Taylor-Marseille2

A woman exploring Marseille in 2 days.

The South of France is a special part of the world. Filled with pastel colored seaside villages and cities; scenic beaches; colorful Calanques and historical landmarks, the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is the perfect destination to enjoy during a European summer! A trip to the French Riviera is not complete without enjoying at least 2 days in Marseille and 3 days in Nice.

Before making your way to Nice, you must enjoy everything that Marseille and the surrounding Provençal areas offer! Marseille is the oldest city in France as it was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. Nowadays, it is one of the most diverse cities in Europe and boasts the biggest port in France.

A woman at the lavender fields in Provence, France.

During June 2022, I did a big Europe trip for my 31st birthday with a few travel bloggers. I started my trip visiting Barcelona, Spain. From there, I also got to enjoy wine tasting in the Priorat wine region of Catalonia and savored delicious paella from its birthplace of Valencia. After Spain, I made my way to the small country of Andorra, which is situated in the Pyrenees Mountains, between Spain and France. Then, I spent a full week exploring the French Riviera before ending my trip in Northern Italy.

With over 300 days of sunshine per year, Marseille is not a city to be missed during a French Riviera trip. In this article, discover the best things to do during 2 days in Marseille, France. My time along the French Riviera was spent with Ashley of World to Wander.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. 


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

2 days in Marseille, France summer itinerary

How Many Days in Marseille:

Visiting Marseille during summer in France.

If you’re wondering how many days you should spend in this classic city, I believe anywhere from 3 days in Marseille to a full week is perfect to see and experience everything!

For those who are limited on time or are traveling around the Riviera, I recommend spending 3 nights and 2 full days in Marseille, which is what I did. There are also a lot of great day trips to enjoy from Marseille, especially if you want to see the lavender fields and explore the countryside of Provence. Discover the best 3 days in Provence itinerary!

Traveling to Marseille:

Exploring Marseille in 2 days.

Marseille, France is easy to get to from any major city in Europe. If you’re planning on flying into Marseille, you can take a short flight into Marseille-Provence Airport, which is 20 miles northwest of the city. From the airport, travelers can take a shuttle bus for €8.30 or rent a car. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

(One thing to note about renting a car in Europe is that you will need to have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license. I don’t know how the process works for other countries out there, but for U.S. residents, you could easily obtain one by going to your local AAA office.)

Other ways to get to Marseille are by taking public transportation, which is what I did! The main train station in the city of Marseille is Marseille-Saint-Charles.

The beautiful city of Marseille, France.

Prior to my 2 days in Marseille, I spent some time in Andorra. From Andorra to Marseille, I stopped in Toulouse at Gare Matabiau. From there, I took the train to Marseille. It takes around four hours to get from Toulouse to Marseille. (It also takes over two and a half hours to get from Marseille to Nice.)

It is important to note that if you plan to explore Provence’s countryside and the lavender fields, you will need to rent a car.

The best way to get around Marseille is by walking. You can also take the metro, tram, ferry boat as well as a taxi or car service like Uber.

Best Places to Stay in Marseille:

The South of France during summer

From luxury hotels to stunning rental properties, there are accommodations that suit all budgets in Marseille and the surrounding cities. If you don’t want to stay in Marseille, I recommend finding accommodation in the neighboring seaside village of La Ciotat, the Provençal city of Aix-en-Provence and the lovely fishing port village of Cassis.

During our 2 nights in Marseille, Ashley and I stayed in the French commune of La Ciotat. The hotel we stayed at was Moxy La Ciotat by Marriott. It was a 10-minute drive from La Ciotat’s train station.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Marseille, check out the below accommodations:

Luxury Accommodation: InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu

Boutique Accommodation: AC Hotel Marseille Prado Velodrome

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hôtel C2 – Marseille

Budget Accommodation: Meininger Marseille Centre La Joliette

10 Things to do in Marseille in 2 Days:          

A woman exploring Marseille, France.

From strolling the pastel-colored streets of Le Panier to visiting the lavender fields, there are a plethora of incredible things to do during a 2-day journey in Marseille itinerary.

