Plage des Catalans


  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

Oceanside Oasis

In a big Mediterranean city like Marseille, a beachfront stretch is prime real estate. What a blessing, then, that this sliver of sand has been preserved for all to enjoy.

While it can get crowded, especially in the sweltering summer months, Plage des Catalans remains a favorite beach of both Marseillais city-dwellers and of tourists taking a break from the many historical and cultural sites in France’s third largest metropolis.

Fun for All

Plage de Catalans is located just five minutes from the downtown area, along a beautiful coastal boulevard known as the Corniche. The sandy portion only comprises a few hundred yards, and much of that is taken up by volleyball courts. But the sand and water are pure and refreshing, especially in early mornings and late afternoons, when there’s not so much competition to enjoy the shoreline’s natural beauty. Off in the distance, the rocky peaks of the Frioul Islands make an attractive backdrop.

After your beach trip, head a little further down the coast to Vallon des Auffes, a postcard-perfect fishing village, or walk along the Corniche to stumble across a handful of hidden coves and secret beaches.

Basic Info

Plage des Catalans is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is equipped with bathrooms, showers and a first aid station. Lifeguards are on duty in the busy summer months. Parking in the surrounding streets shouldn’t be too hard, but you also have the choice of coming by bus, as the beach is a routine stop along several local bus routes.

Plage des Catalans at a Glance


Country or State:France

Length of Beach:200 feet

Access:By car, by bus, on foot

Best time to visit:Fall - good weather, fewer crowds

High Season:May to August

Low Season:September to April

Beach Hours:8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


  • Volleyball courts and a first aid station
  • Concessions

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular