Are you looking for the best day trips from Marseille? This guide has you covered!
These Marseille day trips will guide you all around the south of France! From vineyards to adventure spots – and beyond!
Did we miss any of the best places to visit near Marseille? Let us know in the comments!
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Best Day Trips From Marseille
Distance from Marseille: 32.2 km (37 minutes)
Aix-en-Provence is a stunning university city known for its affluent charm, historic buildings, curved streets lined with plane trees, and beautiful squares with many fountains.
There are numerous pedestrian-only streets in the heart of the city, some of which include Rue Gaston de Saporta, Rue des Tanneurs, Rue Tournefort, Rue de la Vallerie, Rue Marechal Foch, and Rue Gibelin.
There is a regular market throughout the week from 8 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., south of the Hotel de Ville plaza in La Place Richelme, called Le Grande Marche.
Explore one of the many fountains in Aix at the Place d’Albertas, a hidden gem, and 18th-century Baroque-style historic square, or at the Fontaine Moussue, a rock fountain covered in moss along the Cours Mirabeau.
There is also the giant La Fontaine de la Rotonde where the pedestrian-only streets intersect with the driving routes.
The town features numerous museums, including Paul Cezanne’s art studio.
2. Calanques National Park
Distance from Marseille: 15.6 km (36 minutes)
Calanques National Park embraces the seaside town of Cassis to the northwest, and the best entrance to the park would actually be near the beaches and many ports of the town situated on the Calanques, including the Port Miou and Port Pin.
You can start the Calanques de Cassis hike from either of those two ports or even directly from the Calanque d’En-Vau, which is easily the most magnificent of the sights in the national park.
If you’re arriving by car, there is the Parking de la Presqu’île with its own hiking trail leading up to the grand sights, as well.
The Calanques have their own names to help visitors navigate their way around, not only from Cassis but from other neighboring villages and entrances, such as Les Goudes and Sormiou.
A few include the Calanque de Podestat, Calanque de Marseilleveyre, Calanque de Callelongue, Calanque de Queyrons, Calanque de Morgiou, and Calanque de Sugiton.
Distance from Marseille: 92.8 km (1 hour, 12 minutes)
Arles is a town of both art and history and is known for its old and faded architecture and open squares throughout.
The partly restored two-tiered amphitheater is the emblem of the town and was anciently a venue for gladiatorial battles.
For more ancient ruins, at the northern end of town, there are the Baths of Constantine and the Necropolis with sarcophagi and a church.
Further, explore the city’s antiquity at the Museum of Ancient Arles.
Otherwise, the artistic town has medieval squares and architecture, like the Place de la Republique and the Church of Saint Trophime.
In the same medieval part of the city, you can find Van Gogh’s paintings in the famous Place du Forum cafe, which is a great place to stop by for a coffee.
Distance from Marseille: 199.1 km (2 hours, 25 minutes)
Enjoy the view of the beautiful blue Mediterranean sights along the Promenade des Anglais, a 7-kilometer paved open pathway with many attractive shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants along the way.
Take a walk through Nice’s Old Town for a glimpse back in time.
The medieval layout resembles a village, with picturesque streets curving between more small restaurants and open markets sprinkled between historic buildings with red-tile roofs.
Follow the cobblestone pathways up Castle Hill with views overlooking the seaside town and the port.
Place Massena is a marvelous city square between the beach and the Central Avenue of the city, with a beautiful fountain lighting up the center amongst unique black and white tiles surrounded by a variety of dining establishments and shops in red-colored buildings.
The Fountaine du Soleil is shining at its center. Place Garibaldi is another picturesque square with many attractions and vibrant yellow-colored buildings.
Distance from Marseille: 102.8 km (1 hour, 13 minutes)
Avignon is a stunning medieval town that looks straight out of a fairytale.
It is situated on the Rhône River and was the nucleus of the Catholic popes for more than half of the 14th century.
The massive building in the city center with turrets and towers is the Palais des Papes, which is surrounded by fortified ramparts and feels like a town in its own right.
The inner part of the town has maintained its historical village ambiance with picturesque dining and lounging opportunities for visitors and locals alike.
Avignon’s Pont Saint-Bénézet, or Pont d’Avignon, only maintains a portion of its former glory and rests on 4 arches of its original 22 over the Rhône.
The Chapel of Saint Nicholas also remains on the bridge.
Head over to the iconic Rue des Teinturiers for charming and aesthetic sights of historic residences, such as the Pénitents Gris d’Avignon and Maison du IV de Chiffre.
Distance from Marseille: 170 km (2 hours)
Montpellier is distinguished as a beautiful city with a maintained historical and medieval center situated on a hill– hence the name.
