What to see in Martigues: A Guide to the Charming Town

What to see in Martigues: A Guide to the Charming Town

Welcome to Martigues: The Charming Town

Martigues, also known as the "Venice of Provence," is a picturesque town located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of southern France. Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Étang de Berre lagoon, this enchanting town attracts visitors with its beautiful canals, colorful houses, and charming waterfront.

1. The Old Town

Start your explorations in Martigues by wandering through the charming streets of the old town. Lose yourself in its narrow alleys adorned with traditional Provencal architecture, vibrant facades, and flower-filled balconies. Discover local shops, cafes, and quaint boutiques selling regional products and handicrafts.

2. The Canal System

The canals of Martigues are the town's most iconic feature, giving it the nickname of the "Venice of Provence." Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque quaysides and enjoy the soothing ambiance. Admire the historic bridges that span the canals and watch as colorful boats glide through the water. Don't miss the famous Pont de Fer, a striking iron bridge that adds an architectural touch to the scenery.

3. The Fortified Château d'If

Located on an island in the Étang de Berre lagoon, just off the coast of Martigues, is the impressive Château d'If. This historic fortress offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area and is accessible by a short boat ride. Explore the castle grounds, visit the museum, and learn about its intriguing history as a stronghold protecting the region.

4. The Lovely Beaches

Martigues boasts several stunning beaches where you can soak up the sun and relax. Visit the Plage de la Couronne for its soft golden sands and azure waters. This family-friendly beach also offers various water sports activities, such as paddleboarding and kayaking. Another popular spot is Plage de Ferrières, known for its tranquility and natural beauty. Enjoy a peaceful day by the sea and unwind amidst the picturesque coastal landscape.

5. The Musée Ziem

Immerse yourself in art and culture at the Musée Ziem. Located in an elegant 17th-century Baroque-style mansion, this museum is dedicated to the works of Félix Ziem, a renowned landscape painter. Admire the collection of his vibrant paintings, which beautifully capture the beauty of Martigues and the region. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing the talents of contemporary artists.

6. The Étang de Berre Nature Reserve

Escape into nature at the Étang de Berre Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts. Explore the diverse ecosystems, including wetlands, reed beds, and salt marshes. Observe a variety of bird species, such as flamingos, herons, and egrets, in their natural habitat. Enjoy a peaceful walk or bike ride along the trails that wind through this serene natural landscape.

7. The Sainte-Anne Chapel

Dedicated to Sainte-Anne, the patron saint of Martigues, the Sainte-Anne Chapel is a must-visit religious site. Take a moment to admire the chapel's beautiful architecture, featuring intricate stone carvings and a majestic bell tower. Step inside to find a peaceful atmosphere and stunning stained glass windows depicting religious scenes.

8. The Gastronomic Delights

No visit to Martigues is complete without savoring the local culinary delights. Indulge in fresh seafood, such as bouillabaisse (a traditional Provençal fish stew) or moules marinières (mussels cooked in white wine and herbs). Pair your meal with a glass of delicious local wine, and don't forget to try the famous "Calissons," traditional almond-shaped candies made in the region.


Martigues offers a charming experience with its enchanting canals, colorful facades, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you explore the old town, visit historic landmarks, relax on the beaches, or immerse yourself in art and nature, this charming town will captivate you with its beauty and tranquility.