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Greek, Roman and French empire alike have shaped Marseille; the second-largest city in the country and a hubbub of port-side charm and Riviera panache. Start with a tourHQ guide in Le Panier!

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Marseille Tours



The mercantile energy of France’s second largest city never deserted it. Since the first Phocean Greeks landed here and made their mark, the town has been touched by Roman traders, Visigoth invaders and Sicilian Kings, French mafiosos and imperial port builders, all the while allowing goods from right across the Mediterranean basin to ebb and flow into its ports and jetties. Not a wonder that the city was historically more fortified than even Paris; the two mighty citadels of Fort Saint-Nicolas and Fort Saint-Jean are reserved solely for the protection of the Old Town harbour. The ancient centre of town resides between the boundaries of Le Panier, where tight-knit lanes shoot up unexpected staircases and small squares hide behind old Romanesque archways, and the city’s trademark bouillabaisse bubble with the salty scents of red rascasse, bream and velvet crabs from eateries along the way. Elsewhere, Marseille tour guides flit between the totemic rises of the grand Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde and the Cathedrale de la Major, while the Château d'If lurks ominously out at sea, still echoing with the footsteps of a certain Count from Monte Christo.

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