The Vallon des Auffes: A port with an authentic charm
A stone's throw from the Catalan Beach, right in front of the Statue aux Héros de l'Armée d'Orient, is a small Provençal fishing village.
Nestled between two cliffs, facing the sea, the Vallon des Auffes offers the impression that time stopped at Marcel Pagnol's time. It is one of the most emblematic places in Marseille.
Unique, authentic, picturesque site, there are many adjectives to describe this small peaceful haven so close and so far away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. It is here that you will find one of the most beautiful settings to eat in a restaurant in Marseille.
Deeply connected to the sea and the fishing industry, the Vallon des Auffes names comes from the alfa (auffo in Provençal) which is a granulate used to make ropes. In the 19th century, rope manufacturers settled there. With its colourful fishing huts and its typical Marseille fishing boats, and its traditional and renowned restaurants, the Vallon des Auffes symbolises the "Dolce Vita" with a Marseille touch.
You can access it by narrow stairs leading into the cove. The small port sees coming and going of tourists on holiday in Marseille and fishermen. The terraces are full and it is better to come in the morning to enjoy the tranquility (especially in summer). At the end of the quay, after passing under the viaduct, you can swim (but be careful with the boats, it remains a port). To swim in Marseille, it is better to go to the other side of the viaduct on the dikes where many young and old people crowd.
If you are planning to visit Marseille, the Vallon des Auffes is one of the must-see places and is therefore a must during a walk on the Corniche. Just after that is Endoume with its handles of Malmousque and of Fausse Monnaie which you must absolutely see in Marseille.