Marseille is the second-largest city in France after Paris, and the largest French port on the Cote d'Azur, where HomeAway has a wide selection of accommodation available. Understandably, it attracted 4.1 million visitors in 2012. Apartments in the 2nd - Panier District put guests right on the seafront by the huge marina of Veiux Port, convenient for all the attendant facilities in place to cater to the sailing population. 2nd - Panier District accommodation is also convenient for some of the cultural treasures of Marseille, including the city's Romanesque/Byzantine cathedral, La Vieille Charite Museum, and guided walking tours around the district, which explain highlights of the city's 2,600 years of history in both French and English.
Most 2nd - Panier District holiday rentals come with fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and internet access. Of course, with their urban locations, 2nd - Panier District rentals have convenient access to host of restaurants, bars, shopping and cultural attractions. Marseille also has its own beaches to the south of the docks.
Beaches: The beaches in Marseille are mostly backed by the urban sprawl, which allows for great city views and access to food, drink and watersports equipment. For larger beaches with more peaceful and natural surroundings, the villages of Cassis, La Ciotat, and Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer have beaches about 15 miles to the southeast.
Food and drink: There are two traditional dishes that simply have to be tried in Marseille: bouillabaisse seafood stew; and seafood and vegetable aioli – both preferably washed down by the daylong Provencal staple, diluted pastis, an aniseed liquor as common in the south of France as tea is in the UK.
Outdoor pursuits: Marseille is surrounded by the hills and mountains of Provence, which are great for hikers and bikers to explore. Of course, with 2nd - Panier District villas offering unparalleled access to the sea, watersports are a big part of the outdoor possibilities. This part of the Mediterranean coast has a lot of Calanques, the distinctive cliffs that provide a dramatic backdrop to boating trips.
Shopping: With Marseille's status as the largest city on the Cote d'Azur, the shopping is unparalleled. With its history as a cultural melting pot, shopping is equally eclectic, with funky New Age alongside classic fashions and discount shops next to exclusive boutique department stores. Marseille's olive oil soap is a popular souvenir to seek out.
Culture: The 2nd - Panier District is home to the Marseille Cathedral, a wonderful example of Roman/Byzantine architecture. La Vieille Charite Museum is also located here, as is the Chateau d'If of Count of Monte Cristo fame, on an island a couple of miles off Veiux Port.
Marseille is subject to the Mediterranean climate, which typically consists of hot summers and mild winters, moderated by the sea and the cooling Mistral and sand-laden Scirocco winds, the former from the north, the latter from the south. Summer temperatures usually top out in the high 20s °C, while the winter usually sees the mid-teens. Most of the rain falls in October and November.
Marseille has its own airport 15 miles to the northwest of the centre of the city, which is where the 2nd - Panier District is located. There are three airlines with direct flight options to the UK: British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair. Marseille is also one of the major ports on the Mediterranean, with ferry links to Corsica, Italy and Algiers. Marseille is also driveable from the UK, of course, with the trip taking around two days of fairly easy driving. Rail links through Paris are also possible in around eight or nine hours.