Below are the best things to do when you travel to Marseille:

Stroll through Vieux Port and Go Sightseeing in Marseille:

The Vieux Port in Marseille, France

Otherwise known as the Old Port of Marseille, Vieux Port is a prestigious marina that is surrounded by stylish hotels, incredible yachts, waterfront restaurants and wine bars. It boasts breathtaking views all around.

I love how picturesque Marseille’s Vieux Port is! I loved walking around the water and admiring the beautiful sailboats, yachts and fishing boats. As we strolled around the port, there was also a summer market set up that sold jewelry, handmade accessories, trinkets, paintings and more. It was lovely!

The summer markets on Vieux Port in Marseille

Some of the best things to see in Marseille are around the Vieux Port! Check out the MuCEM (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean) or The Marseille Soap Museum and admire beautiful views at Fort Saint-Jean and Parc du Pharo (near the 1858 Palais du Pharo).

In addition, there are a lot of beautiful churches to visit around the port in Marseille. You must visit the Roman Catholic church of Saint-Ferréol les Augustins and the beautiful neo-Byzantine Cathédrale La Major.

The neo-Byzantine Cathedrale La Major in Marseille.

In addition to sightseeing, Vieux Port is also a great spot to watch the sunset during your 2 days in Marseille, France!

Dine at Marseille’s Best Restaurants:

Enjoying 2 days in Marseille during summer in France

During your time in Marseille, you must enjoy the best of Provençal cuisine! From bouillabaisse to ratatouille, you must try everything this city is famous for whether you’re spending one night in Marseille or 4 days in Marseille.

In addition to bouillabaisse, which is a Provençal seafood stew, you must also savor moules marinière, which are marinated mussels; tuna, salmon or steak tartare, which is served raw and marinated; Madeleines, which are a sweet sponge cake; seafood with aioli and ratatouille, which is a vegetable stew.

Bouillabaisse from Marseille, France

My friend Allie of Allie Marie Travels visits Provence often and recommended the best restaurants and things to see in Marseille. Below are the best places to eat at during your time in this lovely French city:

L’Entrecôte du Port: One of the best restaurants to eat at, that is located off the Vieux Port, is L’Entrecôte du Port. You can find all of Marseille’s food staples at this wonderful restaurant and it’s also known for its steak dishes! I savored a delicious tuna tartare with frites and it was incredible.

Tuna tartare from France

Restaurant Chez Zé: Located near the Baumettes area of Marseille, at the start of Parc National des Calanques, is Chez Zé. It is a pizzeria that offers delicious pasta, seafood and meat dishes. I loved visiting Chez Zé during my 2 days in Marseille and enjoyed sitting on the outdoor patio with stringed lights. It was dreamy!

Since Restaurant Chez Zé is situated in a residential area, it attracts a local crowd. It’s nice experiencing a place without tourists! The food is also delicious at this eatery. I had pizza with arugula and prosciutto and it was awesome.

Pizza from Chez Ze in Marseille.

Chez FonFon: Known to have the best bouillabaisse in Marseille, it is a must to visit Chez FonFon during your French Riviera trip. Not only can you savor this delicious seafood stew, there are a plethora of other mouthwatering fish dinners to enjoy at this wonderful location!

What I love about Chez FonFon is that it’s based right on the water, where you can witness incredible views of the marina and Mediterranean Sea!

Admire the Colorful Street Art in Le Panier:

Walking through Le Panier during 2 days in Marseille

Recognized as the oldest district in Marseille, Le Panier is one of the most charming areas of the city! One of the top things to do in Marseille is to stroll the colorful streets of this neighborhood and admire all the talented street art.

Pastel buildings in Le Panier in Marseille, France

What is cool about Le Panier is that it was the location where the Greeks settled in 600 BC because of its location on a hill, near the sea. Nowadays, you can enjoy all the vintage cafés, boutique shops, floral facades and talented street performers in Le Panier.

Cool off to Rosé at Intercontinental Marseille:

A glass of rose at Intercontinental Marseille.

Marseille is the gateway to Provence and the region produces the world’s rosé wines. During your 2 days in Marseille during the summer, you must enjoy a rosé or cocktail at the Intercontinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu. It is situated in the Le Panier neighborhood!

