Marseille is a beautiful city, as well as the second largest after Paris, on the French Mediterranean coast, not far from other wonderful places such as Aix-en-Provence, the Camargue and other famous southern cities like Nice, Cannes and Toulon.
The city really deserves to be seen and, if the time and days available allow it, you absolutely must also explore the surrounding areas. Although these are often linked, the best way to get around is by car, as you will be free to turn and stop along the way, always full of beautiful landscapes.
So here are some tips on best day trips around Marseille.
- Aix en Provence
- The Alpilles
- Arles and La Camargue
- Avignon and Luberon
- Sault and the lavender fields
- User questions and comments
1 - Aix-en-Provence
It is the capital of Provence, is located inland, 29,6 kilometers from Marseille. The best way to reach it is by car, in order to discover the city but also to stop freely along the way to admire the beautiful landscapes that you will find in front of you. You can also reach your destination by bus, which will take you from Marseille to Aix-en-Provence-Gare routière in 55 minutes.
This Provencal town it is full of charm, also known as the city of Cézanne, of almonds and university students. Cours Mirabeau is the main street of the city, with in the southernmost part the rotonde, a majestic fountain built in 1860. From here begins the large tree-lined avenue, full of bars and restaurants.
In your visit you cannot absolutely miss the Saint-Sauveur cathedral, the main place of Catholic worship and the perfect starting point for your itinerary, the oldest part of the city, called Vieil Aix, and the Mazarin district.
- Range: 29,6 km
- 29,6 km from Marseille; reachable in 35 minutes by car or by bus from
Marseille-Marseille St. Charles to Aix-en-Provence-Gare routière, journey time 55 minutes - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; the Saint-Sauveur cathedral is open every day from 8:00 to 19:00
- admission to the cathedral is free
- Aix-en-Provence and Cassis: tour from Marseille Aix-en-Provence: markets and hilltop villages day tour
2 - The Alpilles
A small mountain range, or rather a group of hills, is located inland, 77 kilometers from Marseille. The best way to reach them is by car, which will guarantee you the freedom you need to visit this area at its best. The journey takes about an hour and a quarter.
This natural park, with its 520 square kilometers, is one of the smallest in France. Founded in 2007, extends around the city of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a stop that you absolutely must include in this day to discover the area. Among the Alpilles chain you can discover many other picturesque towns and villages that deserve at least a stop, such as Les-Baux-de-Provence. Between walking, cycling and horseback riding, this is an area absolutely worth discovering and turn in total freedom, to let yourself be carried away by the emotions of the moment.
- Range: 77,3 km
- 77,3 km from Marseille; reachable in an hour and a quarter by car, the only way to reach the destination - Get directions
- always accessible
- free admission
3 - Arles and La Camargue
They are located 85,3 kilometers from Marseille. Arles can be reached in an hour and 6 minutes by car or in 47 minutes by direct train. Our advice, however, is to rent a car to be able to move freely, especially when exploring the Camargue.
It is the city where Van Gogh decided to spend the last years of his life, was inspired by his beautiful colors so much so that, in that period, the most creative, he painted over 300 paintings. We absolutely recommend you to visit the Roman amphitheater, declared a National Monument and UNESCO World Heritage, and the church and cloister of St-Trophime, the first with a beautiful portal carved on the facade, the highest expression of Provençal Romanesque art.
Outside Arles lies the Camargue Regional Nature Park, officially established in 1972. This is a perfect place to immerse yourself in nature, undisputed mistress of this area. During your visit you cannot miss the Salin De Giraud, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (a village of gypsies in the heart of the park) and the dunes De L'Espiguette.
- Range: 85,3 km
- 85,3 km from Marseille; reachable in 6 hour and 16,30 minutes by car or by direct train from Marseille station to Arles station (€ 53), journey time minutes - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; the Roman amphitheater is open from Monday to Sunday, from May to September from 9:00 to 18:00, in October, March and April from 9:00 to 17:30; the church and cloister of St-Trophime are open Monday to Sunday in summer from 9:00 to 19:00, in winter from 10:00 to 17:00 and in spring from 8:00 to 18:00; the natural park of the Camargue is always accessible
- the entrance to the Roman amphitheater costs € 6,50, including the entrance to the ancient theater; the entrance to the church is free, the cloister of St-Trophime costs € 3,50; admission to the Camargue Regional Nature Park is free
- Arles, Les Baux & Saint Rémy de Provence: Tour from Marseille From Arles: Half-Day 4x4 Safari in the Camargue
4 - Avignon and Luberon
Beautiful city in Provence, it is located north of Marseille, about 96 kilometers away. You can reach it in an hour and 13 minutes by car or by direct train in just 39 minutes. If you also want to visit the Luberon Regional Natural Park, our advice is to rent a car, to be freer in exploring the area.
Avignon is also known as the "city of the Popes", for the Palazzo dei Papi which was built during the "Avignonese captivity". In 1305 Pope Clement V and his court took refuge in the city and the city was renamed "the second Rome". Surely in your itinerary you must include the aforementioned Palazzo dei Papi, built in just 20 years.
