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Provenza Day Trips from Marseille

In Provence the senses overflow. Its aromas, colors and flavors are special and you can enjoy them in very different excursions. Are you in?

Sonsoles Jimenez

Sonsoles Jimenez

11 min read

Provenza Day Trips from Marseille

Architecture of Provence | ©Albert Torelló

Provence is a region as vast as it is varied. Here are hidden some of the most beautiful villages of France, natural areas of great environmental value and places steeped in history. All this without forgetting, of course, those wonderful lavender fields that are its most typical postcard.

If you are going to spend several days in the city, in addition to enjoying some of the best tours of Marseille to discover all its charms, I recommend you to go a few kilometers away. The excursions that I am going to show you will allow you to enjoy the best of the landscapes, culture and gastronomy of a region that will remain forever engraved in your memory and in your heart.

1. Excursion to the Calanques

Calanques National Park| ©travelmag.com
Calanques National Park| ©travelmag.com

In the Calanques National Park you will contemplate some of the most spectacular landscapes of Provence. It is a coastal strip punctuated by small fjords in whose interior are hidden coves full of charm. The color of the water will amaze you, it is an intense blue that contrasts in an amazing way with the white of the limestone cliffs that shape the landscape.

The best way to discover the beauty of this place is with a guided tour. Keep in mind that it is not easy to reach some of these coves and that not all of them are equally spectacular. The most recommended? Those of Port-Miou, Port-Pin and d'En-Vau, among others. By the way, don't forget your swimsuit.

Another advantage of the excursions to the Calanques is that you can choose between hiking tours, bike rides or even sidecar tours. If you feel like something more relaxed, you can join one of the boat tours from Marseille to discover this jewel of nature.

My advice? If you are going to stay long enough in the city, admire the Calanques from every possible point of view. And whatever the means chosen, it is one of the best things to do with children in Marseille.

Details of interest of this excursion

  • Price: from 35 euros if the excursion is on foot, about 75 euros if it is by bike and about 130 euros if it is by boat.
  • Duration: between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the chosen means of transport.
  • Advantages of this option: there are different types of excursions that allow you to adapt to the time available or the physical shape you have.

The best tours in Marseille

2. Cassis and Aix-en-Provence: a tour to enjoy the charm of Provence

In Aix-en-Provence| ©Ste 4416
In Aix-en-Provence| ©Ste 4416

Aix-en-Provence is the historic capital of Provence. An elegant and stately city where you will discover countless eighteenth-century mansions. But this is also the birthplace of Paul Cezànne. If you like art, you will enjoy the guided tour as you follow in the painter's footsteps throughout the city.

However, this town in the heart of Provence has much more to offer. For example, its wines or its gastronomy. If you are one of those who can't resist a good sweet, give in to temptation and try the calisson, a kind of fruity marzipan typical of the area.

The second stop of the tour will take you to Cassis, a small seaside town that has managed to preserve all the charm of the seaside villages. Its main attraction, in fact, is its port. There are a good number of bars and restaurants where you can taste the delicious Provençal gastronomy.

But you should not stop at the port. The excursions leave time to stroll through the streets and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere where time passes slowly and has nothing to do with the bustle of Marseille. All this without forgetting its charming beaches and the possibility of taking a boat ride to admire the views.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 130 euros
  • Duration: about 9 hours
  • Advantages of this option: it offers the possibility to get to know two completely different cities and to appreciate the contrasts of Provence.

They can also be visited separately

Most tours offer the visit to Cassis and Aix-en-Provence in the same day, but you can do it separately. If you do not have much time, or if you prefer to enjoy them with a little more calm, make the visit separately. They are half-day excursions whose price is around 70 euros.

Sightseeing tour of Provence: Marseille and cruise to the Calanques of Cassis

3. Excursion to the heart of Provence: Roussillon, Lourmarin and Gordes

In Roussillon| ©colombo.damiano
In Roussillon| ©colombo.damiano

The Luberon Natural Park is one of the natural treasures of Provence and you can discover amazing villages. In fact, Roussillon Gordes and Lourmarin are part of the select club of the Most Beautiful Villages of France. So don't forget to take your cell phone or camera with you because you won't be able to stop taking pictures.

