1st - Old Port (Vieux Port) holiday villas and apartments are located in the 1st arrondissement of Marseille, the historic old port buffered from the sea by the 2nd - Panier District, where HomeAway also offers a range of luxury holiday accommodation. 1st - Old Port (Vieux Port) accommodation puts visitors right in the heart of the city, the setting for Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, along with the Chateau d'If a mile or so away by boat. Marseille's legacy as the 2013 European Capital of Culture saw the area develop as a pedestrian area with additional parklands under development slated for completion in 2020.
1st - Old Port (Vieux Port) holiday rentals tend to have the facilities one would expect from urban accommodation: internet access, full kitchen and laundry facilities, while lacking more rural accoutrements, such as pools and barbecue areas. Parks and public beaches can allow for the latter, however, and seafront swimming and sunbathing spots are plentiful.
Beaches: For cityscape beaches, accommodation in 1st - Old Port (Vieux Port) is hard to beat. What they lack in peace and quiet, however, they make up for with facilities. For a quieter beach experience, villages to the southeast, such as Cassis, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer and La Ciotat offer more rural alternatives.
Food and drink: Marseille is home to two particular dishes that simply have to be tried here at their source: a garlic aioli over fish and vegetables, and bouillabaisse seafood stew. Of course, the organic wines, olive oils and charcuterie of Provence also feature locally, as does the Provencal tipple of choice, pastis.
Outdoor pursuits: 1st - Old Port (Vieux Port) holiday homes have extremely convenient access to the marinas of Marseille, allowing for virtually unlimited watersports, particularly fishing and boating. Hiking and biking are also very popular in the surrounding hills and mountains.
Shopping: The main high street of Marseille, La Canebière, is often referred to as the city's Champs-Elysees. Only a kilometre long, it is lined with restaurants and bars, and provides a broad selection of shops. The Old Port's recent pedestrianisation projects have also helped improve the shopping experience.
Culture: As the urban centre of the Cote d'Azur, Marseille is predictably the cultural capital, as demonstrated by its many museums, galleries and theatres. Chief among the latter in the Old Port is the Opera de Marseille, which has been in operation since the 18th century.
Marseille has a Mediterranean climate, which makes for beautifully hot summers and surprisingly mild winters, with summers highs averaging 28-29°C. Winters generally hover around the mid-teens, but can drop lower under the influence of the cold north wind known as the Mistral.
The Old Port's urban nature, the metro system, and central train station being located right in this district means holidays here can be quite easily accomplished without a hire car. Of course, a car is still advisable to get up into the surrounding mountains. Marseille has it's own airport 15 miles to the northwest, with several direct flight options.