In southwest France, on the beautiful Côte d'Azur, is Marseille. Known for its bustling port and miles of lovely beaches, this summer Marseille will play host to one of the year's biggest football competitions. England, Russia, the Ukraine and Poland are just a few of the teams that will battle it out at for the chance to be crowned champions. Visitors can experience the action first-hand at Marseille's Stade Vélodrome, or from the designated Fanzone at Prado Beach. Read on to find out more about the football, and what else is on offer in Marseille.
Marseille’s Old Port at night © Image by Flickr user Ralf Smallkaa
If you weren't lucky enough to get tickets to matches at the Stade, Marseille's Fanzone is the best place to catch all the action. The official Fanzone for the 2016 football will be held at Prado Beach and will accommodate up to 80,000 fans! Large screens will broadcast matches throughout the competition (not just those played in Marseile), and the area will come alive with buzzing football fans. And with everything you could need within walking distance, the location couldn't be better.
What to do
When you're not watching the football, either at the official Fanzone or the Stade Vélodrome, there's plenty to see and do in and around Marseille. Calanques (coastal inlets made of limestone) are dotted along the coastline between Marseille and Casis, and they're well worth a visit. There are trails of varying lengths to choose from, depending on how many calanques you want to see and how far you want to walk.
The view of one of Marseille’s calanques.© Flickr user Ludovic Lubeigt
Where to eat
A short walk from the Prado Beach football Fanzone, away from the hustle and bustle, is L'Atéo. As you'd expect, this beachfront restaurant specialises in locally-caught seafood, making for a light menu that's perfect for summertime. Dine on delicate scallops and tasty tartare while you enjoy lovely sea views. Finish your meal with something decadent and a glass of dessert wine – delicious!
If you like your meal with a side order of karaoke, then Chez Ida is for you! This charming restaurant serves delicious French cuisine, including lamb shoulder and foie gras, accompanied by dining room karaoke. Perfect for groups looking to belt out their favourite tunes, Chez Ida is a great place to unwind after a day of football in the sun.
Many restaurants in Marseille serve fresh seafood. © Flickr user Rob Taylor
Where to drink
If you've ever been to France before, you'll know the French like to have a drink, and nowhere is this truer than on the delightfully sunny Côte d'Azur. After a long day in the sun – exploring the Calanques or watching the football – there's nothing better than a cold glass of French wine. While there are lots of bars and pubs to choose from, Sportbeach has a large outdoor area right on the waterfront, which is great for long summer nights.
Where to stay
Pullman Marseille Palm Beach
Stay in the heart of the action at the Pullman Marseille Palm Beach. This well-placed hotel is a 13-minute walk to Prado Beach, home of the official football Fanzone, and a short bus ride to central Marseille. Choose from a range of rooms, from classics to suites, and enjoy beautiful views out to sea. There's even an onsite sauna and spa if you're in need of some relaxation.
Get to the football with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.
Get there… with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. Journey from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes and from there, Marseille isn’t far away.
For places to stop and things to do during your drive from Calais to Marseille, read our driving guide here