Corniche, Marseille

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  • Vallon des Auffes
    Vallon des Auffes
    by maykal
  • Monument aux Pieds Noirs
    Monument aux Pieds Noirs
    by maykal
  • Villas behind Plage du Prophete
    Villas behind Plage du Prophete
    by maykal
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    Corniche: Monument aux Pieds Noirs/Plage Prado

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Monument aux Pieds Noirs
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    Another monument and another viewpoint, this time it commemorates the French settlers (pieds noirs) who left Algeria after independence in 1962, and arrived by ship in Marseille. This section of the Corniche overhangs the sea as it clings to the cliffs, but despite first appearances, there is still plenty of access to the sea. Look out for the holes in the pavement with secret steps leading to quiet rocks for sunbathing or whatever activities people get up to when they think they're out of sight. Looking over the side of the corniche, there was no shortage of people diving off the rocks into the clear waters below.

    Finally, the Corniche reaches Plage du Prado, a fairly ugly stretch of city beach backed by bars and restaurants as well as a big ferris wheel.

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    Corniche: Plage du Prophete

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Plage du Prophete
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    A kilometre or so further on and you reach the nicest beach, a triangle of bleached white sand with crystal clear water that sits in a slight bay, backed by some of the prettiest villas on the corniche. This is Plage du Prophete, which doesn't look like it belongs to France's gritty second city and would be more in keeping somewhere more tropical. It was August, so the sea was a bit like a human soup, but the fact that people are happy to swim in seas so close to a major port says a lot about the cleanliness of the water.

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    Corniche: Malmousque

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Malmousque
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    The Corniche cuts inland for a short section, allowing a lucky few a bit more privacy to build the perfect seaside villa in an area called Malmousque. Malmousque was another fishing village, now an exclusive playground for the rich. Paths lead down between the houses to coves and sunbathing rocks, as well as another top seafood restaurant, but it was all a bit too exclusive for me...

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    Corniche: Monument aux Morts de l'Armee d'Orient

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Monument aux Morts de l'Armee d'Orient
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    Just before the Corniche crosses the inlet of Vallon des Auffes, a grand monument stands on a rock jutting out into the sea. It commemorates those soldiers from the French colonies, mainly Algeria, who fought and died for the country during the world wars. I wanted to get close to take a better photo and find out a bit more, but like so many things in Marseille in 2012, it was fenced off pending a clean up. I made do with poking my camera through the fence, managing to snap the statue with the setting sun right behind it.

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    Corniche: Vallon des Auffes

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Vallon des Auffes
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    For me, the most picturesque part of the Corniche has to be the Vallon des Auffes, a small fishing community that was until the 1940s almost completely cut off from the rest of the city, only accessible by sea or perilous coast path. Now, the corniche has been built over a bridge at the end of the bay, giving panoramic views over the rooftops and boats below. Walking down the winding steps to the bottom, you emerge in what is still a fishing community despite the encroaching urban sprawl on all sides. Men still mend their nets and paint their boats down here, but nowadays they're joined by tourists taking photos and locals who come to eat at a famous bouillabaisse restaurant.

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    Corniche: Plage des Catalans

    by maykal Written Nov 11, 2012

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    Plage des Catalans
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    Feel like a stroll along the beach in the middle of a big city? Well, keep walking past the forts at the entrance to the Vieux Port, and eventually you'll emerge on the Corniche John F. Kennedy which takes you through some of Marseille's most exclusive neighbourhoods, past sandy beaches wedged between cliffs, hidden coves and Art deco hotels with views to die for, top seafood restaurants and luxurious villas, as well a number of striking monuments placed strategically at viewpoints.

    First stop is the Plage des Catalans, so close to the port you can almost see cars boarding the ferries, and you can certainly see them sail perilously close. But the sand is clean, the sea clearer than you would expect, and the bodies playing beach volleyball beautiful.

    Just offshore are the Iles du Frioul and the Chateau d'If, a castle perched on a rock just big enough to keep it from toppling into the sea. Ferries take sunbathers and tourists over to the islands throughout the summer, although to be honest there doesn't look to be much there...admittedly that's based on a quick peek through binoculars from the corniche and a browse of pics on google earth, so who knows, perhaps they hold hidden delights.

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    THE CORNICHE SEA-SIDE WALKWAY OR DRIVE

    by balhannah Updated Sep 10, 2012

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    Seaside walkway

    For once, I didn't walk it, instead I enjoyed the beautiful views that are seen from the walkway when travelling in the Little Tourist Train. Views are of the sea, from the Catalans cove to the Prado beaches, and of the Frioul islands and the Château d'If.

    In 1848, it was decided to create a seaside thoroughfare in order to provide work for the numerous unemployed of the time. Today, the Corniche is 5 kilometres long, and can be driven along or walked along.
    It was redeveloped at the end of the fifties and renamed Corniche J. F. Kennedy in 1963. In the 19th century, rich merchants had magnificent villas built here, some are still here. Standing on the Corniche is a huge propeller blade, a sculpture commemorating the people repatriated to France from North Africa.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Budget Travel

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    La Corniche

    by tini58de Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    There is a long long corniche (coastal road) called Corniche Président Kennedy. The bus #83 goes all the way from the old port to the very end of the corniche. We hopped on and off the bus and walked quite a bit, but I must say that part of the walk was not really that enjoyable, because that street sure does have quite some traffic. The views are great, though!!!

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    B15) Villas along the Corniche

    by BeChar Written Jul 12, 2005

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    Villas along the Corniche


    After that two viaducs were built (1863) above Vallon des Auffes and Fausse Monnaie the area around Corniche Kennedy became an attractive place to build villas and Castles (see Tip B16). Altough the Corniche was enlarged in 1960's, the panoramic view remains wonderful.

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    B1) Plan of the tour "Corniche"

    by BeChar Updated Jul 8, 2005

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    Map of the Blue tour (Corniche)


    For the blue tour (mainly along the sea) we start from the Tourist Office, direction Old Port. We will discover the Pharo, small valleys and villas, and come back through Notre Dame de la Garde.

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    Coastal walk : La Corniche Kennedy

    by ptitetoile Written May 25, 2005

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    This street follows the coast of Marseille to the West. It is borded with the sumptuous houses and mansions of the upper merchant classes of the 19th century. To see absolutely!

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