Marseille is the second largest city in France and historically it was the most important trade centre in the region, which is why the Old Port is still the beating heart of the city. On top of the hill, overlooking the Old Port you’ll see Notre-Dame de la Garde, a catholic basilica. Built on the site of an old fort, Notre-Dame De La Garde has become an important landmark as every year on Assumption Day (August 15) it becomes a destination for pilgrims.
If you have a full day or more in port, you may be interested to know that the Camargue Natural Regional Park is 1h 45m drive away. These wetlands are an outstanding area of natural beauty and the only place where you can see Camargue horses in their natural habitat. For a truly unique landscape, visit the Salt Flats, one of the lakes has turned a shade of bright red due to the high salt content which has attracted a salt-loving organism called Dunaliella salina. The Salt Flats are also home to pats (or flocks) of pink flamingoes. Definitely not something you see every day!
Cannes is the perfect stop along your cruise to explore at a leisurely pace. Head to the La Croisette promenade and feel the sand beneath your toes on the beach then cool off by heading to L’lle de la Glace for gelato in all kinds of unique flavours including Frizzantino, a sweet Italian wine. If you’re interested in the Cannes Film Festival then head to its HQ, the Palais des Festivals. Here you’ll be able to see the handprints of notables film industry icons set in the pavement.
Villefranche-Sur is the one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean, hence this is where you’ll dock to visit the elegant city of Nice. As France’s second most visited city, you can bet that there’s a lot to see and do here!
The Promenade des Anglais (Promenade of the English) stretches along the Baie des Anges and it’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll and stretch your legs. The name of the promenade dates back to the 18th century when many wealthy Englishmen would take to spending the winter in Nice, to admire the dramatic stretch of coastline.
Another place of interest is the Zone Pietonne (Pedestrian zone) which runs parallel to the promenade. Along the pedestrian zone you’ll find shops, restaurants and a selection of bakeries serving up mouthwatering treats. It’s a great place to sit with an authentic french coffee and watch the world go by.
One building which certainly stands out whilst you’re exploring the city is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The cathedral is recognised as a national monument of France, despite being legally owned by the Russian Federation. Opening in 1912, it is still used today as a place of worship.
Annual Weather in France
January: 5 to 13°C
February: 6 to 13°C
March: 8 to 15°C
April: 10 to 16°C
May: 13 to 20°C
June: 17 to 23°C
July: 20 to 27°C
August: 20 to 27°C
September: 18 to 25°C
October: 14 to 21°C
November: 9 to 16°C
December: 6 to 14°C
How to Book Your Cruise to France
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