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Corniche, beaches and Parc Borély
France > Côte d'Azur > Marseille > Corniche, beaches and Parc Borély

Palais du Pharo : Click to enlarge picture
Pharo
The most popular stretch of sand close to the city centre is the plage des Catalans, a few blocks south of the Palais du Pharo. This marks the beginning of Marseille's corniche, avenue J.-F.-Kennedy, which follows the cliffs past the dramatic statue and arch that frames the setting sun of the Monument aux Morts des Orients. South of the monument, steps lead down to an inlet, Anse des Auffes, which is the nearest Marseille gets to being picturesque. Small fishing boats are beached on the rocks, the dominant sound is the sea, and narrow stairways and lanes lead nowhere. The corniche then turns inland, bypassing the Malmousque peninsula, whose coastal path gives access to tiny bays and beaches – perfect for swimming when the mistral wind is not inciting the waves. You can see along the coast as far as Cap Croisette and, out to sea, the abandoned monastery on the Îles d'Endoume and the Château d'If.

The corniche ends at the Plage du Prado, the city's main sand beach, where the water is remarkably clean. A short way up avenue du Prado, avenue du Park-Borély leads into the city's best green space, the Parc Borély, with a boating lake, rose gardens, palm trees and a botanical garden (daily 8am–9pm; €1). The quickest way to the park and the beaches is by bus #19, #72 or #83 from Mº Rd-Pt-du-Prado; for the corniche, take bus #83 from the Vieux Port.


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