A good map of Marseille’s Prado beach region. Note the unnamed river flowing out beside Plage de l’Huveaune having passed by the Hippodrome and whatever chemically-controlled paysage came before it.
Marseille Beaches Overview
These photos were shot in July. Water quality control information was posted with most beaches achieving a Good Quality standard while a handful got a lesser Moderate Quality grade.
There is an ‘Eaux de Mauvaise Qualité’ level in the ‘Surveillance Sanitaire des Baignades en Mer’ so ‘Moyenne’ is not so bad.
The Moderate water quality results came from (in order of poorness): Huveaune, Borely (near the horse race track), Catalans, Prado Sud and Anse des Sablettes (the only beach we didn’t photograph east of Marseilles’ port.
Huveaune, Borely and Prado Sud are clustered on either side of a small river that flows out into the sea after running beside the Borely horse race track so that’s an obvious source of bacteria/organisms and and consequently poor water quality results.
Facilities on all sizeable beaches were excellent, with lifeguards, first aid centres, fresh water showers, toilets and cafés.
Beach surfaces varied considerably, ranging from soft beige sand, to artificial gravel, to shingle and pebbles, but even the latter were mostly fine to walk on in bare feet.
Plage des Catalans
Plage des Catalans, moderate water quality – presumably due to its proximity to the port – and soft sand.
Catalans is the nearest beach to the port, easy walking distance from Parc du Pharo, Abbaye de St Victor and Fort St Nicolas. All the facilities are there including showers, changing rooms, lifeguard, café and plenty of shops nearby. Buses stop right beside the beach.
Le Bistrot Plage
Le Bistrot ‘Plage’.
There’s a gap of a couple of kilometres along Corniche President Kennedy, the coast road, before the next beach. Some ‘plages’ along this stretch of coast offer no sand but possibly access to the sea and plenty of loungers and eating/drinking facilities.
Plage du Petits Rocas Blanc
Plage du Petits Rocas Blanc in Prado Nord, rinsed by good quality sea water but coated with rather coarse sand backed by a large expanse of gravel.
Petits Rocas Blanc gravel. Walkable in bare feet but unattractive and it heats up more than the sand.