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10 Things to Do in Marseille in August

August is usually the month most chosen by tourists to travel worldwide and the city of Marseille is full of visitors throughout this time of year for the variety of plans offered.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Marseille in August

Marseille | ©Lexe-I

During the month of August you will most likely be interested in plans that involve being in the sun and out doors during your visit to Marseille. And this makes all the sense in the world, as it is one of the most interesting destinations in all of France and a true treasure of the Côte d'Azur.

I advise you to continue reading this post I have prepared for you with the most interesting activities and visits for the summer for people with all kinds of budgets.

1. Take a trip to the small vineyards of Cassis

Vineyards of Cassis| ©Cilou101
Vineyards of Cassis| ©Cilou101

Cassis is the neighboring community of Marseille and is located right next to the Massif Des Calanques, the mountain formation that lies south of the city. Cassis itself is part of the tourist itineraries of those who visit Marseille, since it is less than 1 hour away from the city center and offers its visitors the possibility of getting to know an authentic village of the French Riviera.

Making a small excursion to this site is especially recommended during the month of August due to the fact that the first grapes of the season will be harvested in most of the vineyards of the area. This small town is known for producing a soft and delicate rosé wine complemented by a dark liquor that has also turned this site into a reference in the country. At least when it comes to the production of alcoholic beverages.

That is why taking a tour around this area that includes wine tasting is one of the best things you can do, especially at the end of August. In fact it is an activity that is part of the best tours in Marseille.

The best tours in Marseille

2. Don't miss the opening of the soccer season

Orange Velodrome| ©Etienne Baudon
Orange Velodrome| ©Etienne Baudon

Soccer is a sport that generates a lot of passion among the people of Marseille and the city's team stadium, the Orange Velodrome, is a treasure trove for the cultural identity of this place. The city's team is called Olympique de Marseille and Ligue 1 starts in mid-August.

So going to any of the matches during this month is an idea not to be missed. Especially because it is one of the best things to do in Marseille with children and at the same time an ideal opportunity to familiarize yourself with the sporting values of this city. As well as one of the most important elements of Marseille's identity.

Moreover, the stadium and its surroundings is one of the most beautiful areas of the whole city and touring it before and after the match will be a very entertaining activity. It is not for nothing that the people of Marseille are proud to say that they have the team with the best fans in the country and at the same time the most beautiful stadium in the world.

3. Attend the joute nautique at L'Estaque

Boating in Marseille| ©johannes Hartzheim
Boating in Marseille| ©johannes Hartzheim

Marseille is a city where maritime life and boats in general have always had a very important connection with its economy and also with its traditions. In this context, during August, an event with many years of history takes place and has become a tourist attraction for those who know of its existence. It is the joute nautique, a kind of duel between handcrafted boats that takes place in the nearby port of L'Estaque.

Basically, the duel is like a medieval joust on horseback, but in this case it occurs from one boat to the other. A sort of platform is built on the prow of each ship with the intention that each of the opponents stand on theirs with a lance that can reach up to 2 and a half meters in length. The main objective of this duel is to throw the other participant into the water and this over the years has become a real sport that has national championships throughout France.

So visiting this town so close to the center of Marseille to witness one of these water duels is one of those things you should not miss during your trip in the month of August. In fact, it is a recommended plan for those who have a 4-day trip to Marseille, as you will have enough time for this activity.

4. Do not hesitate to sunbathe in the best parks of the city

Borely Park| ©Corinne PACA
Borely Park| ©Corinne PACA

Sitting in the sun in one of the city's public parks is a tradition that is part of the way of life of most Europeans and Marseille is ideal for this. Throughout the city you can find an infinity of green spaces ideal for locals and tourists to enjoy this activity so characteristic of summer.

Borely Park with its castle and bike paths and Longchamp Park with its impressive palace are good alternatives. Even more so knowing that both have some of the top 10 museums in Marseille on their premises, which is ideal for you to escape the heat and sun when you've had enough.

This is a recommended plan all summer long, but it becomes even more special during the month of August due to the fact that the highest temperatures of the season occur at this time. So being outdoors in a shady place with enough vegetation becomes a privilege, especially at the beginning of the month.

In the old port area of the city you will also find the Emile Duclaux Park. Knowing this fact is very convenient in case you find yourself in this very urban part of the city and need some fresh air in a green area with a privileged view of the Marseille harbor.

5. A hiking route through Des Calanques is also advisable

National park of the Calanques| ©travelmag.com
National park of the Calanques| ©travelmag.com

The national park Des Calanques is presented as one of the best tourist visits throughout the summer. This is due to the excellent opportunity it offers visitors to enjoy turquoise waters in a landscape that closely resembles the Norwegian fjords, but under the colors and mountains of the Mediterranean.

However, a different way to explore this area so beloved by the people of Marseille is to organize a day of hiking along the different mountains of the national park. And the scenery is not only interesting between the beaches and coves of the coast, because among the mountains that lead to this site you can also find an excellent type of entertainment, especially if you enjoy the idea of walking through a natural space like this.

Mont Puget is a mountain peak that is quite accessible and perfectly signposted for you to explore. In addition, walking or driving through this area, you have the opportunity to reach some of the coves that offer the waters of the Mediterranean. This is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Marseille throughout the summer.

