Best beaches in Marseille (with photos & map)
Marseille is a sea and port city located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, until the 70s of the 20th century, the city did not have a single city beach. Therefore, in 1975, during the construction of the city metro, the city authorities decided to build an artificial beach. It was the first beach in Marseille and it was called Prado Beach Park. Later, other beaches were built in the city. Now in Marseille, there are more than 10 excellent beaches where you can not only sunbathe and swim but also do water sports. For example, you can rent a catamaran, windsurf, surf, water ski and much more. We have made a list of the best beaches in Marseille, which are worth visiting if you want to relax on the Mediterranean coast but don’t know which beach to choose.
Prado is the largest beach in Marseille, it covers 26 hectares and 3.5 kilometers of coastline. Also, it is also the most popular beach among tourists. Therefore, in the summer it can be quite crowded. Every year more than 3.5 million people visit Prado beaches to relax and swim in the Mediterranean sea. Prado Beach Park consists of few beaches: Prado Nord, Prado Sud, Anse de Bonneveine, La Vieille Chapelle, La Plage Borely, La Plage de l'Huveaune. These are mainly pebble beaches. This is interesting, that Prado beaches specialize in water sports. Thus, a lot of sports events take place here, such as festivals of windsurfers, kiters, divers, beach volleyball and others. You can get Prado beaches by city buses number 19 and 83. The entrance to all these beaches is free, but sometimes you need to pay for the use of sports facilities.
The Catalans sandy beach is the closest to the center, located a 15-minute walk from the Old Port. It is a perfect place if you want to freshen up and take a swim while walking around the city. But it is not suitable for those looking for quiet relaxation since it is quite noisy and crowded. Unlike the neighboring Du Prado beach complex, Catalan beach is natural. It was originally a private beach, but a few years ago it was opened to the public. Now, this is probably the most popular beach in Marseille. The Catalans beach is equipped with a lifeguard station, toilets and beach volleyball courts. There are also many beach bars and cafes around, as well as a pizzeria restaurant. In the summer, free entertainment for children is organized here every morning. It also hosts several sports events, including the largest regional beach volleyball championship. Also, from the Calatan beach opens a great view of Chateau D’If.
Le Petit Pavillon
This is a private beach located a little further than the Catalan beach. This is the best option for those who love comfort. Here you can not only have a good rest but also try delicious Mediterranean food. The restaurant of Le Petit Pavillon is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine and delicious seafood. A stay on the beach all day from 10 to 18 hours costs 20 €, and half a day (10: 00-14: 00 or 14: 00-18: 00) will cost you 15 €. This price includes a deck chair, separate entrance to the sea, shower, changing cabins.
Right behind Prado beach in the harbor of Pointe Rouge is situated the longest sandy beach in Marseille. There are many bars, cafes, and restaurants. Pointe Rouge is a great place to relax for families with children as it is perfectly equipped for kids. Also, this place is ideal for surfing. Moreover, there are many clubs on the coast that offer their services in training, instructing and renting surfing equipment.
Beaches near Marseille
Marseille is a large port city and despite the fact that it has a coastline, not all of its beaches are ideal for swimming. However, not far from the city there are amazing places with azure water, sandy and pebble beaches, and breathtaking views. Here are the best beaches in the Provence region and perhaps all of France that are worth a visit.
Plage de la Grand Mar
This is the largest beach situated in Cassis, a small coastal town located 30 kilometers from Marseille. It is a fairly clean beach attended by a lifeguard. Here you can rent a pedal, a kayak, as well as buy food and drinks. The beach is ideal for families with children.
Calanque Port Pin
This Calanque is located near the center of Marseille and you can simply walk here in about half an hour. Easily accessible, the Calanque de Port-Pin is very popular among tourists. In addition to its convenient location, Port Pin beach has crystal clear turquoise water, which is ideal for swimming. By the way, Calanque Port Pin is named after the numerous pine trees that grow here even on the rocks.
Calanque d’En Vau
This is probably the most picturesque Calanque in the entire National Park. Calanque d’En Vau is surrounded by high white cliffs that attract climbers all year round. There is also a pebble beach which is accessible by a path from the road if you come by car, from the sea by boat.
The best time to go on the beach in Marseille
The best time to visit Marseille is from October to April when there are not many tourists. However, at this time of the year, the sea is cold and only extreme lovers can swim on the beaches. Just remember that in winter there are no lifeguards on the beaches of Marseille. However, this is a great time to enjoy the sea air, have a picnic on the beach and to walk in the deserted streets of the city. If you prefer a traditional beach holiday, you need to come to Marseille in the summer during the bathing season. At this time of year, the weather is best for going to the beach. The most comfortable water temperature is here in July and August. However, it is during these months that the beaches are most crowded. Therefore, it is better to go to the beaches located near Marseille and visit Calanques.