The Côte Bleue

Off the beaten tracks - Family

Between Calanques National Park and Camargue Regional Nature Park, the 'Blue Coast' promises a bracing breath of fresh air! By the sea, there is something for every taste, from the beautiful Sainte-Croix beach in Martigues to the quaint little beach at Fernandel calanque in Carry-le-Rouet. Water sports enthusiasts will be in their element in Sausset-lès-Pins where they can choose between learning to dive and having a go at stand-up paddleboarding. Of course, foodies are catered for too at Le Madrigal and Le Mange-Tout. Ready? Steady... Go!

Lazy days on Sainte-Croix beach

Or alternatively head to the beautiful Saint-Croix beach, awarded a Blue Flag, for a morning swim. The coastal path passes through the beach so you can easily follow it for a gentle stroll leading from the chapel that overlooks the sea. Carpeted in fine sand and surrounded by pine trees, it's one of the prettiest beaches in Martigues. It's patrolled by lifeguards and there is paid parking available close by. In high season, we suggest getting there early to avoid the crowds.

Scuba diving in total safety

Les Marines du Port 13960 Sausset les Pins

Next it's onwards to Sausset-les-Pins to explore the marine wildlife with the team at Côte Bleue Plongée. This diving club offers diving for beginners and scuba excursions for groups at remarkable locations. For instance you can take an underwater tour of amazing wrecks such as the Junkers 88 bomber plane. The fearless among you can go night diving.

Lunch at Le Madrigal

4 avenue Gérard Montus 13620 Carry le Rouet

After an invigorating morning, head to Carry-le-Rouet for some sustenance. Le Madrigal offers a magnificent shady terrace directly overlooking the sea. They change the menu every two months at this restaurant which is listed in the Bottin Gourmand guide. The dishes, always in season, are made using fresh produce. Beneath the pine canopy, tuck into dishes the likes of fish soup and parmigiana and round off with a refreshing fruit dessert. A real treat!

Bask in the sun at Fernandel calanque

Spend the afternoon sunbathing on Fernandel beach in Carry-le-Rouet. This is a particularly charming spot set in a cute and picturesque calanque (creek). Plus it's a stone's throw from where the French actor Fernandel built his Mille Roses Villa which has direct beach access. Now open to the public, this little corner of paradise is a great place to come and explore the marine wildlife.

Dinner at Petit Méjean beach

Another wonderful way to end the day is to wander over to Petit Méjean in Ensuès-la-Redonne. There you can tuck into plates of whitebait at the Mange-Tout with its dance hall atmosphere right on the water's edge. Set in a calanque amongst the rocks, the family-friendly eatery is surrounded by wild countryside and faces out to sea: a dining experience you won't forget in a hurry!

Can't-miss experiences

  • Wandering around the Côte Bleue riding a rickshaw
  • Admiring the extraordinary landscapes bathed in light that changes through the day
  • Exploring the wildlife at Côte Bleue Marine Park

We love

  • Catching the stunning sunset seen from the water
  • Choosing between vast stretches of sand and secluded beaches
  • Dining at an affordable local restaurant serving fresh ingredients

The best time to visit

  • Early August to attend Fête de la Moule, Martigues' mussel festival
  • From June to August for the traditional sardine and Danses au Miroir festivals
  • Theme

    Off the beaten tracks, Family

  • Duration

    1 day

  • Transport means

    By public transport, Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Martigues, Sausset les Pins, Carry le Rouet, Ensuès la Redonne

  • Ideal for

    Summer

Discover other itineraries

Essential La Ciotat – the cradle of cinema

For your one-day tour of La Ciotat, you can relax on the Grande Plage or the beach at Figuerolles, a popular spot for locals that you can't leave without seeing. Cinema lovers should head to the Eden Théâtre, famous for screening one of the first films produced by the Lumière brothers. The birth of film is also honoured at the Musée Ciotaden, a museum that retraces the town's history and the traditions of Provence. After an excellent lunch at Le Vin 7, potter around the shops at the Old Port. Later, make your way to the Ile Verte and Parc du Mugel for stunning views. Just don't forget your camera!

FESTIVAL D'AIX ITINERARY

The Aix-en-Provence Festival is one of the cultural highlights of summer in Provence. The festivities kick off with AIX EN JUIN – the prelude to the Festival d'Aix– and continue until July 22nd. If you want to enjoy the festival to the full, the PASS offers access to all of the AIX EN JUIN public events, together with reduced rates during the Festival itself. Headlining a packed programme of exciting concerts and master classes, this is a wonderful way to get a whole new angle on Aix-en-Provence...

Inspirations

The Pastis

The Pastis

Tradition

From the plate to the glass, Pastis is always prepared with taste…

Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol

Tradition

Everything you ever wanted to know about Marcel Pagnol!

The cicada

The cicada

The sun's rays are warming you through the pine trees, but you will not know if the summer is here until you hear THE CICADAS!

Calissons

Calissons

Aix-en-Provence prides in concocting 'Calisson' candies made with a thin candied melon paste and ground almonds topped with royal icing. Yummy