For nature lovers and those who can't choose between the sea or mountains: here's the solution to this brain teaser! The unforgettable Marseille. Surrounded by an exceptional environment (sea, hills and coves), half of the city is made up of natural spaces, with more than 400 hectares of parks and public gardens. Enjoy an unforgettable experience by taking one of our AVE (high-speed) France trains, AVE (high-speed) International travelling between Spain and France. You can reach Marseille station - right in the centre of the city - in less than 5 hours.
This monument, opened in 1869 and built by the architect who built Notre-Dame de la Garde, commemorates the arrival of the waters of the Durance Canal to Marseille, which are represented in the monument's decorations. This is one of the most important buildings in Marseille, built during the Second Empire, and it stands out for the lion and tiger sculptures at the entrance and for the monumental fountain in the centre of the colonnade – the work of Antoine Louis and Jules Cavelier, respectively. The Museum of Fine Arts – the oldest in Marseille –, the Museum of Natural History and a botanical park, formerly a zoo, can be found in the palace.
This garden is listed as one of the most remarkable in France by the French Ministry of Culture. It spans across an area of 1.4 hectares, surrounding a "bastide" or Provençal house dating back to the eighteenth century and which today houses the Cité de la Musique. Two terraces adorned with majestic fountains representing the Rhône and Saône rivers separate the bastide from the park, which follows a layout typical of traditional French gardens, with flowerbeds, wooden broderie parterres and statues representing the four seasons of the year. Several rows of tulips complete the geometric harmony of the garden.
On the shores of the Prado beaches, we find this oasis of no less than 17 hectares, very popular among the people of Marseille and its visitors. One of its highlights is the impressive shape of the eighteenth century castle surrounded by geometric gardens, filled with poplar groves, in the purest French style.
To enjoy a cultural break, you can't miss the painting exhibitions held at the castle, in addition to Folon's sculpture, La Fontaine aux oiseaux (the Fountain of the Birds).
The Botanic Garden, also known as Jardin Botanique E.M. Heckel is the fourth most important in Marseille. It was created on 15 December 1979 by a group of the town's environmental leaders who promoted the creation of a space for the preservation of plants and flowers and for environmental education, in which you can find some 3,500 plant species.
If you enjoy a relaxed stroll during a sunny afternoon while carrying a good book, this is an essential stop on your route across the city. Rumour has it that this park is built on the land of Mazargues Castle, which burned down during times of revolution, but this has never been proven. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city and its people, its tall and old trees host various examples of horticulture and arboriculture, as well as an extensive scientific library inside the main building. In addition, it shelters a farm, a greenhouse with magnificent trees, roses and olive trees.
This Calanque represents the traditional family park where you can enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature, to which locals come to jog, walk with their pets or simply enjoy a pleasant walk surrounded by this immense forest of pines and olive trees. It opened in 2005 and offers a wide variety of activities for children and adults, including a train trip across the park, swings and other forms of entertainment for children, including an educational farm with lots of ponies.
This park was opened in 23 June 2001 at the old Prado station and near Place Castellane. Its historical remains can be seen on the roof of the old stations, the lanes crossing the centre of the park converted into fountains, as well as the old train terminals and stops, etc. Likewise, visitors can find the tree of hope at the entrance, a symbol of humanity and fraternity, which represents a family tree with leaves that symbolise Marseille's people.
This park has four theme-based gardens: a Provençal garden, an oriental garden, an African garden and an Asian garden. Moreover, on the central hill, you can enjoy the wonderful panoramic views of the city.
If you want to discover all of the secrets offered by French Provence, you can visit Marseille and many other cities connected by our Alta Velocidad (high-speed) International trains travelling between Spain and France, thanks to the many combinations of trains travelling to these destinations: from Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier, Nîmes, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Valence or Lyon, from city centre to city centre.
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