The main square, Place de la Comédie otherwise known as Place de L’ouef by the locals, is a pedestrian-only space and the heart of the city. It is lined by popular cafes, bars, and restaurants.
The cultural city also has numerous galleries and museums, such as the Musée Fabre and Musée Fougau.
Check out the street markets of the Marché des Arceaux near the Arc de Triomphe and the massive Saint Clément Aqueduct’s arches near the landmark water tower.
The Gothic Cathedral of Saint-Pierre is the emblem of the town and a Montpellier itinerary must, dating back to 1364, and is notable for its conical towers.
Take a walk through Porte & Promenade du Peyrou and feel the city life while marveling at the historic and classical architecture, before going to see its contemporary counterpart in Esplanade de l’Europe.
Distance from Marseille: 93.1 km (1 hour, 17 minutes)
Gordes is a small, traditional hilltop village that is virtually car-free with stunning historical and architectural sights.
Dominating the skyline is the Château de Gordes, which has been the heart of the village since the first millennia featuring both Renaissance and Medieval characteristics. It often hosts local exhibitions inside!
Explore the Caves of the Palais Saint Firmin, a world beneath to help sustain the artisanal life of its counterpart above!
Excavations showcase a tannery, olive oil mills, and silos carved into the earth.
Another beautiful church is the picturesque 12th-century L’Eglise Saint Fermin, notable for its faded colors, Italian-style interior artwork, and eight small chapels dedicated to patron saints with artisanal backgrounds.
Follow the many cobbled lanes through ancient gateways and you’ll find numerous creperies, cafes, ice cream shops, and of course, specialty boutique shops with local and southern French crafts, and their olive oil, which is still mashed today using a traditional stone wheel.
Distance from Marseille: 219.2 km (2 hours, 34 minutes)
Eze is a picturesque village perched on the hilltops between Nice and Monaco.
The panoramic views from the mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the ancient houses decorated with vines and flowers are just the beginning.
Seeing Beaulieu sûr Mer, Eze sûr Mer, and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat will have you doubting your eyes!
Like something out of a movie, you’ll find centuries-old stonework and colorful shutters as you wander through the village.
Le Jardin Exotique is exactly as it sounds, with exotic species of flowers and other plants in addition to the gorgeous local plants, it dates back to the 12th century and is located in the castle walls at the very top of the village.
Appreciate the village’s stunning architecture at the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, a vibrant gold building and the town’s oldest, dating back to the 14th century.
Explore the narrow streets and steps for many hotels, shops, and galleries.
9. Gorges du Verdon
Distance from Marseille: 158.6 km (2 hours, 27 minutes)
In the southeast of France is a river canyon carved by the Verdon, with stunning and massive limestone cliffs and white-water rapids.
The natural area called Gorges du Verdon is protected and abundant in flora and fauna with villages dispersed throughout the extensive 188,000 hectares of the park.
Within the steep gorges, you can find the plateau of Valensole, the hills of Haut Var, Lake Sainte-Croix where the narrow canyons pass through, and the mountains of Artuby and Verdon.
Near the La-Palud-suir-Verdon are three marvelous gorges you can’t miss: the Mescala, Imbut, and Le Styx.
Looping through the La-Palud-suir-Verdon is the Belvedere of the Dent d’Aire, a panoramic viewpoint situated on the 24-kilometer Route des Crêtes, which is surrounded by over a dozen belvederes.
The Blanc-Martel trail leads to numerous belvedere, including the Le Balcon de la Mescla, and ends at Le Point Sublime, which looks over the gateway to the canyon, the Samson corridor.
Distance from Marseille: 174.4 km (2 hours, 3 minutes)
Cannes is more than just its famous international film festival– from sandy beaches to its stunning coastline highlighted by luxurious hotels and boutiques, this resort town will show you the glamour it’s known for at every corner of its territory.
The Vieux Port de Cannes is full of yachts and boats and gives picturesque views of the sea.
The medieval quarter surrounding the marina of the Vieux Port has alleys lined with bars as well as the Château de la Castre museum.
Along the entire coastline of Cannes is the 2-kilometer-long Boulevard de la Croisette, which features the most iconic restaurants, shops, and hotels, as well as the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, a modern venue with a red carpet, where the Cannes Film Festival is held annually, and the town’s walk of fame, Allée des Étoiles.
Other highlights in Cannes include the Marché Forville, Église Notre-Dame d’Espérance, and the Île Sainte-Marguerite.
Distance from Marseille: 33.9 km (40 minutes)
Towering over the quaint fishing town of Cassis is the 13th-century Château de Cassis, which functions today as a popular bed & breakfast.