I loved visiting this elegant hotel for an afternoon drink! The outdoor bar overlooks the entire Vieux Port and you can see some of Marseille’s most famous landmarks. It truly is a special spot in the city.

Another great place to enjoy a refreshing beverage with a view is at Le Dantès Skylounge at Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port.

Visit the Lavender Fields – Best Day Trips from Marseille:

A woman enjoying the lavender fields. Best day trips from Marseille!

When you visit Provence in the summer, your 2 days in Marseille itinerary must include visiting the lavender fields. Lavender is in bloom from mid-June through early August, but it tends to peak anytime between late June and early July.

If you want to spend more than a day in this special area, I recommend following my 3 days in Provence itinerary where I got to visit the Provençal towns of Avignon, Roussillon, Gordes and Valensole, to name a few.

A woman visiting the lavender fields in Valensole from Marseille, France.

During a day trip to the lavender fields from Marseille, I recommend visiting Valensole. This is the area where you can find endless lavender fields! The best ones to see are Les Grandes Marges, Terraroma Lavande Amandes, Lavender Angelvin and Puimisson Lavender.

The village of Valensole is small, but also worth checking out. You can find lovely shops that sell soap, household items and fresh lavender. You can also enjoy the cafés, restaurants, lavender ice cream shops and more!

Do a Day Trip to Verdon Gorge from Marseille:

A woman enjoying Gorges du Verdon during a day trip from Marseille

Another one of the best day trips from Marseille, that you can enjoy during your 2-day itinerary, is Gorges du Verdon, or Verdon Gorge. If you’d like to combine the lavender fields and Verdon Gorge into one day trip, you can easily do so!

I recommend visiting the lavender fields earlier in the morning or around sunset. The best time to visit Verdon Gorge is during later morning or early afternoon, since that is usually when the weather is the hottest in Provence.

Verdon Gorge was once underwater millions of years ago. Through glacial shifting, the gorge was formed and today, travelers from all over visit the South of France to enjoy fun adventures!

Visiting Verdon Gorge

At Gorges du Verdon, you can hike, rock climb and do memorable water sports. One of the best ways to enjoy this incredible day trip from Marseille is to rent a paddle boat on the Lac de Sainte-Croix.

Overall, this glistening lake is a popular spot for travelers to kayak, cliff jump and enjoy a picnic along the shores of the lake. If you’re short on time, I still recommend admiring the postcard perfect view from the Galetas Bridge.

Enjoy an Evening in La Ciotat on the French Riviera:

La Ciotat on the French Riviera

Located outside of Marseille is the harbor town of La Ciotat. It is a small, quaint town that has beautiful beaches, wonderful seafood restaurants and easy access to the Calanques. If you have ample time during your Marseille vacation, you must visit La Ciotat!

The old port of La Ciotat is filled with fishing boats and is surrounded by ochre-shaded houses. One of the best things to do in La Ciotat is to walk along the port and take in all the beauty and liveliness. It’s also a wonderful spot to watch the sunset.

La Barque in La Ciotat, France

In the evening, restaurants and bars thrive along the water in La Ciotat and some of the best ones to visit are La Barque for fresh seafood, L’Oyster Bar for oysters, Pizzeria de l’Escalet for pizza and Ma Cuisine du Marché for authentic French food.

Hike through the Calanques and Enjoy the Beaches:

The Calanques near La Ciotat and Cassis

Another one of the most memorable things to do in Marseille for 2 days is to visit the Calanques. There are quite a few ways to explore the Calanques and one of them is by taking a boat tour from Vieux Port in Marseille to Cassis.

Overall, the Calanques in the South of France, along with its nature and biodiversity, are some of the best things to see in Marseille. During a trip to Parc National des Calanques, I recommend hiking the Marseilleveyre trail to the summit. It’s a moderate hike from Marseille where you can admire incredible landscapes.  

If you plan to hike the Calanques from La Ciotat, I suggest following the 8.7-mile out-and-back Cap Canaille trail. During this hike, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea along with the village of La Ciotat. Cap Canaille is the highest maritime cliff in France and you can also get to it by car. It is one of the best sunset spots in the Marseille area too!

