Exploring Martigues: Local Culture, Traditions & Festivals

Exploring Martigues: Local Culture, Traditions & Festivals

Exploring Martigues: Local Culture, Traditions & Festivals

About Martigues

Martigues is a picturesque town located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France. Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Étang de Berre, it is often referred to as the "Venise Provençale" (Provençal Venice) due to its charming canals and bridges.

The town is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and warm Mediterranean climate. Martigues is a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking a peaceful and authentic Provençal experience.

Local Culture

Martigues has a vibrant local culture with a strong emphasis on art, music, and traditional Provençal customs. The town is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues where visitors can immerse themselves in the local arts scene.

One of the most iconic aspects of Martigues' culture is its traditional boat, the "pointu." These colorful vessels can be seen cruising along the canals and are a symbol of the town's maritime heritage. Taking a boat ride on a pointu is a must-do experience for visitors.


The people of Martigues take pride in preserving their traditional customs and practices. One of the most cherished traditions is the "Fête de la Saint-Pierre," which is held every year on June 29th. This festival celebrates the town's patron saint, Saint Peter, who is believed to protect the local fishermen.

During the festival, the canals and streets of Martigues come alive with colorful parades, live music, traditional dances, and fireworks. The highlight of the event is the traditional blessing of the boats, where the fishermen bring their vessels to the local church to receive the priest's blessing for a safe and prosperous year ahead.


Martigues is known for its vibrant festival scene, offering a wide range of events throughout the year. One of the most popular festivals is the "Festival de Martigues," also known as the "Festival of the Bridge." This annual event takes place in July and features a variety of cultural performances, including music, dance, and theater.

Another highlight is the "Festival de Cinéma de Martigues," a film festival dedicated to showcasing both French and international independent films. This event attracts filmmakers, actors, and film enthusiasts from all over the world.

Local Cuisine

No visit to Martigues is complete without indulging in the delicious local cuisine. The town is surrounded by fertile farmlands and the Mediterranean Sea, providing a wide variety of fresh ingredients.

Some of the must-try dishes include "Bouillabaisse," a traditional Provençal fish stew, "Brousse du Rove," a local goat cheese, and "Navettes," a type of sweet biscuit shaped like a boat.

Exploring Nature

Martigues is blessed with stunning natural landscapes, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. The Étang de Berre, a large lagoon located adjacent to the town, offers opportunities for sailing, kayaking, and birdwatching.

The nearby Parc Régional de Camargue is a nature reserve where visitors can observe a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, bulls, and horses. The Calanques de Cassis, a series of dramatic limestone cliffs, are also within reach for those who wish to explore further.

Getting There

Martigues is easily accessible from major cities in France. The nearest airport is Marseille Provence Airport, which offers domestic and international flights. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or rent a car to reach Martigues.

If traveling by train, Martigues has its own station with connections to Marseille and other cities in the region. Buses also run regularly between Martigues and surrounding towns.