The pebble and sand beaches of Cassis are just the beginning– numerous entrances into the Calanques are just steps away from the beach and it will lead you into an enchanting world of steep, limestone cliffs and green vegetation framing deep, blue Mediterranean waters.
There are also secret beaches to discover in Cassis!
The harbor is packed with a variety of vessels and the pastel-colored buildings in the backdrop only make it more charming.
There are endless cafes, restaurants, and shopping boutiques, including the popular Eau de Cassis. Locally, especially on the drive down, you can find hills and valleys full of vineyards known for producing Cassis’ renowned white wine.
Overlooking both the valleys of vineyards and the beach are Cape Canaille and Couronne de Charlemagne, and both have trails that give panoramic views of the area!
12. Sénanque Abbey
Distance from Marseille: 96.7 km (1 hour, 23 minutes)
Not too far from the picturesque village of Gordes is Sénanque Abbey, known for its stunning bloom of lavender.
Monks live in this charming abbey to this day, and the 12th-century medieval complex includes a church, a chapter room, a reading room, dormitories, and cloisters.
Arrive early in the day for a complete guided tour, and if you’re not familiar with the monk’s practices, the only place where they are permitted to speak is in the chapter room.
To sustain the abbey and maintain its cultural heritage and sacred integrity, the monks developed a few businesses to buttress it: the honey and lavender that they tend to and harvest, along with the surrounding forest, they present in the gift shop as souvenirs; guided tours through the complex; and they created a retreat where guests will be looked after and fed.
You are invited to also partake in a contemplative church service with the monks.
13. Camargue Regional Park
Distance from Marseille: 107.3 km (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Between the Rhone River and the Mediterranean Sea is the Ile de Camargue, a vast plain with rich landscapes.
To the east is La Crau and to the west is La Petite Camargue, and neither end of the park reaches over 4.5 meters above sea level.
The park is naturally found along the shoreline of the city with the same name and protects a marine area and the wetland environment connected to it.
The Étang de Vaccarès is a lagoon that was expanded into the park, and all three natural characteristics of the park make it home to a variety of birds, like flamingos.
Additionally, there are white horses, black bulls, and even beaver rats, making it a great weekend break for nature lovers!
The regional park has hiking trails, but because they are so large, they are also an exceptional option for mountain biking.
For the authentic Camargue experience, go farther south to the marshlands, salt flats, and saltwater lakes.
Distance from Marseille: 121.6 km (1 hour, 29 minutes)
To the northwest of Marseille in the Occitanie region is Nimes, an important city for the Roman Empire.
It is renowned for its well-preserved monuments from the Roman area, some of which date back 2,000 years.
One of them includes the Maison Carrée Roman temple made of white limestone, and the other is the tri-level Pont du Gard, the tallest aqueduct of all Roman aqueduct bridges.
One of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world is the Arena of Nîmes, with two tiers consisting of 34 tiers of terraces, and is still used today to host a variety of events and concerts, like historical re-enactments and bullfights!
Les Jardins de La Fontaine is more a recent, 17th-century park on 15 hectares of land, however, showcases marvelous and anciently-inspired sculptures to highlight its ponds and gardens alongside its Roman ruins.
The Temple of Diana, Nîmes Cathedral, and Tour Magne are more options to explore!
Distance from Marseille: 238.8 km (2 hours, 34 minutes)
Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France and has been continuously inhabited since 575 BCE.
It is in the Occintanie region and is famous for its well-preserved and charming medieval appearance, which has historically revolved around the mysterious Cathars.
The 13th-century Cathédrale Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Béziers is a church that was constructed during the Middle Ages on top of a previous church that was destroyed during the Albigensian Crusade.
From the porches of the church, you will be granted panoramic views of the rest of the city, the River Orb, and Massif Centrale. It is one of the best things to do in Béziers for first-time visitors.
The 12th-century Pont Vieux spans over the River Orb and also has picturesque views of Béziers.
The Plateau Des Poètes is a charming garden ornamented with statues and is near Le Pont-Canal or the Canal du Midi, another stunning bridge crossing the Orb.
On it is the Les 9 Écluses de Fonseranes, a staircase of lock chambers.
Where to Stay in Marseille
- App-Arte Marseille Vieux-Port (our favorite option!)
- La Residence Du Vieux Port (has amazing views)
- Terrasse by MaisonMars (great location!)
Did we miss any of the best day trips from Marseille?
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Aram is a travel blogger and writer from Armenia who spends his time between Spain and his home country. He is passionate about music and football (the European kind) and covers a lot of Western European destinations on the blog. Aram is a laidback traveler who enjoys meeting new people and finding the best food in each city that he visits (hence his frequent trips to France, Italy, and Greece!). He has been featured in (or written for) Forbes, BBC, The Guardian, Fodor’s Travel, and more.