There are 26 Calanques in Parc National des Calanques for you to enjoy during your 2 days in Marseille. If you love to dive, there are also plenty of great Scuba and snorkeling spots to explore! In addition, the Calanques are a great area to go rock climbing.

Also hidden within the Calanques are stunning beaches with turquoise waters to enjoy. What is awesome is that a lot of these beaches also provide kayaking, paddle boarding and boating opportunities! There are also nice waterfront restaurants and cafés to sit at in the Calanques.

Walk through the Palais Longchamp:

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Marseille is Palais Longchamp. It features Neoclassical architecture and boasts the Musée des beaux-arts and Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Marseille.

During a visit to Palais Longchamp, it is a must to stroll around the gardens and admire the talented sculptures that were created when the monument was inaugurated.

Venture to Avignon for a Day:

A woman in Avignon, one of the best day trips from Marseille, France.

Located an hour by both train and car from Marseille, Avignon, France is another fascinating destination to visit during your time in Provence. The medieval walled city of Avignon is situated along the Rhône River.

During a visit to Avignon, you must walk through the Palais des Papes. It is the Palace of Popes, which is where past Popes used to reside. In addition, checking out the Pont D’Avignon is also a must! This UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the most important pilgrimage routes between Italy and Spain during the Middle Ages.

Avignon is also a wonderful city to enjoy delicious Provençal plates, shop and make memories with loved ones!


A woman enjoying summer in France.

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best things to do in Marseille, France in 2 days. Don’t forget to check out my ultimate summer itinerary of France if you plan to explore beyond Provence and Côte d’Azur. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of France:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Paris, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

In addition, a great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Shop my Marseille Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on August 27, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Loved reading about Marseille ~ looks like a beautiful place with a lot of awesome things to do ~ after reading this blog, I want to visit the French Riviera now! Sounds like you had an amazing time! Another stunning place to put on my bucket list ~ love you, mom xoxo 👩🏻

    • Taylor Deer on August 28, 2022 at 10:27 pm

      It really is a beautiful city! I loved the French Riviera so much! <3

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Marseille2

A woman exploring Marseille in 2 days.

The South of France is a special part of the world. Filled with pastel colored seaside villages and cities; scenic beaches; colorful Calanques and historical landmarks, the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is the perfect destination to enjoy during a European summer! A trip to the French Riviera is not complete without enjoying at least 2 days in Marseille and 3 days in Nice.

Before making your way to Nice, you must enjoy everything that Marseille and the surrounding Provençal areas offer! Marseille is the oldest city in France as it was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. Nowadays, it is one of the most diverse cities in Europe and boasts the biggest port in France.

A woman at the lavender fields in Provence, France.

During June 2022, I did a big Europe trip for my 31st birthday with a few travel bloggers. I started my trip visiting Barcelona, Spain. From there, I also got to enjoy wine tasting in the Priorat wine region of Catalonia and savored delicious paella from its birthplace of Valencia. After Spain, I made my way to the small country of Andorra, which is situated in the Pyrenees Mountains, between Spain and France. Then, I spent a full week exploring the French Riviera before ending my trip in Northern Italy.

With over 300 days of sunshine per year, Marseille is not a city to be missed during a French Riviera trip. In this article, discover the best things to do during 2 days in Marseille, France. My time along the French Riviera was spent with Ashley of World to Wander.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. 


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

2 days in Marseille, France summer itinerary

How Many Days in Marseille:

Visiting Marseille during summer in France.

If you’re wondering how many days you should spend in this classic city, I believe anywhere from 3 days in Marseille to a full week is perfect to see and experience everything!

For those who are limited on time or are traveling around the Riviera, I recommend spending 3 nights and 2 full days in Marseille, which is what I did. There are also a lot of great day trips to enjoy from Marseille, especially if you want to see the lavender fields and explore the countryside of Provence. Discover the best 3 days in Provence itinerary!

Traveling to Marseille:

Exploring Marseille in 2 days.

Marseille, France is easy to get to from any major city in Europe. If you’re planning on flying into Marseille, you can take a short flight into Marseille-Provence Airport, which is 20 miles northwest of the city. From the airport, travelers can take a shuttle bus for €8.30 or rent a car. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner!

