With the hidden coves, medieval villages, and rolling vineyards of Provence within easy reach, Marseille makes a great base from which to discover the best of southern France. Here are a few great ways to tour Provence from Marseille.
The sleepy town of Aix-en-Provence—perhaps one of the most popular half-day tour destinations from Marseille—shows visitors another side to life in Provence, away from the bustling city. Stroll along tree-lined streets dotted with centuries-old mansions, take a rest in the shade of traditional cafés, and admire top attractions such as Place d’Albertas (Albertas Square), Paul Cézanne’s artist workshop, and Saint Sauveur Cathedral (Aix Cathedral). Alternatively, spin along the scenic Corniche des Crêtes route and take to the waves on a cruise from Cassis to the calanques, a pretty stretch of hidden coastal bays and coves. For a truly personalized experience, enlist the services of a personal guide on a private tour.
With more time to spend, enjoy the freedom to travel deeper into rural Provence and see sides of the region you might otherwise miss. Take a sightseeing tour to the seaside town of Arles (where van Gogh mastered his signature style), explore the medieval cliff-top village of Les Baux-de-Provence, and browse local produce in the busy markets of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Or choose a tour that spins through Avignon and the villages of the Luberon to admire sites of interest such as the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct. And of course no Provence tour is complete without experiencing the lavender fields or a wine-tasting session at the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wineries, two of the delights of the French Riviera.
Things to Know
- Half-day tours into Provence from Marseille typically last from four to five hours, while full-day tours can last up to 10.5 hours
- Tours typically include pickup and drop-off at your Marseille hotel, round-trip transportation by air-conditioned vehicle, guide, and entrance fees where applicable
- Aix-en-Provence lies 19 miles (31 kilometers) north of Marseille, about a 40-minute drive
- Arles is located 56 miles (90 kilometers) northwest of Marseille, and the drive takes approximately one hour
- Avignon sits 64 miles (103 kilometers) northwest of Marseille, just over an hour’s drive