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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Europe:
The Mediterranean
Sights to see & things to do

Marseilles, France 

France’s busiest Mediterranean port is a grab bag of coastal pleasures.  The area boasts quaint fishing villages, intimate resorts, and an incomparable coastline.  In contrast, the impressionist landscapes of Provence and Les Baux beckon visitors inland from the sea to explore the countryside.

Diversions

Docking near the industrial area of the harbor, head for the Vieux Port, the Old Harbor and heart of the city.  The forts of St. Nicholas and St. John guard the port entrance, Town Hall, and the Canebiere.  Set high on the hills above the Old Harbor, the site of the beautiful cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Garde offers panoramic views.  Inside, the cathedral is resplendent with mosaics, mural paintings, and multicolored marbles.

Provence is synonymous with beautiful rolling countryside and leisurely meals enjoyed in charming surroundings with fine French wines.  Take to the road, either by shore excursion or rental car, for the likes of Aix en Provence, the home of Paul Cezanne, where aristocratic townhouses display Baroque facades and carved doors and narrow streets lead to the Archbishop’s Palace, the Romanesque St. Sauveur Cathedral, and the 17th century Town Hall. 

Pass through the most scenic area of France to reach Les Baux, a quaint village of narrow cobblestone streets, ancient stone houses, and medieval ruins high atop the Alpilles Mountain Range.

Shopping

Marseilles’ main shopping area is along Prado Avenue.  Small shops in Les Baux and Aix en Provence offer fragrant soaps, perfumes, art, pottery, and local handicrafts.  Some of France’s oldest vineyards are nearby in the area of Bandol and locally produced wines and Pastis (the aperitif brewed in the region) make fine souvenirs and gifts. 

Beaches

Forty-five minutes from Marseilles, Cassis is a popular summer resort with small beaches and the bonus of seaside boutiques and cafés.


Back to Mediterranean Ports of Call


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