Trying to describe them is complicated. In Rousillon, an expert guide will explain the reason why its facades are covered with ochre in different colors. Be sure to visit its quarry or stroll through its steep streets where you will discover a number of mansions with centuries of history.

From Gordes you will get one of the most beautiful postcards of the region: that of a village perched on a cliff and crowned by an imposing castle. From there, you can also admire one of the most beautiful views of the Luberon massif.

And in Lourmarin awaits you another village with Provencal air, winding and steep streets and a Renaissance castle. A place, by the way, that was the refuge of Albert Camus. These three stops will give you one of the best memories of Provence.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 130 euros
  • Duration: about 7 hours
  • Advantages of this option: it is a very complete tour in which you will appreciate the best of Provence.

4. A journey through the history of Provence: Pont du Gard, Les Baux and Avignon

Streets of Avignon| ©Karoly Lorentey
Streets of Avignon| ©Karoly Lorentey

If you are passionate about history, I recommend you take this route. It is as close as you can get to taking a trip back in time, starting from the time of the Roman Empire. In fact, the Pont du Gard is one of the most spectacular and best preserved Roman aqueducts that has survived to this day.

If you go a little further in time and distance, you will reach Les Baux de Provence, a beautiful medieval fortified village. Its castle was one of the most imposing and relevant in the south of France. Do not miss the views from it because they are spectacular.

Next stop: Avignon. You may know that for years it was the papal seat, competing with Rome. From that time is its magnificent Gothic palace, the largest of its kind in Europe. Strolling through its halls will take you back to that time when this city was practically the heart of the Western world.

But in the free time you will have in the city, you can still discover its other treasures. Special mention should be made of that magnificent unfinished bridge that is the subject of a popular children's song. By the way, it has its own name: pont Saint Bénezet.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 130 euros.
  • Duration: about 12 hours
  • Advantages of this option: in addition to the visit to the historical sites, the excursions usually include a stop at Châteauneuf du Pape to visit and taste its famous wines. If you plan to enjoy Marseille in August, you will also be able to participate in the grape harvest festival.

5. Excursions to see the lavender fields

Lavender fields| ©François Philipp
Lavender fields| ©François Philipp

If there is one image that identifies Provence like no other, it is that of the endless lavender fields. Imagine what it's like to walk through them, let yourself be enveloped by the scent of flowers and take thousands of photos to upload to your social networks.

It's one of the best things to do in summer in Marseille because that's when the lavender blooms. But keep in mind that it does it in a short period. If you want to enjoy the landscape dressed in purple in all its splendor, you only have a few weeks between June and July.

What else should you know about these excursions? That there are different destinations, although all are spectacular. The best known are Valensone and Sault. In addition, some excursions will take you to other places of great beauty, such as the charming village of Gorges or the gorges of the Verdon River, one of the most spectacular landscapes in the south of France.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 125 euros
  • Duration: about 9 hours
  • Advantages of this option: it is the one that allows you to really enjoy the most characteristic stamp of Provence and stroll unhurriedly among the lavender fields.

6. Tour to discover the vineyards of Provence

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

If there is a landscape that can surprise you in Provence, it is its endless fields of vineyards, which in some areas extend almost to the sea. Are you one of those who appreciate a good wine? Then I recommend this guided tour because you will enjoy it with all your senses.

To give you a small idea, very close to Marseille there are two areas with designation of origin: Cassis and Bandol. With a guided tour you will be able to taste the white and rosé wines of Cassis and the red wines of Bandol. In their cellars, they will also explain everything about their history and how they are made.

There is another wine-growing area that you can also visit with a guided tour: the south of the Luberon. In this case it is already in the interior of Provence, although the landscapes that you can contemplate are just as beautiful. As for its wines, they also have designation of origin and are of excellent quality.

