Plage de Calanque de Sugiton (chemin de Vicinal de Morgiou), where Sugiton Creek flows into a cove just south of Marseille near the University of Luminy campus. The small pebble beach and slabs of rock here are a favorite of naturists and gay people.
Plage de Callelongue (on road to Maronaise) look for the sign to the beach, gay-friendly, especially men.
Plage des Goudes (rue Désiré Pellaprat) most popular in summertime, look above Goudes beach past the destroyed bunkers for this small, men-frequented beach.
Plage du Mont-Rose (boulevard du Mont-Rose) gay people and naturists, probably the oldest gay beach in the south of France, located in the city. Take bus number 19 to "Montredon". Beyond the Prado beaches and the Pointe Rouge port to Madrague Montredon, look for the beach below the avenue.
See more area beaches at the Marvellous-Provence website below:
On this previously uninhabited island, François I ordered a fortress built in 1516. Drawn here by curiosity to see a rhinoceros sent by King Manuel I of Portugal to Pope Leo X, but shipwrecked on the isle, he noticed the strategic significance of the location. Before long it become a prison for "rebels, ruffians and refractory galley slaves." Protestants were also thrown into these dungeons, where many died. In the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, the protagonist Edmond Dantès, was imprisoned here in solitary confinement. After the communards of 1871, the fortress ceased to be a prison, and it was opened to the public in 1890. Regular boat service and tours bring an annual 90,000 visitors.
Notre-Dame de la Garde is seen by the population of Marseille as the guardian protectress of the city. The ornate Neo-Byzantine basilica is built on the highest natural point overlooking Marseille, the 532 ft (162 m) limestone outcrop to the south of Old Port. The lower church crypt, dug from the rock was built in the Romanesque style. The upper church is Neo-Byzantine style, decorated with mosaics. The 135 ft (41 m) square bell-tower of 41m (135 feet) is topped by a 42 ft belfry, atop which sits the 27 ft (11.2m) copper statue of Madonna and Child, gilded with gold leaf. There is bus service from the Old Port (Jean-Ballard Course), or two climbing routes to the basilica on foot.
A fine example of Provençal Romanesque architecture built of pinkish stone from the Couronne quarries, the building dates from the middle of the 12th Century, but earlier buildings had been built there since the 6th Century. The bell tower was added in the 16th Century. A cathedral until displaced by the New Major, it continued to be a parish church until the 1950s. The first stone of the new cathedral was laid in 1852 (by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte), and part of the old building was taken to build the new one, which was consecrated in 1896.
Perhaps the city's most defining vista, the view from Panier/ Old Town across Vieux Port, overlooked by Notre Dame de la Garde, is a picture postcard experience, especially bathed in the warm red tones of late afternoon sunshine. The center of life in Marseille for more than two thousand years this remains one of the favorite areas in the city for locals and tourists to relax as the day winds down; to eat and drink, to converse and to poke around the shops. La Criée, Théâtre national de Marseille (30 quai de Rive Neuve), features stage productions of drama and comedy, along with popular and classical music concerts, and the Café Théâtre de Tatie (19, quai de Rive Neuve) is a nearby comedy/concert venue. From here going east to rue de la Palud, streets are filled with scores of shops, cafes and restaurants.
The Canebière, the historic high street from Vieux Port to the Réformés quarter, takes its name from Cannabis in Latin, as this area was once fields of hemp. From the Middle Ages until the 1930s Marseille was one of the world's largest sources of hemp used for making baskets and rope. High society cafés, luxury hotels and boutiques dominated the street during the French Third Republic, as music hall performances drew large crowds. Today the T2 Tramway line extends between between rue de Rome/Cours Belsunce and Réformés. The Noailles and Vieux-Port Metro stations are also located here.
Just past Fort Saint-Jean, the MuCEM Mediterranean history/ civilizations museum offers shows, film screenings and music concerts in addition to their exhibits. The Centre Bourse shopping center nearby has around sixty stores, along with bars, restaurants, the History Museum and the Garden of Ruins. Les Voûtes, a little further up the shore, has a covered market, Les Halles de la Major, offering fine foods, produce and specialities of the region from 10 stalls and a Brasserie with terrace tables. Beyond that, Les Terrasses du Port (Metro Joliette) is an even larger larger commercial, cultural and leisure center, with food hall, big name stores, cutting-edge designers, and over 190 shops and restaurants. A large terrace and promenade overlook the sea.
Frequent ferry boats cross the harbor between La Mairie (City Hall) on the quai du Port and Bar de la Marine on the quai de Rive Neuve. Boat shuttles depart from the quai de la Fraternit, on the short side of the port, to the Château d'If island-fortress-prison featured in Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo), the Pointe Rouge and L'Estaque, sandy beaches, and excursions to the scenic calanques -- narrow, steep-walled inlets that cut into the limestone or dolomite Mediterranean coastline.