Carro, a pearl of the Côte Bleue

If there is one village to visit on the Mediterranean coast, it is Carro! Fishing is in the spotlight, traditions too, which gives it a way of life far from those known on the frequented sites. To recharge your batteries for a few hours, head to Carro, at the end of the world.
Discover the history of Carro through our visit recommendations and its most emblematic places. You will love stopping off in this place full of charm where the activity of fishing perpetuates traditions.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
Treat yourself to a stroll on the Port de Carro where a few pointy are lined up. It is on the port, at the Fishermen's Circle, that the regulars meet (but where tourists are welcome!). Upstairs, you can visit the small Carro museum for free, which is the pride of the locals and whose main theme is…you guessed it: fishing. A true curator, between collectibles, old photos and fishing nets, the museum offers a real journey through time.

Continuing your walk on the port, you will see a two-tone boat that stands out. Both green and orange, the SNSM boat asserts itself with its garish colors. It is moored in the middle of the port, near the lifeboat station. Not far from there, facing the sea, a stone cross reminds us of our missing sailors.

What to see on the port of Carro?

The small museum of Carro hosts the exhibition "Between sea and hills", an authentic museum where we are keen to preserve the past... We find there in particular objects having served in the trade of the land and the sea ; from antiquity to contemporary times. Fishing tools rub shoulders with the natural treasures of the seabed and the cargoes of stranded ships.

The Circle of Fishermen was a rare distraction for the people of Carro. Created in 1976, one became a member only by living in the village of Carro. It then became a place of meetings, exchanges and festivities. Even today, the inhabitants of Carro (or those of close families) meet there in the afternoons to share a pastis around a belote.

The SNSM rescue station was created in 1868. Their boat is moored in the middle of the port because it was too big for the old shelters. The cross erected in 1863 offers the blessing and protection of sailors. It was placed here because the village of Carro, being dependent on La Couronne, has no church.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
​Carro is also its inevitable fish market. Every day and all year round on the port, according to the catch of the day, it is here that you will find the best fish! Freshly caught, sea bass, seabream, sea bream and tuna spread out before your eyes. The noise of the crates that are stored from the boat to the quay, of the cutting of the fish that is scaled, of the singing accent which boasts of its freshness and its quality. Enjoy rare moments that you can only experience at the Carro fish market. An atmosphere you won't find anywhere else!

Memories of Carro?

The Carro fish market is open all year round, every morning from 8:30 am. It is the wives of the fishermen who went to sea that very morning who run the stands. The quantity of fish depends on the catch of the day, it is better to go early!

A memory of tuna fishing often told by the elders. We spotted a school of tuna thanks to the agitation of the gulls in the sky. The alert was then given. About twenty sailors gathered and surrounded the fish with the force of the oars. The latter were then trapped and had no choice but to run into the net. A purely traditional fishing technique. We brought the tuna back to the wharf and left to dry in the open air. The day's harvest was then divided by the number of participants. Some fishermen resold them at the Criée in Marseille. In 1956, the fishermen of Carro broke the record by bringing back 7000 tuna in a single catch.

In the past, fishing nets were made of cotton, hemp and linen. They were tinted with a highly tannic decoration of maritime pine bark: the rusque. A dyehouse had been built on the port in 1947. It was the one who had the most threads to dye who had to prepare the cauldron. In 1960, the material used for the design of fishing nets changed. Nylon was then used.

Today, there are more than 40 fishermen still referenced at the Martigues Fishing Prud'homie. Passed down from generation to generation, the professional fishermen of Martigues still find their happiness between the Etang de Berre and the Mediterranean Sea. In the rocky area, there are sars, sea bass, sea bream, salem and red mullet. In summer and autumn, there are also fish for soup: scorpionfish, wrasses and serrans.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
It's time to put your towel on the fine sand of Carro beach. As authentic to its village, Carro beach has the reputation of being friendly due to its small capacity and its green facilities suitable for sunbathing and picnicking.

