winter in marseille

Last updated Jan 28, 2024

As winter embraces the Mediterranean with its gentle cool breeze, Marseille keeps enchanting us with its stunning scenery, captivating history, and fascinating culture. Away from the hustle and bustle of summer crowds and scorching temperatures, a winter visit to Marseille unveils a whole new charm. Immerse yourself in the mild weather and get to know the friendly locals who will invite you to explore the city. Whether you're into nature, relaxation, or a culture aficionado, get ready for a unique journey of discovery. Here's what's on the agenda:

 

Excursions et nature

 

Excursion to the Calanques National Park

Winter in Marseille offers a wonderful chance to explore the Calanques in a tranquil setting. Whether you prefer to explore on foot or hop on a boat, be ready to be captivated by the natural splendour of the Natural Park. Opting for a boat ride provides a distinctive viewpoint, unveiling hidden corners inaccessible by land. Even on a winter's day, the crystal-clear waters, and towering cliffs of the Calanques create an unforgettable scene.

So head to the Old-Port, just a stone’s throw away from our aparthotel and embark on a cruise with Croisières Marseille Calanques. They offer different itineraries and excursion to choose from. Alternatively, you can rent a boat to meander through the charming coves at your own leisurely pace.

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The Corniche Kennedy, Vallon des Auffes and Olympic Marina

Discover the essence of Marseille at the iconic Corniche Kennedy, where history seamlessly intertwines with the present, offering awe-inspiring vistas of the Mediterranean. Pause for reflection on the strategically placed benches lining the route, treating yourself to a moment of contemplation amidst the glistening waters and winter hues. With a length of 3 kilometers, the Corniche Kennedy is the perfect canvas for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating bike ride.

Continue your journey to Vallon des Auffes, a quaint Provençal fishing village that maintains its charm even in the winter months. This serene and authentic enclave provides a delightful contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city center. With its vibrant little boats, Vallon des Auffes serves as a picturesque haven for photography enthusiasts. Don't miss the chance to savor a meal at one of the seaside restaurants.

Une fois rassasiés, continuez votre exploration jusqu'à la Anse de la Fausse Monnaie, puis terminez votre balade à la Marina Olympique du Roucas Blanc, qui sera le théâtre des épreuves de voile des Jeux Olympiques 2024.

Once you've satisfied your appetite, extend your exploration to Anse de la Fausse Monnaie, concluding your delightful stroll at the Roucas Blanc Olympic Marina. This marina will host sailing events during the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Les Goudes

Embrace the tranquility of the winter season and explore Les Goudes for a complete change of scenery. This magnificent locale promises a breath of fresh air. Venture up the hill behind the village to uncover remnants of Second World War fortifications and relish a mesmerizing panorama of Marseille harbor, Île Maïre, and the Riou archipelago.

Once back in the village, meander through its authentic narrow streets, take a leisurely stroll around the picturesque port with its charming cottages, and treat yourself to local specialties at the cozy restaurants. It's the epitome of total relaxation. Getting to Les Goudes is a breeze – whether by car, boat, or city bus. Our team is more than happy to guide you on the best route for a delightful escape!

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Parc Borély : Where Gardens, Strolls and Horse Race Unite!

Immerse yourself in the expansive greenery of Parc Borély, the perfect spot for a breath of fresh air on a pleasant winter day in Marseille. Beyond its breathtaking sea views, the park boasts an array of gardens, each with its unique style – from a formal garden to an English garden, a traditional Chinese garden, a botanical garden, and a charming rose garden. Tailored for family outings, the park features a zoo and play areas, providing a delightful experience for all.

Seize the opportunity to rent bicycles or rosarias, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the numerous paths. Follow a specially designed route that leads you to the beach, perfect for a cycling or walking adventure.

For those inclined towards horse racing, make a delightful detour to the Hippodrome de Borély, conveniently situated adjacent to the park. Check out the schedule here, as races are regularly held, adding a dash of excitement to your park visit. Experience the perfect blend of nature, leisure, and sporting allure at Parc Borély!

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to have fun and unwind

An Escape Game Through the City (French only)

Embark on a distinctive Escape Game experience with ExitGame in Marseille, where the city becomes your playground for solving engaging puzzles. Dive into an immersive adventure that seamlessly fuses the thrill of escape games with the exploration of Marseille's concealed gems. Cleverly designed puzzles are strategically placed across different neighborhoods, beckoning you to delve into the city's cultural and historical richness while tackling stimulating challenges. It's a unique and entertaining approach to discover Marseille from a delightfully fun and intriguing perspective. Get ready for a smart and enjoyable journey through the heart of the city!

 

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

Make the most of winter in Marseille by treating your body to some well-deserved pampering and a dose of relaxation. Nestled along the Corniche with a stunning sea view, the Promicea marine thermal baths beckon, providing an oasis of tranquility in an extraordinary setting. From invigorating thalassotherapy treatments to navigating the seawater pool's aquatic course and soothing massages, the options are aplenty for a truly unique moment of relaxation and well-being.

For a relaxation session with a touch of antiquity, venture to La Bastide des Bains, a hammam nestled in the heart of Marseille, just a short 15-minute jaunt from our apartment hotel. Immerse yourself in ancient traditions as the moist heat envelops you, finding serenity in the steam baths. Treat yourself to a luxurious black soap scrub and savor a delightful mint tea to round off your experience. It's a timeless moment of sheer indulgence.

