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Cheap flights to Marseille

Marseille is not only France’s oldest city but also its most colourful. And we’re not just talking about all those terracotta roof tiles. So what are we talking about exactly? Well, one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities for one, with its mix of French, North African and Spanish cultures. Where busy bazaar-style markets, 17th century cathedrals and an old bustling harbour battle it out for your attention.

And because of its position along the Mediterranean coast, you can expect plenty of fabulous beaches and even the stunningly beautiful calanques, also known as the Mediterranean fjords. Think crystal clear waters, secluded little bays, sheer cliff faces and you’re on the right track. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? 

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Marseille city guide




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Shopping


Head to Wooden Gallery for monumental chandeliers, daring photo prints and cabinets full of quirky curiosities. This art and design emporia is part of a new retail hub located under historic arches of the striking Cathedral de la Major that looms over the waterfront. woodengallery-concept.com


Joli Rouge (72 Rue d'Aubagne. tel: 06 26 92 78 39) Rummage around in this atmospheric brocante (junk shop), filled to the rafters with quirky objet d'art, 1950s furniture and irresistible vintage crockery, before pulling up a stool at its retro mini-bar that serves natural wines to thirsty bargain-hunters.


Labo Life Store (5 Place de la Corderie, tel. 04 91 59 16 06) This trendsetting design store stocks an eclectic array of fabulous ceramics, decorative crafts and one-of-a-kind clothing items that mix modern and vintage styles so irresistible you'll want to check in another suitcase to take it all home.


Stretch the legs with a visit to the calanques, a series of limestone cliffs overlooking the ocean. Your best bet is to start at the pretty seaside town of Cassis and follow the signs, though it can be difficult to escape the lure of the almond croissants in the numerous bakery windows.

Sightseeing


Festival de Marseille (15 June to 9 July, www.festivaldemarseille.com) This three-week creative fest showcases the very best of Marseille's cutting-edge culture with a jam-packed schedule of dance, music, theatre, film screenings and other contemporary arts taking place in various venues around town.

Key Areas


Les Apéros du Bateau 4 June to 27 August At dusk each Sunday, fun-loving seafarers can board a pleasure cruiser to watch the sunset while adrift in Marseille's azure waters. Along with its on-board chef and cocktail bar, the boat ride lures with a line-up of cracking live acts and DJs that set the tempo for sundeck grooves. Tickets €21.80, www.digitick.com


All glass and light, Les Terrasses du Port (9 quai Lazaret, (0) 4889146 00 lesterrassesduport.com) is modern architecture distilled. Not that the visitors care, they're too busy hurling their cash at the 160 shops huddled within.

Day Trips


Just 20km east of Marseille lies the plane-tree shaded town of Aubagne, best known as the birthplace of the great Provençal storyteller Marcel Pagnol. Visit during its festive market from mid-November when ceramicists and artisans sell their traditional santon nativity figurines that make original take-home gift.

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*Prices shown are per person based on two people flying on the same booking. Fees & charges may apply. Min 4 seats available per flight, one way inc. taxes.