Bleue Marine Park the presence of lost or abandoned fishing gear (nets, longlines, traps, etc.).

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