Just 53 kilometers from Avignon is the Luberon Regional Natural Park, which extends for 160.000 hectares and it has been recognized as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Inside it houses a very large number of animal and plant species, some of the latter very rare! The park, in addition to offering spectacular landscapes, ranging from the red of the Colorado Provençal to the intense green of the woods, is full of trekking routes, for an afternoon or a day in the middle of nature.
- Range: 96,3 km
- 96,3 km from Marseille; reachable in 13 hour and 39 by car or by direct train from Marseille station to Avignon station, journey time 22,10 minutes (€ ) - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; the Palazzo dei Papi is open from 1 September to 1 November from 9:00 to 19:00, from 2 November to 28/29 February from 9:30 to 17:45, in March from 9:00 to 18:30, from April 1st to June 30th from 9:00 to 19:00, in July from 9:00 to 20:00, in August from 9:00 to 20:30; the Luberon Regional Nature Park is always accessible
- the entrance to the Palazzo dei Papi costs € 10,50, with the St. Benezet bridge € 13,00; access to the Luberon natural park is free
- Provence: Lavender Field Tour from Avignon Avignon: Lavender Road in the Luberon Valley
5 - Cassis
It is a small fishing village, located on the coast, about 22,7 kilometers from Marseille. Reaching it is very simple, just drive along the A50 for just over half an hour. The car is the only way to reach the destination, as there are no connections with other means of transport.
It is still a city far from mass tourism, and has thus preserved its style of a small fishing village. Wedged between the sea and the Provencal hills, it is definitely worth a visit! Its historic center is characterized by pastel colored houses and from many small streets that lead to the old port, probably the most evocative area of the town. If you visit it on a Wednesday or Friday morning you will find the market, where there are many typical products.
From Cassis also many boats leave every day to take tourists to discover the beautiful "calanques", small white rock inlets, the most beautiful coves in all of Provence. We recommend that you take part in one of these boat tours and get to know this side of the French coast too!
- Range: 22,7 km
- 22,7 km from Marseille; reachable in 35 minutes by car, the only way to reach the destination - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; the market is held every Wednesday and Friday morning
- admission to the market is free
- Bandol and Cassis: Wine Tour from Marseille Cassis: Afternoon Half-Day Small Group Tour from Marseille
6 - Sault and the lavender fields
It is a beautiful French town, located on the plateau called Plateau d'Albion, and is located 104 kilometers from Marseille. The only way to reach this area is by car, in a journey of almost two hours. The alternative is to take part in the different tours that start from Marseille or go as far as Avignon and take part in one of the many daily tours from Avignon, even half day, that are organized in the city.
It is best known for its beautiful lavender fields. The village, considered the most fragrant of Provence, is located between the homonymous valley, Mount Ventoux and the Lure mountain. Here you will find yourself in front of truly incredible landscapes! Here, on August 15, the famous Lavender Festival takes place and the village is besieged by tourists, even if the best time to visit this area is the month of July! Moreover, here you will find many small shops of typical products, such as soaps, essence and honey, obviously based on lavender, but also nougat made according to tradition, exactly as it was years ago.
- Range: 104 km
- 104 km from Marseille; reachable in an hour and 49 minutes by car, the only way to reach the destination - Get directions
- always accessible
- tours start from € 95,00 - book online
- From Marseille: Sault, Roussillon & Gordes Sault Tour: Half-Day Lavender Fields from Avignon
7 - Roussillon
It is a famous French village located inland, just over 80 kilometers from Marseille.
The only way to reach this area is by car, in a journey of about an hour and a half.
When you find yourself here, it will seem to you that time has stopped at the th century, the period in which the village was founded. Walking along the main street of the city, you will come across many shops with different local products, beautiful squares and small characteristic corners. But the real reason this area is famous and attracts tourists from all over the world is the Path of the Okra, which will take you to the discovery of the ocher quarries, from which the pigment is extracted. According to legend, the color of the earth in this area is due to the blood shed with the suicide of Sirmonde, the wife of Raymonde d'Avignon. The young girl decided to commit suicide after her husband killed her young lover.
- Range: 80 km
- 80 km from Marseille; reachable in an hour and a half by car, the only way to reach the destination - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; the ocher route is accessible every day of the year
- entry to the Okra Route area costs € 2,50
- Avignon, Gordes, Roussillon and Luberon: full day tour
8 - Gordes
It is a village located inland, 81 kilometers from Marseille.
The only way to reach this area is by car, in a journey of about an hour and 20 minutes. Furthermore, it is only 13 kilometers away from Roussillon, about 18 minutes by car, so you could combine the visit to the two villages in a single day.
It is a medieval village perched on a hill, consisting entirely of stone houses perfectly preserved and intact. This postcard landscape will truly leave you speechless for its beauty. During your visit you absolutely cannot forget Gordes Castle, which, also due to its strategic position on top of the hill, has now become the reference point of the town. Today the castle is used as an exhibition space for various exhibitions.
- Range: 81,7 km
- 81,7 km from Marseille; reachable in an hour and 20 minutes by car, the only way to reach the destination - Get directions
- the city can always be visited; Gordes Castle is open daily from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 13:30 to 18:00
- the entrance to Gordes Castle varies according to the exhibition inside it
- Avignon, Gordes, Roussillon and Luberon: full day tour