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Retail Therapy: Les Docks Village and Les Terrasses du Port

Wondering what to do in Marseille? How about a sophisticated shopping interlude? Enter Les Docks Village, exquisitely housed in refurbished warehouses, boasting a distinctive character that seamlessly blends history and modernity. Explore an array of boutiques, prominent brands, and inviting relaxation areas, all while enjoying a panoramic view over the Old Port—an exceptional touch to your shopping adventure.

At Les Terrasses du Port, you're spoiled for choice with over 190 shops. This shopping haven not only offers a multitude of dining options and diverse stores but also stands out for its exceptional seafront location, providing sweeping views of the Mediterranean. It's the perfect setting for a day of leisurely and gratifying shopping. Happy shopping!

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culture and heritage

Stade Vélodrome

Immerse yourself in the heart of Marseille with a visit to the iconic Stade Orange Vélodrome. Just a swift 20-minute metro ride door-to-door from our Staycity Aparthotels Marseille Centre Vieux-Port, the journey is as convenient as it is exciting. Elevate your visit with various memorable experiences: delve into the stadium's inner workings on a guided tour, join the spirited locals for a match, or break a sweat on the Orange Vélodrome Trail.

Embark on the OM Stadium Tour, an exclusive adventure unveiling the secrets of Olympique de Marseille and the Stade Vélodrome. Wander through the changing rooms, stand on the edge of the pitch, and explore exclusive areas showcasing the club's highlights, major trophies, and legendary players. Note that the stadium welcomes visitors only during school holidays (excluding match days or events). For further details, click here.

For the running enthusiasts, the Orange Vélodrome Trail awaits. This unique urban race winds through the Stade Orange Vélodrome and its surroundings, offering 3 routes: 2 km, 4 km, and 8 km. Open to solo runners or teams (up to 4 people), this unconventional race with over 2,000 steps promises an invigorating challenge. Warm up well! Click here for race specifics, including date, route, and registration.

With these experiences, the Stade Vélodrome will hold no secrets for you. Get ready for an unforgettable blend of sports, history, and local spirit!

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Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde stands tall as a symbol of Marseille, affectionately dubbed the "Good Mother" by the city's residents. This majestic basilica, overlooking Marseille since the 19th century, proudly graces the hill of La Garde, offering an unparalleled 360-degree view of the entire city. It's no wonder this architectural gem is Marseille's most visited monument.

Easily accessible from our aparthotel, a visit to Notre-Dame de la Garde is a must. For the adventurous souls, a 45-minute walk (brace yourself, it's a bit of a climb!) provides a rewarding journey, especially perfect for warming up during the winter.

If you prefer a leisurely approach, embark on the Petit Train de Notre-Dame de la Garde. Departing from the Vieux-Port, this charming train ride takes you to the "Bonne Mère" via the scenic Corniche and seafront, offering an ideal way to explore the city and revel in breathtaking panoramic views. 

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Museums

Nestled in the heart of the Panier district, the Vieille Charité is not just a landmark – it's an architectural marvel! This 17th-century gem, now home to museums, hosts captivating exhibitions throughout the year. Explore the Musée d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne (MAM) and the Musée d'Arts Africains Océaniens, Amérindiens (MAAOA), both of which offer free admission. Check out their program for the latest exhibitions.

Step into the vibrant cultural scene at La Friche de la Belle de Mai, a dynamic venue where contemporary art, music, sports, and creativity converge. Immerse yourself in innovative exhibitions, attend cultural events, and soak in the unique artistic atmosphere that vividly expresses Marseille's cultural diversity. Find the program here.

Delve into the history of boule games at the Maison de la Boule, located in the heart of the Panier district. This mini-museum takes you on a journey from antiquity to the present day, complete with a mini-game track to let your inner bouliste shine!

And what's Marseille without its iconic soap? The Marseille Soap Museum is a testament to genuine French craftsmanship, famous worldwide. This interactive museum unveils the secrets and history of Marseille soap, featuring a sensory area and a demonstration workshop. You can even personalize your own soap —making it a delightful and interactive family activity.

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Cours Julien and Street Art

Dive into the eclectic and artistic ambiance of Cours Julien, hailed as France's largest street art district and recognized as the 12th coolest neighborhood in the world by Time Out in 2023. With its captivating street art, vibrant alleyways, unique designers, vintage thrift shops, diverse world cuisine, and live concerts, Cours Julien is a hub of boundless creativity!

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A Curated Trip

Our delightful team goes beyond just warm hospitality – they're true connoisseurs of Marseille! Don't hesitate to swing by Reception; our team is not only lovely but also exceptionally knowledgeable about the city. They're eager to share their insights and are genuinely thrilled to offer personalized recommendations tailored to your interests.

By the way, what we've shared here is just a taste of the countless things to do in Marseille! Dive deeper into Our Guide to Marseille’s Best Bits, encompassing gastronomy, museums, and a variety of activities for year-round enjoyment in this vibrant city.

 

 

 

Thrilled? Secure your winter escape today! Situated just a brief stroll from the iconic Vieux-Port, our elegant Staycity Aparthotels Marseille Centre Vieux-Port awaits to make your stay truly memorable. Whether you're traveling as a couple, with friends, or family, relish the freedom of your fully equipped apartment and the added comfort of hotel amenities, including a 24-hour reception, Staycafé, and a gym. Treat yourself and embrace the serene Provencal way of life!

Marseille France

staying at marseille centre vieux-port

Marseille: seaside charm, bustling Vieux-Port, aromatic bouillabaisse, lively markets, ancient history, vibrant street art, and picturesque national parks.