Nicknamed Provencal Venice due to its numerous bridges, canals, and islands, Martigues is a city that sits on the banks of Etang de Berre. The city is linked to the Mediterranean Sea by the Caronte channel. Its strategic location links to other big cities, including Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, and Marseille.
One of the features that make the city stand out is the brightly painted houses, flowers, and shrubs that flank Canal Saint Sebastian. These have inspired famous painters.
Although the city has not established a strong presence when it comes to international tourism, there is a concerted effort by the local government to boost its profile. It has become famous for its folklore festivals, jousts, and museum. One of its notable events is the Venetian Stroll that is organized annually every September at the Miroir aux Oiseaux. The way the town has gracefully incorporated modern monuments with historic architecture is also a feature that continues to draw tourists.
In the past, Martigues was mostly a fishing town. In the recent past, the city has undergone intense economic development and industrial expansion. This has not destroyed its charm and sense of intimacy.
The city’s sandy beaches, including Ferrieres beach, The Verdon beach, the beach of Sainte-Croix, and the Blue Coast, are also among the city’s key tourist attractions. From these beaches, you can enjoy water sports such as kayaking, scuba diving, and windsurfing. Sea excursions using a canoe or a pedal boat give you a chance to explore the nearby Marseille creeks.