Off the beaten tracks
Your tour of Martigues is designed for lazy contemplation and new discoveries. It's a quiet town so you might be surprised to see such rich heritage there, from the Annonciade Chapel to Fort Bouc and the Ziem Museum. The 'Venice of Provence' has a strong artistic legacy and you won't fail to be enchanted by the legendary 'Miroir aux Oiseaux', the place that gave so much inspiration to great masters. All rounded off with a gourmet meal on the canal side, what more could you want?
Guided tour of Annonciade Chapel
Boulevard Richaud 13500 Martigues
Start your day with a visit to Annonciade des Pénitents Blancs Chapel. Listed as an Historic Monument, this Baroque-style chapel boasts sumptuous décor featuring trompe-l’œil paintings, a gilded reredo and a Venetian ceiling. While you're there, visit the 17th century church of Saint-Genest whose façade includes the statue of the founder of the Order of the Saint John (Ordre de Malte).
Musing at Quai Brescon or the 'Miroir aux Oiseaux'
Quai Brescon 13500 Martigues
The perfect after-dinner stroll, head to the Miroir aux Oiseaux, a lovely little spot whose reflective waters inspired so many painters. Just like Delacroix, Ziem or Dufy, you'll be instantly charmed by its colourful façades and shrubbery once filled with birds. You won't be able to resist taking souvenir photos of the fishermen's cottages reflected in the canal.
The Musée Ziem: from Orientalism to archaeology
Boulevard Du 14 juillet 13500 Martigues
Ready for some culture? Then step inside the Félix Ziem museum, named after the major contributor to Martigues' most important arts centre. See works produced by this artist who defies classification at temporary exhibitions and permanent collections on show. With his representations of Constantinople, Venice and other Provençal tartanes (a Mediterranean sailing boat), Ziem bathed his canvases in a particular light that captures and holds the regard. Also to see: the top floor dedicated to archaeological digs in Martigues.
Visit to Fort de Bouc, the guardian of the sea
Chemin De la Jetée 13500 Martigues
To conclude your visit of Martigues, set sail for Fort de Bouc. Built during the Middle Ages to defend the passage between Fos Gulf and Berre lagoon, this imposing fortification with its pink limestone walls sits at the mouth of the Caronte channel. Accessed by boat, guided tours available in summer only (2.5 hours in total).
- Sunbathing with the locals on the patrolled Verdon beach, a beautiful stretch of fine sand awarded a Blue Flag
- Spending time with the family in the huge Parc de Figuerolles, in the north of the town
- Catching the train from Martigues station that travels along the stunning Côte Bleue
- Walking hand in hand through the heart of the Venice of Provence along the canal lined with colourful houses
- Tasting poutargue (the caviar of Martiques!) while admiring the view over the Miroir aux Oiseaux
- Exploring the rich heritage of Martigues, in particular Annonciade des Pénitents Blancs Chapel and Fort de Bouc
The best time to visit
- In April to take part in the kite festival on Verdon beach
- July-August to attend the Festival de Martigues, Jonquières night market and the votive celebrations in Saint-Julien
- Early September to relish all the flavours and aromas of Les Italiennes, an Italian farmers market
Off the beaten tracks
All year round
Discover other itineraries
Provence in a day
Less than 30 kilometres from the port of Marseille, Provence is a rich tapestry of stunning scenery and traditional art de vivre. Before continuing on your cruise, take a day to explore the many ingredients that make up the eternal Provence through three iconic towns: Aubagne, Aix-en-Provence and Les Baux-de-Provence. You'll get to see the variety of Provençal architecture condensed into a day, taste sweet and savoury local specialities and admire breath-taking landscapes the colour of Bibemus stone.
Shopping itinerary in Aubagne by Sogirlyblog
A typical Provence village, but Aubagne has some hidden surprises! A few minutes from Marseille, we discover a universe that is typically Provencal as we enter the streets and alleys of Aubagne, with the production of Christmas crib figures or “santons”, ochre walls and a mixture of craftsmen that welcome you into their world and invite you to wander through the town, often unacknowledged by the regions habitants.
Between sea & hills, La Ciotat with all the family
A renowned seaside resort, the town of La Ciotat has plenty of surprises up its sleeve! You can opt for a casual seaside stroll or take the easy route into the hills. This break offers a variety of activities: outdoor recreation led by "Expenature", the beautiful ''Jardins de l'Espérance" park, fun and games at the "Flots Bleus" Casino and culture at the Eden Theatre – the world's oldest movie theatre still in operation! There's no doubt about it, La Ciotat has something for every taste. What's more, the town has recently refashioned its footpaths, now accessible to reduced-mobility visitors, for an enchanting break between town and country.
Provence "à la mode"
The forerunner of modern art, Cézanne is fittingly celebrated today in his home town of Aix-en-Provence, magnificently portrayed in his work. For the last 40 years, this illustrious painter has been setting the pace for the region's artistic life.
Art de vivre
The accent: our identity
This sport (yes, Pétanque is a sport, but we'll talk about that later) is an intrinsic part of life in Marseille and has been from generation to generation!
Every quarter has its own boules court and/or boules association, including, of course, a watering hole...