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Marseille's location on the Mediterranean Sea has meant it has always been an important port. The old port is a particularly attractive place to visit.

MarseilleMarseille (click for larger image)

Being on the coast the history of Marseille has always been closely associated with the sea. The old port (Vieux Port) is a lovely area and has a lively waterfront, particularly the Quai des Belges on the east side where there is a fish market every morning. The area is a focal point for tourists and from here ferry boats leave for the Château d'If and Calanques, near Cassis.

Overlooking the city built on a 505ft high limestone hill is the basilica Notre Dame de la Garde (which you can see in the photo centre right in the background) with its 151 feet high belfry, which offers protection to sailors and fishermen. From the terrace encircling the church there is a marvellous panoramic view of the surroundings of Marseilles including the offshore islands of Pomègues and Ratonneau and the Château d'If.

There are two beaches nearby, La Corniche and Les Plages near the Prado