(One thing to note about renting a car in Europe is that you will need to have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license. I don’t know how the process works for other countries out there, but for U.S. residents, you could easily obtain one by going to your local AAA office.)

Other ways to get to Marseille are by taking public transportation, which is what I did! The main train station in the city of Marseille is Marseille-Saint-Charles.

The beautiful city of Marseille, France.

Prior to my 2 days in Marseille, I spent some time in Andorra. From Andorra to Marseille, I stopped in Toulouse at Gare Matabiau. From there, I took the train to Marseille. It takes around four hours to get from Toulouse to Marseille. (It also takes over two and a half hours to get from Marseille to Nice.)

It is important to note that if you plan to explore Provence’s countryside and the lavender fields, you will need to rent a car.

The best way to get around Marseille is by walking. You can also take the metro, tram, ferry boat as well as a taxi or car service like Uber.

Best Places to Stay in Marseille:

The South of France during summer

From luxury hotels to stunning rental properties, there are accommodations that suit all budgets in Marseille and the surrounding cities. If you don’t want to stay in Marseille, I recommend finding accommodation in the neighboring seaside village of La Ciotat, the Provençal city of Aix-en-Provence and the lovely fishing port village of Cassis.

During our 2 nights in Marseille, Ashley and I stayed in the French commune of La Ciotat. The hotel we stayed at was Moxy La Ciotat by Marriott. It was a 10-minute drive from La Ciotat’s train station.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Marseille, check out the below accommodations:

Luxury Accommodation: InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu

Boutique Accommodation: AC Hotel Marseille Prado Velodrome

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hôtel C2 – Marseille

Budget Accommodation: Meininger Marseille Centre La Joliette

10 Things to do in Marseille in 2 Days:          

A woman exploring Marseille, France.

From strolling the pastel-colored streets of Le Panier to visiting the lavender fields, there are a plethora of incredible things to do during a 2-day journey in Marseille itinerary.

Below are the best things to do when you travel to Marseille:

Stroll through Vieux Port and Go Sightseeing in Marseille:

The Vieux Port in Marseille, France

Otherwise known as the Old Port of Marseille, Vieux Port is a prestigious marina that is surrounded by stylish hotels, incredible yachts, waterfront restaurants and wine bars. It boasts breathtaking views all around.

I love how picturesque Marseille’s Vieux Port is! I loved walking around the water and admiring the beautiful sailboats, yachts and fishing boats. As we strolled around the port, there was also a summer market set up that sold jewelry, handmade accessories, trinkets, paintings and more. It was lovely!

The summer markets on Vieux Port in Marseille

Some of the best things to see in Marseille are around the Vieux Port! Check out the MuCEM (Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean) or The Marseille Soap Museum and admire beautiful views at Fort Saint-Jean and Parc du Pharo (near the 1858 Palais du Pharo).

In addition, there are a lot of beautiful churches to visit around the port in Marseille. You must visit the Roman Catholic church of Saint-Ferréol les Augustins and the beautiful neo-Byzantine Cathédrale La Major.

The neo-Byzantine Cathedrale La Major in Marseille.

In addition to sightseeing, Vieux Port is also a great spot to watch the sunset during your 2 days in Marseille, France!

Dine at Marseille’s Best Restaurants:

Enjoying 2 days in Marseille during summer in France

During your time in Marseille, you must enjoy the best of Provençal cuisine! From bouillabaisse to ratatouille, you must try everything this city is famous for whether you’re spending one night in Marseille or 4 days in Marseille.

In addition to bouillabaisse, which is a Provençal seafood stew, you must also savor moules marinière, which are marinated mussels; tuna, salmon or steak tartare, which is served raw and marinated; Madeleines, which are a sweet sponge cake; seafood with aioli and ratatouille, which is a vegetable stew.

Bouillabaisse from Marseille, France

My friend Allie of Allie Marie Travels visits Provence often and recommended the best restaurants and things to see in Marseille. Below are the best places to eat at during your time in this lovely French city:

L’Entrecôte du Port: One of the best restaurants to eat at, that is located off the Vieux Port, is L’Entrecôte du Port. You can find all of Marseille’s food staples at this wonderful restaurant and it’s also known for its steak dishes! I savored a delicious tuna tartare with frites and it was incredible.

