Wonderful Côte d’Azur: Marseille itinerary for an amazing week

By Kanika Dabra - March 19, 2020

Marseille is located South-East of France on the Mediterranean coast. It is the second largest city in France and has the biggest port in the country thanks to its excellent location. The city is home to amazing architecture, rich in historical culture and in beautiful beaches near Marseille. It is definitely a location that is worth visiting for everyone!

To truly enhance your experience, rent a boat and go on a trip from Marseille to discover the wonderful Cote d’Azur in France by boat.

Practical information

We recommend this cruise from May to October, with a preference for the periods from May to June and from September to October. The number of visitors is lower during this period and the sailing conditions are excellent.

It is always necessary to check the anchorage locations, as some of them are forbidden to anchor.

In France, you don’t need to have a license to sail with a sailboat, however it is preferable to have a good nautical CV.

Day 1: Rent a boat in Marseille

Before you start your journey, don’t forget to visit the city of Marseille.

You can start your day by passing by the fish market located near the Old Port. During this visit you will find the the locals and the authenticity of Marseille. Continue the day with a trip to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mu Cem), where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Friuli Islands.

If you want to eat a delicious lunch in the city, you’ll find plenty to fill your stomach in the small neighbourhood called Le Panier.

Day 2: Marseille → Cassis

18.3 nautical miles, 3 hours 40 minutes of sailing

Anchor in the stunning clanques of Cassis, near Marseille. You will be in a peaceful location to take a swim and spend the night there.

We recommend a visit to Morgiou (a calanque located between Marseille and Cassis) to admire this mineral and water paradise. Here you can watch the waters turn from emerald to turquoise colour!

You will be able to eat in the small restaurant and bar with the professional fishermen of the area. Try their wines of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), which is one of the finest in France.

During your stay in Cassis you will be able to discover its small port and its sharp cliffs. A very unique stopover on your itinerary.

Day 3: Cassis → Bandol 

12.3 nautical miles, 2.5 hours of sailing

On this second day of sailing, sail towards Bandol and anchor in the bay that is known for its calmness.

We recommend that you discover the local market on the port, have dinner on the Charles de Gaulle Quay and rest on the dreamy beaches.

Back in sailing, open your eyes wide and you might see dolphins and other whales in the water.

Day 4: Bandol → Island of Embiez

4.5 nautical miles, 1 hour of sailing

Head towards the Island of Embiez or Island of Paul Ricard. This stopover will surely be the most peaceful, because this island has only a few houses, no cars and above all, has totally wild coves.

We recommend a refreshing dive in the turquoise water while discovering its fabulous seabed.

To spend the night here, there are two options available. Anchor in a small corner of paradise or head towards the port of Saint-Pierre des Embiez.

Day 5: Island of Embiez → La Ciotat

9.6 nautical miles, 2 hours of sailing

On this day we propose you to sail in the direction of Marseille, making a stop at the seaside town called La Ciotat. You can discover spectacular bays such as Figuerolles or Mugel.

You will be able to anchor in the bay of La Ciotat. But be careful, you will not be able to anchor anywhere there, we advise you to bring the buoyage plan. You can also anchor in front of the beach, but this anchorage is less protected.

Day 6: La Ciotat → île Riou

11.3 nautical miles, 2 hours 15 minutes of sailing

For the last stopover, head in the direction of south of Marseille, towards the uninhabited archipelago of Riou. During this journey along the coast, you will be facing a breathtaking scenery. You will see the Calanques de Port Miou, Port Pin and especially the Calanque D’en Vau which deserves its own stopover.

When you arrive in the Riou archipelago, discover all it has to offer. Spectacular seabeds, natural parks and the calmness of the archipelago.

There are many mooring possibilities in this archipelago, we advise you to moor on the Calanque de Monastério. You will find fine sandy beaches and turquoise waters. And more importantly, you might also find wild boars who even swim with you!

Day 7: Back to the port of Marseille

9.8 nautical miles, 2 hours of sailing

Enjoy one last time the amazing landscape during the last trip to the port of Marseille. We recommend you a last stopover on the Calanque de Ratonneau on the archipelago of Frioul. No better way to end your cruise then to stop at this little paradise.

During your cruise, have a look at the Château d’If. A castle in the center of the harbour of Marseille, it is full of history.

It’s time to return to Marseille, this trip is relatively short (about 20 minutes). You will have time to fill up the tank and check the condition of the boat.

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