Best beaches Marseille

Guide to the Best Beaches in Marseille

If you’re visiting Marseille in the summer you’ll no doubt be looking for the best beaches in the city. Our guide has the insider guide to the best spots to relax, swim and tan during your stay in Marseille.

Marseille has some incredible beaches dotted along its coastline. From small sandy beaches to rocky outcrops next to beautiful crystal clear, azure water, you’ll find plenty of superb spots to chill, swim and catch some sun. If you’re adventurous and don’t mind going further afield there’s the stunning calanques of Marseille to explore where you can hike to some incredible bays. Wanting to stay more central? There’s plenty of beaches outside of the Vieux Port to explore as well with some great modern amenities.

Read on to discover our favourite beaches in Marseille with details on travel time from the centre, facilities available and advice from locals.

6 of the Best Beaches in and around Marseille

With dozens of great beaches & swimming spots along the coastline around Marseille, there’s plenty of spots to choose from to visit. Our guide includes our favourite beaches to visit from ultra scenic, wild rocky outcrops to sandy beaches with plenty of facilities.

Plage des Catalans

The Plage des Catalans is one of the most well known beaches in Marseille. Located to the west of the Vieux Port, it takes around 15-20 minutes to get there walking or 12 minutes on the 83 bus.

best beaches Marseille plages des catalans
Photo by V&A Dudush

It’s a relatively small, sandy beach with fantastic clear water and a great view out towards les Iles de Frioul. Note that the swimming area which is marked by buoys is again relatively small. It’s perfect for a quick dip to cool down during the summer months if you’re exploring the local area.

In terms of amenities there are life guards, toilets, showers and kiosks selling drinks and snacks. There’s also beach volleyball courts which are extremely popular with locals.

Plage du Vallon des Auffes

Next to the Port de Vallon des Auffes and under the Monument aux Morts (dedicated to French armed service personnel) lies a great swimming spot. Whilst it’s not technically a beach, the area is lined off swimming area in the sea with access via ladders.

Plage du Vallon des Auffes Marseille
The port at the other side of the swimming area

If you’re exploring the quaint old port – which I’d definitely recommend – it’s a great area to take a dip to cool off if you’re visiting during a heat wave. Once you’ve had a swim, there’s Chez Fonfon located just above the port where you can try Marseille’s famous bouillabaisse soup.

Plages du Prado

The Plage du Prado is a long stretch of beach located to the south east of the city. There’s a total of 6 artificial bays that make up les plages each with plenty of facilities. It’s a popular spot with locals where many will meet at the Statue of David on the north side before having apéro on the beach.

best beaches Marseille Prado
Photo by Ximonic, Simo Räsänen

There’s plenty of beach clubs, bars (cabanas) and kiosks along the stretch. Note that the sand can vary in quality and as in some parts it can be closer to fine stones/gravel. It takes around 40 minutes to get there from the Vieux Port on bus 83. If the traffic is bad you can take metro line 1 and then change at Castellane for bus 19.

Plages de l’Estaque

The Plages de l’Estaque are comprised of 3 small beaches which are situated to the North West of the city. The beaches are surrounded by local marinas and they’re protected by breakwaters so they’re ideal for families with small children. The water in the designated swimming area isn’t particularly deep either.

Plages de l’Estaque

The three beaches within the area are Plage de la Lave, Plage du Fortin and Plage de la Batterie. The Plage du Fortin is more of a gravel/stone beach whereas the other two are sandy. Note that all 3 beaches are on the smaller side and can get very busy during summer months.

Plage de la Fausse Monnaie

The Plage de la Fausse Monnaie (meaning counterfeit money beach in English!) is a rocky outcrop close to the well known 5* hotel & 3* restaurant Le Petit Nice Passedat.

Plage de la fausse monnaie
Photo by Marianne B.

There isn’t a sandy beach here – it’s really a rocky area where locals will dive into the sea. If you fancy an area off-piste and don’t mind relaxing on rocks and jumping into the sea then this is a really beautiful spot to go to. To get here you’ll need to take the 83 bus to Le Petit Nice Passedat and then from there, walk down to the sea.

Les Goudes

Les Goudes is a small fishing village to the south of Marseille located in the National Park of the Calanques. Because of it’s protected status from the French government it’s been barely touched by modern development and tourism which has allowed the town to keep its rugged beauty. That said, it also means getting their via car is practically impossible during the summer.

les goudes
A beach within the main bay in Les Gourdes. Photo by Marianne B.

There are beaches within the town (pictured) as well as around the area and boy are they beautiful. Check out the Plage la base des singes which is located to the west of the town and is about a 15 minute walk away – it’s stunning.

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