Marseilles epitomizes the Southern French experience – incredible food, pleasant atmosphere, gorgeous views and a melting array of European and African culture will beckon you to come and enjoy. XL Airways invites you to see what this 2500 year old port city has to offer!
Marseilles has long been one of the most important trading centers of Europe, and for many years was France’s main trading port with the Mediterranean and wider world. Its natural bay (the Bay of Marseilles), in addition to providing fodder for painters throughout history, also made it a perfect spot for harboring and protecting trading vessels from all over the world. This plus the mass of post-World War II immigrants means that Marseilles’ incorporates French, Italian, North African, and Iberian culture.
Some things you might like to know before heading to Marseilles…
- Le Vieux Port is, literally, “the old port” – where countries all over the world would send ships to trade with mainland France and Europe. Today shipping is directed to more modern Marseilles ports, and le Vieux Port has become a dock for private yachts and a focal point for tourism and culture. Here you can enjoy the wonderful views of the Mediterranean from a delightful French restaurant or café.
- Marseilles was bombed by the Nazis and Allies in World War II, and some parts of the city (especially the most ancient) have had to be partially rebuilt in the recent years.
- In French “Notre Dame” means “our lady” – it probably makes you think of “Notre Dame de Paris,” but there is in fact a Notre Dame de Marseilles which is just as worth visiting, both for its stunning architecture and for its breathtaking views overlooking Marseilles.
- Marseilles is the 2nd biggest city in France (after Paris), and those interested will find plenty to do in the city’s night life, various festivals and concerts, tours of the city’s architecture and history. Additionally, one can find museums about a range of topics from Greco-Roman culture to contemporary art in France!
- Fishing and shipping are still major economies in Marseilles – you might be surprised at how much fun you can have watching various ships and boats come into harbor!