It is also the ideal place to begin your ascent through the creeks and creeks of the Mediterranean coast. Put on your sneakers, we invite you to follow the coastal path to Sausset-les-Pins to discover all its wild expanse. The most seasoned can go even further by choosing the La Couronne / Carro stone quarry loop. This will be an opportunity to discover 8 of the 18 stone quarry mining sites. The best known is located just above Carro beach under the name of Baou Tailla stone quarries. These badly carved rocks with a pink and ocher color are preserved in memory of the life of the stonemasons who lived in Carro.

Did you know? The name "Carro" derives from the Celtic word "Kar" which means "stone". Just as "Couronne" is close to the term "Cairon" which means "cut stone" in Occitan.

A few stories about the life of the stone tracers of Carro

The activity of the plotters marked the landscape of the villages of La Couronne and Carro. It is in particular on the port that we embarked the materials bound for Marseilles since the stones were used for the construction of great monuments such as the Saint-Victor Abbey, the Town hall and the Old Charity (between the III th century BC and the 19th century). The people of travelers, navigators and traders will use the quality of this rock for years. The port of Carro was the ideal place because the mistral which comes from the North-West was conducive to the transport of goods and in particular blocks of stone.

18 mining sites have been identified between La Couronne and Carro. It is possible to discover 8 of them during the Cap Couronne Big Loop hike and the Stone Quarries local loop. Throughout the course, one can discover the quarries of Soubrat, the quarries of Arquierons, the quarry of Auffrans, the quarries of Pointe de Carro, the quarry of Beaumaderie, the quarry of Couronne-Vieille, the quarry of Verdon and finally, the quarries of Baou Tailla.

The beautiful hikes on Carro - La Couronne

  • The coastal path extends over 13 kilometers. It is dotted with 42 information panels to present the fauna and flora identified on the trail. From Carro beach to Sainte-Croix beach, the coastal path offers beautiful views.
  • The Crown Stone Quarries Loop is part of one of the 8 local loops of the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue. Over a distance of 8 kilometres, discover 3 continental quarries and 5 coastal quarries to learn all about this ancient work. The second local loop of this great trail related to the history of stone quarry workers is the 24 kilometer Cap Couronne Great Loop. You can cross the villages of Carro and La Couronne, passing by the beaches of Sainte-Croix and the port of Carro.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
Carro is also famous for its surf spot whose geographical location is exceptional because it perceives all the winds. Also called the rague de Carro, it is a paradise for sliding enthusiasts whose reputation goes beyond borders. Out of season, it also welcomes the boats of fishermen who come to look for rock fish. During a walk or bike ride on the greenway, you can see them and enjoy the show. Every day, this is the view that is offered to motorhomes who have stopped over at the rest area, facing the sea.

Want to enjoy Carro longer?

The motorhome area is open year-round. Thanks to its 78 pitches, it welcomes holidaymakers near Carro beach, facing swimmers and surfers. The owners of seasonal rentals in the village of Carro are also numerous. Consult our selection of houses and apartments for rent with sea view to enjoy the calm of Carro.

The greenway of Carro extends over 1.5 km, secure, it is accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. Lined with educational terminals, this walk offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. You will not be disappointed !

What about fishing?
Access to fishing and nautical activities is highly regulated. Nearby is the preserved area of Cap Couronne. It is a marine reserve set up by the sailors of Carro under the leadership of the Côte Bleue Marine Park team and which covers 210 ha. The presence of a Posidonia meadow on the Mediterranean coast is an opportunity to develop biodiversity (it still extends over more than 1000 ha). Fishing is totally prohibited.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF

The villages around Carro

The village of La Couronne borders that of the village of Carro. He also knew the existence of stone quarrymen since they enlarged the old chapel in 1669, which has now become the church of La Couronne. Thanks to the registers issued by the brotherhood of stonemasons, we now know that the Peyrerons family was the one permanently installed in the village.

The Crown also experienced the sinking of the boat on which Marie-Madeleine was, released into the open sea as a prisoner by the Palestinians. The place then became the Holy Land and remained very popular with pilgrims. You can follow the route In the footsteps of Mary Magdalene between Martigues and Carry-le-Rouet and thus discover the major sites of Christianity and the exceptional landscapes that the saint crossed during her preaching in Provence.

