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Marseille tours and excursions

Marseille tours

Train and taxi tours

The tourist office has the timetable of the Petit Train de la Bonne Mère, which trundles past the main sights of the city at a leisurely pace. Marseille Taxi Tour, meanwhile, offers sightseeing from the comfort and privacy of your own cab.

Tel: +44 8 2650 0500; +44 6 6186 2341.
Website: http://www.marseille-tourisme.com

E-bike tours

Marseille's hilly streets are a doddle when you're in the saddle of a new electric bike. Guided tours take visitors to hidden corners of the city, with much less effort than on a conventional bike. Longer tours take in the Calanques and Marseille's beaches, and groups are kept to a small size.

Tel: +33 7 8200 7347.
Website: http://www.ebiketours.fr

Marseille excursions

Le Château d'If

Boats leave regularly from Marseille's Vieux-Port to Ile d'If, some 3km (2 miles) off the coast. Its infamous prison was the setting for Alexandre Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo. The island is one of the sparsely inhabited and ruggedly beautiful Frioul archipelago, which also has restaurants, bars and shops.

Ile d'If

Cassis and the Calanques

The Calanques, on the edge of Marseille, are a series of steep limestone cliffs falling abruptly into the sea, with secluded coves and creeks. The area is ideal for swimming and hiking - although it can get terribly hot, so carry plenty of water. Check out upmarket Cassis, which has plenty of cafés.

Tel: +33 8 9239 0103.
Website: http://www.ot-cassis.com

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Featured Hotels

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Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port

Between the rocky headland of the Pharo and Fort St Nicolas, the indulgent Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port offers a near-unbeatable panoramic view of Marseille. The hotel has a swimming pool, eight meeting rooms (the largest of which can accommodate up to 130 people), a cocktail bar, a gastronomic restaurant and a spa.

InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu

Sitting imperiously over the Vieux Port from its perch near Le Panier, this 18th-century former Hotel Dieu is one of Marseille's most luxurious hotels. Most of the sleek, comfortable rooms have views of the Vieux Port, and many have balconies. There's also a renowned restaurant and a Clarins spa with an indoor pool.

Hotel Pullman Marseille Palm Beach

Located by the sea between the Vieux Port and the Convention Centre, the Hotel Pullman Marseille Palm Beach offers a unique view of the Prado Bay. It has stylish, contemporary rooms and suites, all with sea views. There's also a swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, jogging course and landing stage.

Le Petit Nice Passédat

This exquisite 19th-century villa in Hellenic style is set in lush gardens on a rocky promontory overlooking the Mediterranean. There is no denying that it's pricey, but the rooms are exceedingly comfortable and beautifully decorated, the service top notch, and the restaurant one of the best in town. The views are fabulous too.

Le Corbusier

Architecture buffs will relish the opportunity to stay at this hotel located within Le Corbusier's post-war vision of the future: the Cité Radieuse. While many of the hotel's 21 rooms are on the small side, they are comfy enough, and the rooftop garden offers seascapes to die for.

Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux Port

Overlooking the Vieux Port, this is one of the oldest hotels in Marseille, established in 1860. Many famous writers have stayed here, including George Sand (who eloped here with Chopin in 1839). Its air-conditioned, soundproofed rooms feature Provençal-style furniture, and many come with balconies and views of the port.