Tuna tartare from France

Restaurant Chez Zé: Located near the Baumettes area of Marseille, at the start of Parc National des Calanques, is Chez Zé. It is a pizzeria that offers delicious pasta, seafood and meat dishes. I loved visiting Chez Zé during my 2 days in Marseille and enjoyed sitting on the outdoor patio with stringed lights. It was dreamy!

Since Restaurant Chez Zé is situated in a residential area, it attracts a local crowd. It’s nice experiencing a place without tourists! The food is also delicious at this eatery. I had pizza with arugula and prosciutto and it was awesome.

Pizza from Chez Ze in Marseille.

Chez FonFon: Known to have the best bouillabaisse in Marseille, it is a must to visit Chez FonFon during your French Riviera trip. Not only can you savor this delicious seafood stew, there are a plethora of other mouthwatering fish dinners to enjoy at this wonderful location!

What I love about Chez FonFon is that it’s based right on the water, where you can witness incredible views of the marina and Mediterranean Sea!

Admire the Colorful Street Art in Le Panier:

Walking through Le Panier during 2 days in Marseille

Recognized as the oldest district in Marseille, Le Panier is one of the most charming areas of the city! One of the top things to do in Marseille is to stroll the colorful streets of this neighborhood and admire all the talented street art.

Pastel buildings in Le Panier in Marseille, France

What is cool about Le Panier is that it was the location where the Greeks settled in 600 BC because of its location on a hill, near the sea. Nowadays, you can enjoy all the vintage cafés, boutique shops, floral facades and talented street performers in Le Panier.

Cool off to Rosé at Intercontinental Marseille:

A glass of rose at Intercontinental Marseille.

Marseille is the gateway to Provence and the region produces the world’s rosé wines. During your 2 days in Marseille during the summer, you must enjoy a rosé or cocktail at the Intercontinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu. It is situated in the Le Panier neighborhood!

I loved visiting this elegant hotel for an afternoon drink! The outdoor bar overlooks the entire Vieux Port and you can see some of Marseille’s most famous landmarks. It truly is a special spot in the city.

Another great place to enjoy a refreshing beverage with a view is at Le Dantès Skylounge at Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port.

Visit the Lavender Fields – Best Day Trips from Marseille:

A woman enjoying the lavender fields. Best day trips from Marseille!

When you visit Provence in the summer, your 2 days in Marseille itinerary must include visiting the lavender fields. Lavender is in bloom from mid-June through early August, but it tends to peak anytime between late June and early July.

If you want to spend more than a day in this special area, I recommend following my 3 days in Provence itinerary where I got to visit the Provençal towns of Avignon, Roussillon, Gordes and Valensole, to name a few.

A woman visiting the lavender fields in Valensole from Marseille, France.

During a day trip to the lavender fields from Marseille, I recommend visiting Valensole. This is the area where you can find endless lavender fields! The best ones to see are Les Grandes Marges, Terraroma Lavande Amandes, Lavender Angelvin and Puimisson Lavender.

The village of Valensole is small, but also worth checking out. You can find lovely shops that sell soap, household items and fresh lavender. You can also enjoy the cafés, restaurants, lavender ice cream shops and more!

Do a Day Trip to Verdon Gorge from Marseille:

A woman enjoying Gorges du Verdon during a day trip from Marseille

Another one of the best day trips from Marseille, that you can enjoy during your 2-day itinerary, is Gorges du Verdon, or Verdon Gorge. If you’d like to combine the lavender fields and Verdon Gorge into one day trip, you can easily do so!

I recommend visiting the lavender fields earlier in the morning or around sunset. The best time to visit Verdon Gorge is during later morning or early afternoon, since that is usually when the weather is the hottest in Provence.

Verdon Gorge was once underwater millions of years ago. Through glacial shifting, the gorge was formed and today, travelers from all over visit the South of France to enjoy fun adventures!