The emblematic sites of La Couronne

• The Semaphore was built in 1887 under Napoleon III. It once housed communication networks to fight against invaders from the Mediterranean coast. It has the tallest watchtower of 27 meters. Still functional, it allows the French Navy to carry out port surveillance missions (Marseille-Fos) and to alert the emergency services in the event of shipwreck at sea. The last representative of the three semaphores on the coast, it is one of the last In France.

• La Pointe Riche is located near the preserved area of Cap Couronne. It takes its name from a legend that tells of the sinking of a boat filled with gold bars. Its most probable origin is attributed by Italian navigators whose name "Riccio" means "Urchins" because sea urchin fishing was practiced there. It is on this same point that the lighthouse of Cap Couronne is located, raised 33 meters above the sea, and a real eye of the Lynx.
La Couronne station is served by the Côte Bleue train inaugurated in 1915. This new railway line has made it possible to open up isolated villages and to replace the diligences by which it was necessary to count 8 hours by road to reach Marseille - Carro. The creation of a train transport also put an end to the coastal navigation company: "The new coastal", a small steamer linking Marseille to Cap Couronne. The crossing time was rarely fixed with recurring breaks in the coastal ports which lasted more or less long depending on the packages to be delivered.

The Côte Bleue train joins Marseille - Miramas via Martigues and serves the villages of the Côte Bleue: Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet, Ensuès-la-Redonne with which the Franco-Swiss writer, Blaise fell in love Candrars. 61 km long, the line has the particularity of crossing 48 engineering structures: 4 metal bridges, 18 viaducts, 23 tunnels and 3 underground galleries. Its construction engineer, Paul Séjourné was also nicknamed "The Gustave Eiffel of masonry bridges".

The Chapel of Sainte-Croix overlooks Sainte-Croix beach, the favorite beach of many holidaymakers. There is the vestige of a 12th century chapel, built on the site where Saint-Lazare (shipwrecked with Marie-Madeleine) once planted his cross. Sainte-Croix beach is twinned with La Saulce beach, which welcomed the Duchess of Barry in 1832. Follow the route “In the footsteps of Marie-Madeleine” to relive history.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / KarimK
  •  - © Otmartigues / KarimK
Visit the village of Saint-Julien-les-Martigues

The chapel of Saint-Julien-les-Martigues is located in the village of Saint-Julien. Built during the 1st century AD, it is above all famous for its bas-relief embedded in its facade. The lands of Saint-Julien, still very agricultural, will allow you to meet our local producers. Stop at the farmhouse of St-Ju, at a goat breeder's to savor delicious fresh cheeses and taste the very famous brousse du Rove (AOP). Not far from there, you can also stop off at the cooperative cellar to taste their new vintage of wines (AOP Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence). The winegrowers still work in the respect of traditions, this is the case of the vintage "Mas du moulin" whose red was aged in terracotta pots.

Every Saturday morning, we meet you in the heart of the village, on the main square to savor delicious products from our local producers. Baker's bread with organic flour, fresh cheeses and vegetables from the St-Ju farmhouse garden, peasant fruits and vegetables, shellfish and fresh fish.... Welcome to the Saint-Julien-les-Martigues farmers' market.

The charm of the village of Saint-Pierre-les-Martigues

The oppidum of Saint-Pierre and its church are located 7km from Martigues. Both are located on a hill, in the heart of an agricultural plain. You will be able to discover there the vestiges of a habitat and the fortifications of a Gallic oppidum, sign of an old Gallo-Roman agglomeration.

Saint-Pierre-les-Martigues is also an agricultural land, it is quite naturally that the agroecological farm Aïoli Caganis has set up its quarters there. Open to the public with a shop, a village of producers on Saturday mornings and unusual dinners from field to plate, this is the place to visit absolutely to be in the heart of nature.

Want to travel the Côte Bleue from Carro to Marseille?
Cross the villages departing from Carro / La Couronne along the most beautiful roads on the Mediterranean coast.
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  •  - © Otmartigues / MyriamF