HOLT PARIS WELCOME SERVICE
Marseille: Gateway to Provence!
The Provence region of France is so popular with art lovers and people who enjoy fascinating landscapes and villages, that it was until now a difficult area to which one could bring a real incentive group for lack of hotel space of the right calibre. This year in collaboration with Marseille’s year as the European Capital of Culture, this lack has now been filled with the opening of the majestic Intercontinental Hotel Dieu overlooking the Vieux Port of Marseille!
A real chef d’oeuvre, the hotel is established in a majestic XVIIIth century building. Designed by Mansart’s nephew, with its superb staircases, vaulted passageways and large terrace from which one can enjoy an impressive view across the port, leading to the Mediterranean Sea, to the imposing Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde on the eastern side of the bay – there is only one adjective: breathtaking, particularly after sunset!
Staying in the city centre of Marseille is not only a good start to visit the famous Calanques but is also an excellent gateway to Provence with the history and culture for which it is renowned. Visits can be made to Aix-en Provence, Arles, Nimes and the Baux de Provence and of course to the most impressive of them all, the Pope’s city of Avignon. Good food and wine are abundant and one of southern France’s most renowned wines, Chateauneuf du Pape, can be tasted in its home setting on a majestic hill overlooking the Rhone Valley.
For antique and brocante lovers a must is a visit to Ile sur la Sorgue before driving into the Luberon to visit the villages that have made the region famous, such as Joucas, Village des Bories and Gordes. After any one of these day outings dinner can be enjoyed either in the excellent restaurants of the Hotel Intercontinental or at one of the seafood restaurants around Le Vieux Port. Whilst visiting Marseille you should take time out to visit the recently opened MuCEM Museum telling the tale of European and Mediterranean civilisations built on a landspur on the port.
Reaching Marseille is easy thanks to good direct airline connections from both North and South America and of course from all major European cities – from Paris it can be reached either from the city centre or directly from Charles de Gaulle airport by fast TGV train in less than three hours. Many of the major Mediterranean cruise companies now come to the port of Marseille and benefit from the modern facilities of the Joliette dock. Marseille is a multi-cultured city to which travellers have been immigrating since Greek and Roman times - Marseille is not just le Savon de Marseille!
Interested in learning more? Please contact Susan Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org