Tourism Ireland

Hike Marseille to Martigues

by Megan Hill

Jun 9, 2018

© Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

As of this May, a new hiking route opened that connects Marseille to Martigues in France.

The 62-kilometer coastal route is called the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue, or the Big Blue Coast Trail. The picturesque route wends through French villages, seaside coves, cliff sides and beaches.

One terminus is at Le Rove in Marseille, and the trail is filled with nearly constant sea views on its way to Martigues. The route connects with around 17 other hikes between six and 24 kilometers in length, so backpackers looking to explore further have several spur options. Hikers can also choose shorter, daytrip routes and loops accessible from a variety of starting points. And each access point can be reached by train, making it even more accessible.

The route took two years of planning, including adding blue arrow signposts to show the way. Visitors can tackle the 6.5-kilometer-long La Boucle des Calanques or Cove Loop, which includes a steep, 350-meter climb.

Nature lovers will enjoy seeing some 600 species of plants identified along the route. Fifty-nine are protected species, while 16 are threatened.

Hikers can print maps of the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue route from the Bouches-du-Rhône tourist information website.

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