Marseille is France’s second biggest city, and has been a bustling port for hundreds of years. It’s still bustling, but the boats jammed mast-to-mast in the harbor these days are mostly yachts and pleasure boats. Visitors should begin in Vieux Port, the historic heart of the city. Here, you can see St. Victor’s Abbey, Phare de Sainte Marie lighthouse, and tour the 17th-century Fort Saint-Jean. While you’re seaside, consider stopping at one of the cafes near the Port for a delicious serving of the traditional fish stew known as Bouillabaisse.

If you feel like taking a small sea voyage, catch a boat to the Château d'If, an island fortress and prison immortalized in Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Or take a trip 15 kilometers down the coast to Parc National des Calanques, where jagged limestone cliffs plunge into the blue-green sea for what is sure to be the photo opportunity of a lifetime.


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