In this half-day private tour, discover the city of Marseille: its old port and the historical center. Observe the Palais Longchamp (Water Castle), which was build in 1869 to bring water from the Durance river to Marseille. Go to the iconic basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde (usually called la bonne Mère) that was built in Roman-Byzantine style in 1864 to replace the old chapel with the same name. Finally, your guide will take you to the charming Cape Croisette, before driving you back to Arles.
Marseille is in the midst of enjoying a cultural renaissance and you will see why during this 4-hour tour. This city was the European Capital of Culture in 2013. Your guide will pick you up in the morning at any Hotel in Arles. Your adventure begins with the visit of the city’s historical center. Walk along the Vieux Port dotted with shops and restaurants while your tour guide reveals the port’s journey from a 6th century trade post to the area’s hub of maritime activity in the 19th century. From there you will head to the colonnade-lined Palais Longchamp at the terminus of the Durance river. Inaugurated in 1869 as a monument to commemorate the connection of Marseille to a new waterway network, the combination large fountain-waterfall-water tower has two wings that houses the city’s natural history museum and musée des beaux-arts.Continue with the stunning Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. Situated on the foundation of an ancient fort, this building rests on the highest elevation in the city overlooking Marseille. Consecrated in 1864 to replace an 11th century church by the same name, the Basilica has a lower crypt built in the Romanesque style and an upper church that was built in the Neo-Byzantine style using green limestone from Florence. Take some pictures before ending your tour at Cap Croisette. Walk along the peninsula and feel time stand still as you enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea.When your tour is finished, your guide will drive you back to Arles. Step back into the history and culture of beautiful Marseille.