Late Riser - Aix en Provence & Marseille

6.5 hours | Marseille (Provence) | MRS-308
From
$ 89.95
Medical restriction (See special notes)
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Points of Interest

  • Aix-en-Provence
Shopping Opportunities, Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Perfectly suited for those who wish to linger over breakfast, this late-riser tour begins with a short drive from the port of Marseille to the charming city of Aix-en-Provence. Pronounced just like the letter "X," this university and spa town is the cultural and political center of Provence. Get acquainted with its charms when you embark on a guided walk through its romantic streets lined with stately 17th- and 18th-century mansions on this 6.5-hour tour.

With its sophisticated atmosphere and plethora of historic sights and sparkling fountains, your guided pedestrian tour starts in the heart of town at Cours Mirabeau, a wide avenue that runs from the Place Charles de Gaulle to the stately statue of King René. Shaded by 200-year-old trees and built on the site of the city's medieval ramparts, this area was the social hub for the French elite in the 1650s. Stroll along this beautiful colonnade admiring the elegant façades of the private mansions, the finely carved doorways and the balconies laden with flowers and enjoy the cooling spray from its romantic, moss-covered fountains.

Continue to the Mazarin Quarter, designed by the Archbishop Michel Mazarin, brother of the famous cardinal. Laid out in 1646, its rectangular design is characteristic of 17th-century town planning. Be sure to have your camera at the ready for the renowned Place des Quatre-Dauphins (Four Dolphins Square) with its refreshing fountain adorned with four playful dolphins. You'll also see Holy Savior Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint Sauveur) with its mixed architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic and baroque. It has been the subject of countless additions and renovations performed between the 5th and 18th centuries. Look for the remnants of a Roman-era wall and the 15th-century Gothic portal.

Continue on to explore on your own, taking time to soak up the local color and shop the boutiques, perfumeries, and souvenir shops in addition to the colorful open-air markets in the large squares. When hunger strikes, pop into one of the many sidewalk cafés and feast on the local cuisine that favors seafood, fresh produce, herbs and fragrant olive oil served with a glass of fruity red or rosé wine. Be sure to try the traditional French candy called calisson, made with melons, ground almonds and royal icing.

Later in the afternoon, reboard the motorcoach and take a scenic drive along La Corniche, which meanders for nearly three miles along the Marseille coastline. A segment of the roadway is dedicated to the honor of President Kennedy and offers panoramic views of the city, the Château d'If, and spectacular 19th-century villas.

Enjoy a comprehensive tour through the city, then head up its highest hill to the iconic Notre Dame de la Garde, built between 1853 and 1864. This stately Roman-Byzantine basilica is graced with an ornate dome that was recently restored and a bell tower that is crowned with a statue of the Virgin Mary, the guardian of the city. Those who climb to the top of the dome are rewarded with panoramic views of the city.

A photo stop at the old port completes the day as you return to the ship.

Special Notes:

Relevant amount of walking over even & cobblestone streets, many steps to negotiate in Notre Dame de la Garde. Suitable attire is required to enter the cathedral.

Medical Restriction:

Not suitable for guests with mobility problems and/or wheelchair users

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Drive to Aix

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Guided walking tour in Aix

Transport type:
Walking
Time at site:
01:15
Inside visit:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Free time for shopping and lunch

Time at site:
01:30
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Shopping available:
Yes

Drive back to Marseilles

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Drive to the Basilica via corniche road Kennedy

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Visit Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde & Panorama

Time at site:
00:45
Inside visit:
No
Steps:
50
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video restrictions:
Yes

Photo stop at the Old Port

Time at site:
00:15
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Drive back to ship

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:30
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No