Visiting Verdon Gorge

At Gorges du Verdon, you can hike, rock climb and do memorable water sports. One of the best ways to enjoy this incredible day trip from Marseille is to rent a paddle boat on the Lac de Sainte-Croix.

Overall, this glistening lake is a popular spot for travelers to kayak, cliff jump and enjoy a picnic along the shores of the lake. If you’re short on time, I still recommend admiring the postcard perfect view from the Galetas Bridge.

Enjoy an Evening in La Ciotat on the French Riviera:

La Ciotat on the French Riviera

Located outside of Marseille is the harbor town of La Ciotat. It is a small, quaint town that has beautiful beaches, wonderful seafood restaurants and easy access to the Calanques. If you have ample time during your Marseille vacation, you must visit La Ciotat!

The old port of La Ciotat is filled with fishing boats and is surrounded by ochre-shaded houses. One of the best things to do in La Ciotat is to walk along the port and take in all the beauty and liveliness. It’s also a wonderful spot to watch the sunset.

La Barque in La Ciotat, France

In the evening, restaurants and bars thrive along the water in La Ciotat and some of the best ones to visit are La Barque for fresh seafood, L’Oyster Bar for oysters, Pizzeria de l’Escalet for pizza and Ma Cuisine du Marché for authentic French food.

Hike through the Calanques and Enjoy the Beaches:

The Calanques near La Ciotat and Cassis

Another one of the most memorable things to do in Marseille for 2 days is to visit the Calanques. There are quite a few ways to explore the Calanques and one of them is by taking a boat tour from Vieux Port in Marseille to Cassis.

Overall, the Calanques in the South of France, along with its nature and biodiversity, are some of the best things to see in Marseille. During a trip to Parc National des Calanques, I recommend hiking the Marseilleveyre trail to the summit. It’s a moderate hike from Marseille where you can admire incredible landscapes.  

If you plan to hike the Calanques from La Ciotat, I suggest following the 8.7-mile out-and-back Cap Canaille trail. During this hike, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea along with the village of La Ciotat. Cap Canaille is the highest maritime cliff in France and you can also get to it by car. It is one of the best sunset spots in the Marseille area too!

There are 26 Calanques in Parc National des Calanques for you to enjoy during your 2 days in Marseille. If you love to dive, there are also plenty of great Scuba and snorkeling spots to explore! In addition, the Calanques are a great area to go rock climbing.

Also hidden within the Calanques are stunning beaches with turquoise waters to enjoy. What is awesome is that a lot of these beaches also provide kayaking, paddle boarding and boating opportunities! There are also nice waterfront restaurants and cafés to sit at in the Calanques.

Walk through the Palais Longchamp:

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Marseille is Palais Longchamp. It features Neoclassical architecture and boasts the Musée des beaux-arts and Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Marseille.

During a visit to Palais Longchamp, it is a must to stroll around the gardens and admire the talented sculptures that were created when the monument was inaugurated.

Venture to Avignon for a Day:

A woman in Avignon, one of the best day trips from Marseille, France.

Located an hour by both train and car from Marseille, Avignon, France is another fascinating destination to visit during your time in Provence. The medieval walled city of Avignon is situated along the Rhône River.

During a visit to Avignon, you must walk through the Palais des Papes. It is the Palace of Popes, which is where past Popes used to reside. In addition, checking out the Pont D’Avignon is also a must! This UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the most important pilgrimage routes between Italy and Spain during the Middle Ages.

Avignon is also a wonderful city to enjoy delicious Provençal plates, shop and make memories with loved ones!


A woman enjoying summer in France.

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best things to do in Marseille, France in 2 days. Don’t forget to check out my ultimate summer itinerary of France if you plan to explore beyond Provence and Côte d’Azur. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of France:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Paris, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

In addition, a great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Shop my Marseille Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on August 27, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    Loved reading about Marseille ~ looks like a beautiful place with a lot of awesome things to do ~ after reading this blog, I want to visit the French Riviera now! Sounds like you had an amazing time! Another stunning place to put on my bucket list ~ love you, mom xoxo 👩🏻

    • Taylor Deer on August 28, 2022 at 10:27 pm

      It really is a beautiful city! I loved the French Riviera so much! <3

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