And, since you try the wine, accompany it with some other typical product of Provence, for example, cheese or sausage. If you are left wanting more, you can always continue discovering more delicacies of Provençal gastronomy in one of the gastronomic tours in Marseille.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: about 125 euros
  • Duration: about 7 hours
  • Advantages of this option: in addition to vineyards and wineries, you will stop in some of the most charming villages of Provence.

7. Artistic tour in Provence: Arles, Saint Rémy and Les Baux

Touring Provence| ©Gordon Joly
Touring Provence| ©Gordon Joly

The landscapes of Provence have inspired artists throughout history. If you want to get to know some of the artistic treasures of this region, there are places you should not miss. This excursion will take you to them.

Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles for a few months. It was one of his most tormented periods, but also one of his greatest artistic production. He was later admitted to a hospital in Saint Remy, where he continued to paint almost compulsively. This excursion will allow you to follow in his footsteps and admire his work in the very place that inspired him.

And there are still other surprises in store for you. For example, you can immerse yourself in the Roman past of the region by contemplating the remains of the entrance to the ancient Glanumn in Saint Rémy or by visiting the amphitheater of Arles. Not forgetting the medieval castle of Les Baux or the spectacular artistic projections of Carrières des Lumières.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: about 135 euros
  • Duration: about 10 hours
  • Advantages of this option: you will have a different view of Provence, more focused on history and art. And, in addition, you will also tour some of the most beautiful landscapes of the region.

8. Excursion to discover the beauty of Camargue

In the Camargue| ©Txaro Franco
In the Camargue| ©Txaro Franco

The Camargue is one of the most unknown natural treasures of Provence. It stretches between two branches of the Rhone River in a delta of surprising richness. If you would like to explore a unique landscape and your visit to Marseille leaves you time, take this excursion.

The guides will show you the variety of landscapes in this natural park, home to countless species of animals and a migratory stop for birds. The image of thousands of pink flamingos resting peacefully in its marshes is one of the most beautiful you will see in Provence.

Visiting the Camargue is always an interesting plan for nature lovers. If you are one of them and you are planning things to do in Marseille in June, take note of this excursion, spring is one of the best times to visit it. Of course, don't forget comfortable clothes and shoes, and don't forget binoculars.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 125 euros
  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Advantages of this option: in addition to visiting and getting to know this natural space in depth, some excursions include visits to outstanding localities in the area or leave time for a swim at one of its beaches.

9. Excursion to the treasures of the Côte d'Azur

Côte d'Azur| ©Fred Romero
Côte d'Azur| ©Fred Romero

The French Riviera and the Côte d'Azur are also part of Provence. Therefore, if you have time, it is a good idea to include this excursion in your plans in Marseille for 4 days. During the tour you will admire the elegance of places like Nice or Monaco and really beautiful coastal landscapes.

But this tour will allow you to discover much more, for example, one of the greatest treasures of the Côte d'Azur: Èze. It is a small village perched on a rock that stands out in the landscape. The views of the Côte d'Azur from it are spectacular.

Interesting details of this excursion

  • Price: from 135 euros
  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Advantages of this option: it allows you to discover the most picturesque places of the coast of Provence and also the luxury and glamour of cities that are not usually associated with this region.

Which excursions in Provence from Marseille are most recommended?

Sénanque Abbey| ©lo.tangelini
Sénanque Abbey| ©lo.tangelini

Any of the excursions to Provence are worthwhile. My advice is that if you have time, do more than one. This will allow you to get the most complete picture of this incredible region. Keep in mind, however, that most of them take a full day.

The tour of the Calanques has some advantages: its duration is shorter and it is a unique natural space. To get to know Provence in its purest form, the ones that go into the Luberon are perfect. If you have ever wondered where is that abbey surrounded by lavender fields that you have seen in a photo, it is near Gordes, it is the abbey of Sénanque.

And if you are traveling with children, Cassis is a good choice because it is close to Marseille and because if the weather is good you can enjoy the beach. You can also opt for the tours in the Camargue, where you can see a lot of super interesting animals in the wild.