Rendez-vous in Bouches-du-Rhône
The best way to get to know the Bouches-du-Rhône is to visit it…
The region boasts three major "benchmarks": the City of Marseille, Camargue and Provence, each possessing its own uniqueness, character, values and customs.
The cosmopolitan city of Marseille represents the region’s urban facet
It is an ever-changing city, a dynamic economic centre, and a bustling cultural venue.
But its main asset remains its exceptional environment and incomparable quality of life, with an impressive 2,593 hours of sunshine per year. Virtually 50% of the city’s total surface area (the second largest in France) comprises natural, protected zones.The coast, home to the world-famous "Calanques" (little coastal fjords) and picturesque bays, is a truly exceptional natural site, featuring no less than 50 beaches and bathing areas.
Marseille is also a port (or rather several ports!): the city harbours a vast commercial port, many marinas and a small traditional fishing port located in one of the city’s famous little coastal fjords - the "Calanques".
Marseille is renowned for its great atmosphere. The city is a melting pot of populations from various continents, sparking a year-round friendly and festive mood. It is the stage for major music festivals, nautical and sporting events.
Camargue is synonymous with nature and wide open spaces
Flora and fauna have pride of place in this area, which is still home to countless old ranches, tended by traditional horseback herdsman or "gardians". Camargue is truly a world apart: an authentic and unique place, modeled by the hand of man. Here, the word "freedom" takes on its full meaning, reflected in the rebellious and untamed liberty of the wild horses and bulls roaming in the roadside fields and meadows.
Camargue is best explored by bike, on horseback, or by canoe. This immense, primitive and salty zone, comprised of alluviums, marshes, arid land and paddy fields, is a fascinating wilderness. A land of sun, wind and water, Camargue is truly a world apart.
Provence forms the region’s inland country
Famed throughout the world, this area is acclaimed for its gentle quality of life. In Provence, people take their time to savour life and the gifts it has to offer: good food and wine, picture postcard landscapes, and numerous traditions and ancient skills.
Provence is essentially a rural area, reflected in its architecture, landscapes and local populations. Many Provençal villages were built on the hilltops, and the local inhabitants were grouped in the village centre, around the castle or church. These pretty little village squares and fountains have remained the centre of village life, where the locals meet to play boules, drink pastis on the café terraces, as well as chat and debate!
Provence is also renowned for its prestigious terroir, time-honoured celebrations, and customs.
So, now the introductions are over, let’s get on our way …
The Bouches-du-Rhône region benefits from a sophisticated communications network, including Marseille-Provence International Airport, Marseille port, TGV high-speed train services from Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, and highway links to Italy, Spain and northern France (A7, A8).