Col Moutte Alex MesmerCol Moutte Alex Mesmer
©Col Moutte Alex Mesmer
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visit Les Goudes

September 2021

To the east of the Marseille coastline, in a place which is at the end of the world, the quarter of Les Goudes is an exceptional end to your visit of Marseille. A little harbour with its sometimes old-worldish, sometimes sparkling atmosphere which is a real must with its Mediterranean character you can appreciate from sunrise to sunset.

Published on 2 November 2021

If you’re visiting Marseille, don’t miss Les Goudes!

A day off, filled with wanderlust… Grab your sunglasses, a pair of sneakers and head for Les Goudes, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Marseille. This quarter in the 8th arrondissement of Marseille is like a world of its own, between land and sea, nestling between the Mediterranean and the start of the Calanques. At the end of the road, the majestic setting is a guarantee of a revitalizing break when you come from the town: plunge your eyes into the emerald glints of the water before turning around to admire the wild, white rock. And then wander through this fishing and yachting harbour, well-known for its little houses, the locals, its little restaurants which are all faithful to the spirit of the place. At dinnertime, sit down in a restaurant in Les Goudes: on the terrace, just as dusk is clothing the sky, you are presented with a freshly-caught fish before it is brought back fully prepared for you to enjoy. A way of life! And for maximum serenity, go for spring or autumn to make the most of Les Goudes in peace and quiet. There isn’t a lot of space, so choose public transport: the 19 bus or the ferry via Pointe Rouge in summer.

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Les Goudes Sunset Alex MesmerLes Goudes Sunset Alex Mesmer
©Les Goudes Sunset Alex Mesmer

That’s the nickname they’ve given to this calm end of the enthusiastic capital of Marseille, after Pointe Rouge, La Redonne, and just before the Calanques National Park. I’m not the only one to marvel at this place each time I go there, to start a journey through the limestone of Col Moutte or the Pas de la Demi-Lune, to enjoy the little harbour and the beach at Mille Lieux sous la Bière and make the most of the setting sun, or to escape to photograph the teeming life here in the summer. I took this picture from the austere and crumbling Fort des Goudes which you can see above the village on its hill. A few minutes climb is all you need to find yourself completely alone with the best viewpoint over Les Goudes, and L’Île Maïre guarding it – and admire the panorama which opens out before you. Simple, efficient happiness, and heat treatment. The best moment to go there? September, when the summer buzz is over, and even better, in October with the last warmth of summer, or April and May, when the Sun stays progressively longer above the horizon. After a pretty escapade in the Calanques, wandering through Les Bruyères or enjoying a sunset over the Fort des Goudes will always have the same effect on me, and on the people of Marseille. I’m at home here, and I have no wish to be anywhere else.

Activities in Marseille: Les Goudes, land and sea version

One day is not enough to explore all the aspects of Les Goudes, so you need to make a choice. To get a feel for it, talk to the locals who love exchanging anecdotes, and photograph some landscapes, for example from the Fortin Napoléon, which can be reached via the Sentier du Président. Since the harbour is located at the edge of the Calanques National Park, there’s a whole host of opportunities for discovering this fantastic area. Les Goudes is the starting point for a number of hikes, one of which takes you to the Calanque de Marseilleveyre – it takes about one hour. Or try a kayaking outing or paddle-boarding in Marseille and admire this setting from the sea, but maybe you’d like to explore the Calanques at the helm of a boat (regulated boat access and a limited number of boats). Take to the heights and climb the white rock with Activ Road or go below sea level with a diving outing with the Centre UCPA Cap Croisette. A lovely outing will take you to the Cap Croisette near L’Ile Maïre to swim or dive around Les Farillons, two rocks sticking out of the water at the southernmost point of the island.

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Everything you need to know about Les Goudes

This absolutely no-miss location in Marseille is as surprising as it is dazzling!

  • Les Goudes is an adulteration of the Provencal word “l’eigado”, (l’aigade), a place where fresh water can be found. A symbolic significance which originates from a spring which used to run in the valley, near a chapel dedicated to Saint Michel.
  • Les Goudes, an Insta must and a movie star: the site is a favourite setting for film-makers who choose this so spectacular deco. The quarter stars in a number of films, one of the latest being Stillwater with Matt Damon and Camille Cottin.
  • During the 19th century, Les Goudes was an industrially-oriented quarter: today, some of the factory walls have been reconverted to build little houses and the Chapelle Saint-Lucien!
  • Between Les Goudes and the Calanque of Callelongue, you can see the remains of the “téléscaphe”: an underwater cablecar which enabled all and sundry to discover the seabed without getting wet. A 12-franc trip, a depth of 10 metres and a real success when it was inaugurated in 1967. But operating and maintenance costs proved too heavy for this one and only module in the world.
  • The Cap Croisette takes its name from the many ephemeral crosses planted on the point, in the time of sailing navigation when there were many shipwrecks.

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Portrait Alex MesmerPortrait Alex Mesmer
©Portrait Alex Mesmer
Alex Mesmer

Who am I? Alex Mesmer, I’m just 28 and I work in the field of luxury for Groupe Airelles in Gordes and in Courchevel. But I’m also a photographer in my spare time, and I love to escape and share my compositions, anecdotes and adventures on Instagram with the same enthusiasm and the same smile all the time.


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