6. Take the opportunity to visit the Cité Radieuse on a guided tour

Cité Radieuse| ©Fred Romero
Cité Radieuse| ©Fred Romero

The Cité Radieuse is a multi-housing complex that was designed by Le Corbusier with the intention of rethinking an entire neighborhood with stores and service establishments in a totally vertical way. The result is one of the great wonders of modernist architecture of the twentieth century and over the years the building has become one of the greatest works of this visionary of urbanism as well as an architectural treasure of the city.

You have to know that throughout the summer guided tours are offered and specifically during the month of August the frequency increases by the number of tourists who are interested in this particular activity. So if you consider yourself an architecture lover or simply want to get to know one of the most famous sites in all of Marseille, then you can't miss out on this little Tour.

Also, this site is part of one of the Marseille Hop On Hop Off bus stops, which means that you could combine this activity with sightseeing exploration of the city from a comfortable bus which could drastically reduce the amount of time a conventional walk would take you.

7. Enjoy a day at the beach on the Frioul Islands

Marseille Beach| ©Janene
Marseille Beach| ©Janene

Just off the coast of Marseille in the bay that bears the same name as the city lies a small archipelago called the Frioul Islands. This site historically always functioned as a point of protection of the port as well as a reference for sailors who were already approaching the city. Today, it is an ideal summer destination because it offers ideal beaches that are less crowded. In addition, this destination is included in the routes of the best boat trips in Marseille.

Its proximity to the Castle of If has also made them a favorite place for those who want to enjoy a privileged view of this historic building. In any case, visiting these islands is a very advisable plan during the month of August because of the fact that you can enjoy excellent beaches without leaving the city.

8. Tour the Saint-Pierre Cemetery

Saint-Pierre Cemetery| ©Salvador Dalmau
Saint-Pierre Cemetery| ©Salvador Dalmau

Many urban cemeteries become a real tourist attraction both for the peculiarity of their designs and also for the historical relevance they have for that community. In the case of Marseille, the Saint-Pierre Cemetery is an excellent attraction of the city during the month of August because it does not usually have so many visitors and that means that you can walk through its extension in total comfort.

In addition, the weather conditions are more favorable at this time to make a tour on your own or guided through this picturesque cemetery. It is also worth mentioning that the neighborhood around this tourist attraction has one of the most bohemian and vibrant communities in the city. All this while there is also a quality gastronomic offer that can provide you with an excellent lunch to continue the rest of your day in the best possible way.

9. Take a bike ride around the city

Bike tour in Marseille| ©Max Ofmars
Bike tour in Marseille| ©Max Ofmars

A bike tour in Marseille will always be one of the favorite activities to enjoy during a visit to the city during the month of August. The first reason has to do with the fact that it allows you to explore the city more quickly while having fun with a sporting activity.

The second is that it saves you public transportation in the month when these ways of getting around the city are in the highest demand of the whole year. In addition, it is a good way to experience Marseille in a closer way and even to discover corners that would go unnoticed in tours with other methods of transport.

For all these reasons, the best bike tours in Marseille are a highly recommended plan for a visit on any date in August. Even more knowing that the summer weather conditions make this activity even more fun and entertaining.

10. Cycle around the city in search of the best Bouillabaisse

Eating Bouillabaisse| ©geometricsprocket
Eating Bouillabaisse| ©geometricsprocket

Marseille's gastronomy is also worth enjoying during the month of August. In that context the best gastronomic tours of Marseille can be a good bet for your trip, especially if you focus on trying to discover which restaurants in the city that have the best panisse, one of the great culinary treasures of this site and at the same time one of the most characteristic foods of the summer months.

The Bouillabaisse is a fish broth that looks like a Galician and Portuguese caldeirada and is very characteristic of the original food of this French city. During the whole month of August it is usually served more frequently than in the rest of the year due to a combination of a greater tourist influx together with an increase in the fishing of the seafood that makes up this recipe.

So trying this dish is something you can not miss, even more if you accompany it with another of the great flavors of the Marseille gastronomy in August and summer, the Tapenade. Chez Fonfon, Les Trois Forts and Peron are some of the best places throughout the city for you to venture out and try this recipe.

The best gastronomic tours in Marseille

Temperatures in Marseille in August

Marseille Cathedral| ©Chris Bancrof
Marseille Cathedral| ©Chris Bancrof

The beginning of August features some of the highest temperatures of the entire year for the south of France. As a result, you can probably find yourself with 31 or 35 °C on an average day of the month while the lows will not drop below 20°.

The tourist flow in Marseille in August

Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov
Coast of Marseille| ©Alexey Komarov

August is the month with the highest tourist influx for most European cities and Marseille does not escape this reality. This means that throughout the month many tourist facilities will be packed with people, so outdoor activities like the ones I have outlined for you in this compilation become even more convenient and interesting.

Prices in Marseille in August

Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

Prices become more expensive in August for the simple fact that it is high season. Therefore, accommodation, transportation and even food might be a bit more expensive than in the rest of the year.

What to pack to visit Marseille in August?

Luggage| ©tookapic
Luggage| ©tookapic

For August in Marseille you need to take the same things you would use in any Mediterranean summer destination. This means that you can't miss a good sunscreen, clothes that are cool and appropriate for all kinds of situations and, above all, appropriate footwear for walking from north to south and from east to west along this great city.