Dear old stones
Do you love old stone buildings and Provence? For this heritage tour, start your day at Marseille's Roman docks before heading to the modern and interactive Marseille history museum. Today's lunch recommendation is Une Table au Sud in the Old Port. It's very close to the city's archaeological museum, a fantastic way to get to grips with Marseille from today and back to the past. The following day, a morning at the Arles Antique museum will fly by until your lunch at Mas de la Fenière in the shade of mulberry trees. In Saint-Rémy, the ancient town of Glanum will bring your two-day tour to a wonderful conclusion.
Day 1 – Discover Marseille's Roman docks
Place Vivaux 13002 Marseille
Begin your tour of ancient Marseille by journeying back in time to the Roman Docks Museum on Place Vivaux. It shows ruins of a Roman warehouse, a rare find and testament to the city's vocation as a transit port in antiquity that was sustained for over 1,000 years. The fruits of the archaeological digs from the area include thirty earthenware jars from the time and other ancient relics.
Day 1 – Marseille History Museum
2 Rue Henri Barbusse Centre Bourse 13001 Marseille
Kick off your morning with a chronological tour of the city at the cutting-edge Marseille History Museum. Not far from the Old Port, it occupies 15,500 square metres making it one of France's biggest history museums. Exhibits include maps of the city through the ages and moving around the objects presented in their context, from paintings to ships. The guided tour is recommended, especially to explore the Historic Way, the oldest road in France connecting the museum to Fort Saint-Jean, thanks to augmented reality technology.
A real taste of Marseille at Une Table au Sud
2 Quai Du Port 13002 Marseille
For lunch, put yourself in the safe hands of Michelin-starred chef Ludovic Turac and his wife Karine, a trained sommelier. Une Table au Sud (1 Michelin star and 'Tables 13' endorsed) serves refined Provençal and Marseillais dishes revisited with a modern touch. A fantastic view of the Old Port from the upstairs dining room.
Day 1 – Explore the city's roots at the archaeology museum
Centre de la Vieille Charité 2 Rue De la Charité 13002 Marseille
This tour of Marseille will immerse you in the city's history, starting with a visit to the archaeology museum to see where it all began. Set in the former Charité hospital for the poor, the museum features an excellent Egypt collection and exhibits on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations. There is plenty to keep pottery enthusiasts occupied too, including an exquisite Cretan oenoochoe (ancient wine jug) with Mediterranean decoration.
Day 2 – Glanum in Saint-Rémy, an ancient town accessible to all
Avenue Vincent Van Gogh Route des Baux-de-Provence 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Why not spend the afternoon looking around Glanum? This ancient town built out of limestone was abandoned around 270 A.D. In the heart of the Alpilles mountains, this is a fascinating visit to a Gaulish city settled around a spring on an ancient Greek site. To see: mosaics, baths, a house with an atrium and stunning views over the surrounding countryside, simply magical!
- Seeing an authentic Roman boat from ancient times in such excellent condition
- Journeying back in time hundreds of centuries thanks to the powers of augmented reality
- Discovering exceptional archaeological collections
- Resitting your history classes and liking it!
The best time to visit
- In April for the bodega atmosphere of the Feria de Pâques or
- Around 1 May to attend the votive celebrations during the Fête des Gardians in Arles
- In October to experience the Fiesta des Suds, Marseille's world music festival
By public transport, Personal vehicle
- Visited cities
All year round
Discover other itineraries
Walking tour in Arles by d'Anaïs et Pedro
Arles, a magnificent town with not only an exceptional ancient heritage but much more to discover. This corner of paradise in our beautiful Provence region combines boutiques, lovely terraces for refreshments, museums and lots more hidden treasures! You only have to look up as you wander through the town to observe its unusual architecture; incidentally all its monuments were listed by the UNESCO World Heritage committee in 1981.
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