Wander around Martigues

  • Le quartier de Ferrières - © Otmartigues / LMartin
Start the day with a bird’s eye view Head for Chapelle Notre Dame des Marins for a magnificent 360° panorama over the city surrounded by water, canals and bridges. The city has three districts: Ile, Jonquières and Ferrières.

L’ILE - the island district

Wander around Provençal Venice, along Quai Brescon and around the Miroir aux Oiseaux and admire the colourful façades of old fishermen’s houses. As you stroll by, take a glimpse at the Provençal-Baroque-style Église de la Madeleine stretching along Canal St Sébastien and the “Maison en chapeau de gendarme” with turned fretted gables. In 1963 Gilles Grangier filmed the comedy “La cuisine au beurre” here, starring French actors Fernandel and Bourvil.

Continue until you reach the water garden at the point of the island, a relaxing spot with a lovely view of the Chenal de Caronte. From there, board the maritime shuttle which links the three districts of Martigues.


Wander along the marina between the magnificent Théâtre des Salins, an Italian-style theatre with a sober pink-limestone façade and the fishermen’s quay. Then head for the Gnidzaz cinematheque and discover the exemplary collection of a passionate cinema enthusiast  with reels, scopitones, projectors and more.
Visit Musée Ziem for the works of Félix Ziem, artists from the 1850-1925 Marseille school, Fauvist landscapes, contemporary art, archaeological and ethnological collections, then stop for lunch or a drink in the shade of mulberry plane trees on the beach at Plage des Ferrières facing the Étang de Berre.


Cross the lift bridge which separates in two when it opens to let ships with air draft of over 5.8 m pass through. Continue along Quai Alsace Lorraine to Chapelle de l’Annonciade. It has remarkable interior decoration with trompe l'oeils, sculptured panelling, a guilt altarpiece and a Venetian-style painted ceiling. Carry on to the Cours du 4 Septembre, a majestic esplanade with bars, brasseries, restaurants, and night markets where craftsmen sell their wares in summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  •  - © Otmartigues / SergeT

Practical information:

•             free travel between the three Martigues districts by boat shuttle and bus line no. 20.
  • Le Miroir aux oiseaux - © Otmartigues / LMartin
  • Théâtre des Salins - © Otmartigues / SergeT
  • Plage de Ferrières - © Otmartigues / MyriamF
  • Eglise de la Madeleine - NBuisson	 - © Otmartigues - NicolasB
  •  - © Otmartigues / KarimK
  •  - © Otmartigues / KarimK