Sink your feet into the warm sand, play games with locals or watch a tapestry of kites flying in the Mediterranean sky at Marseille’s most popular beach.
At the end of a long day, there’s no better way to relax than with a cool drink and a slow stroll along Prado Beach’s wide promenade. If you’ve still got energy to burn, the idyllic stretch of coast offers plenty of action-packed activities for you: try windsurfing, kayaking or snorkelling in the clear water.
For much of the 20th century, Marseille lacked the beach-town reputation that many towns on France’s southern coast were famous for, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that development provided access to this stretch of coastline. Today, Prado Beach holds its own alongside the most sublime beaches in Europe and the parkland adjacent is popular with visitors and locals. Visit the park on the weekend to join the locals relaxing in the open spaces or playing sports on the beach.
Hit the water with your sailboard, kayak or snorkel in hand to make the most of the perfect beach conditions. Rent equipment from the vendors along the promenade. Get active on dry land at the stadium that overlooks the beach. Play beach rugby and volleyball or rent a BMX bike to use the course.
Take a walk through the 64 acres (26 hectares) of Parc Balnéaire immediately next to the beach. Hugging the coast, the park is home to a skate park and a replica of Michelangelo’s famous statue, David.
Head to the beach in September to see the sky fill with colour as around 100,000 kite-makers and flyers swarm on Marseille for the annual Festival of the Wind. From the top of the Ferris wheel on the nearby Borély Beach you’ll have a magnificent view of the coast and the kites hanging above it.
Prado Beach is located approximately 20 minutes by bus from Marseille’s old port. During summer an hourly shuttle boat runs between the beach and the port. Once you’re here you’ll find bathrooms, changing areas and wheelchair accessible facilities. A fee applies for activities within the stadium.