"met in Paris and flew to Marseilles. Then from Marseilles by boat to Athens."


The Acropolis, Athens
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Acropolis, Athens - Credit: LennieZ

The Mediterranean climate of Marseilles will always draw sun-seekers and the fact the summer season runs from May to October only exacerbates the number of visitors the French city receives each year.


As the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and the Bouches-du-Rhône department, Marseilles is large, the largest French city on the Mediterranean coast in fact and also home to the country's biggest commercial port.

The historic city was founded by the Greeks in 600BC and is therefore the oldest in France.

It is also home to two forts - Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north, as well as the Château d'If. Located in the Bay of Marseille, the castle rose to fame after featuring in 'The Count of Monte Cristo' novel.

Culturally, the Opéra played a huge part in Marseille's history and although it enjoyed its heyday between the end of the 18th century until the 1970s, a small number of operas play still in the city to this day. 

Meanwhile, the capital of Greece, Athens is a city saturated in history, which harks back more than 3,000 years.

As one of the most ancient cities in the world, Athens is subsequently a relative melting pot of philosophy, literature, politics, economics and industry. Indeed, during the classical period, Athens was a centre of learning and philosophy, with Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, in full flow and it is where democracy first reared its head.

Monte-Cristo prison known as
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMonte-Cristo prison known as "if castle" - Marseille France - Credit: Jean-Marc ROSIER http://www.cjrosier.com

The story of Greece and indeed the western world can be read in the ancient monuments and architecture still standing in Athens - one of the most famous being the Parthenon. There is also the much visited Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

Such is the wealth of evidence of times past, that the city is at the epi-centre of world archaeology, attracting myriad teams each year who are eager to discover more about what went before...

It must not be forgotten that Athens also contains many theatrical stages - around 148 to be precise - just another dimension to this well-rounded city.