The Mediterranean, from beach to creek

Not to be missed - Family

Do you love the seaside and the great outdoors? Wild countryside bathed in sunlight? Then this tour was made for you! Over three days, take a tour of unspoilt places that have earned Provence's coastline such a fantastic reputation. Begin at the immaculate and practically deserted Camargue beach before continuing your trip with an invigorating stroll around the Côte Bleue Marine Park. Then cap off your long weekend between Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat with a tour of the calanques (creeks) including the lovely and secluded En-Vau. A fresh breath of sea air!

Day 1 – The wild beaches of Camargue (Arles, Les Saintes)

Day one, immerse yourself completely in the Camargue countryside. If galloping across sandy beaches that go on for miles sounds a great way to start the day, head to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and La Grenouillère equestrian centre. Or to explore the coast from the water, Kayak Vert Camargue can take you on a canoe. For lunch, tuck into a delicious fish speciality while admiring the sea views. Then head to Arles for the afternoon, either on the beach or following the Capelière nature trail.

Day 2 – Côte Bleue Marine Park (Martigues, Marseille)

Start your second day in Martigues with a guided tour of the 'Blue Coast' by rickshaw. Continue onward to Sausset-les-Pins where you can simply relax on Rives d'Or beach or try scuba diving with Côte Bleue Plongée. Carry-le-Rouet has a selection of eateries for lunch. In the afternoon, the beach at Fernandel calanque is ideal for a siesta or have a go at stand-up paddleboarding if you're feeling adventurous. The perfect end to a perfect day, watch the sunset over Petit Méjean beach in Ensuès-la-Redonne.

Day 3 – Incredible calanques (Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat)

End your tour by exploring the stunning scenery at the Parc National des Calanques which encompasses 8,500 hectares of land and 43,500 hectares of turquoise waters. In Marseille first, Sormiou creek and its huts are pretty as a picture. Then, by boat or on foot, take a tour of the limestone cliffs shaped by the erosive power of the Mediterranean waves crashing into them. Onwards to Cassis for lunch then follow the Route des Crêtes to La Ciotat, the final stop in the national park where sites include Cap Canaille and Le Mugel creek.

Can't-miss experiences

  • Watching the kitesurfers at sunset in Beauduc.
  • Horse-riding on the beaches in Camargue.
  • Canoeing your way around the calanques.
  • Exploring the sea bed along the Côte Bleue wearing a snorkel

We love

  • Alternating between sweeping sandy beaches, small fishing ports, secluded creeks and majestic calanques

The best time to visit

  • In spring to have the sea to yourself before the summer tourists.
  • In May for the gypsy pilgrimage in Saintes-Maries.
  • In September for the Fête du Vent festival in Marseille
  • Theme

    Not to be missed, Family

  • Duration

    Stay

  • Transport means

    Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Saintes Maries de la Mer, Arles, Martigues, Marseille, Cassis, La Ciotat

  • Ideal for

    Spring, Summer

Discover other itineraries

Saint Rémy and its painters

Come and spend a delightful half-day in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a typical Provençal village in the Alpilles. Following in Van Gogh's footsteps, get to know the famous artist more intimately as you stroll around the streets and other locations he used to visit. While he only spent a year here, when he was a self-admitted patient at the Saint-Paul asylum, he left an indelible mark on the town and its history. Make time also to see the magnificent Provençal building that houses the Estrine Museum dedicated to the artist.

Arles and Van Gogh

This tour is centred around the ancient city of Arles, founded 2,500 years ago. A busy day ahead awaits during which you'll get to visit seven landmarks where Van Gogh came to find inspiration, including the Langlois Bridge and the Alyscamps. At the Espace Van Gogh, soak up the special atmosphere of the Hôtel-Dieu, a former hospital. The Fondation Van Gogh, meanwhile, will show you the influence the Dutch painter has had on contemporary artists. For lunch look no further than the highly rated A Côté Le Bistro before visiting Montmajour Abbey.

From Camargue to Saintes Maries de la Mer – nature, terroir and tradition

Promising an unforgettable day out, head off to explore Camargue, in particular the towns of Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The region is famed for its unspoilt countryside that is sure to stimulate all your senses. Anyone with a penchant for fine wine will enjoy the organic varieties produced at Mas de la Valériole while foodies can try the famed Camargue rice. And nature lovers can watch white horses, black bulls and pink flamingos that have put this magnificent region on the map in their natural habitat by visiting Manade Mailhan and the ornithological park or by taking a walk along the sea wall.

Inspirations

Almonds

Almonds

(Re)conquering Provence

Can anyone resist an almond? Everyone raves about these little nuggets of happiness you can savour every which way – fresh, dried, whole, grilled, sliced, ground or made into a cream or milk!

Lights, Camera, Action! Provence and the Movies

Lights, Camera, Action! Provence and the Movies

The history of cinema in Provence dates back many years. And similarly to the region's artistic hall of fame, it was inspired by light...

As you may know, the very first moving picture was screened by the Lumière brothers ('Lumière' meaning 'light') on September 21st, 1895 in La Ciotat.

The Three Kings Cake

The Three Kings Cake

Tradition

Epiphany in Provence is like nowhere else!

The Sun

The Sun

Sunshine, one of the fundamentals of life in the South…